American Academy of Environmental Medicine calls for a halt to wireless smart meters

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has adopted a resolution calling for a halt to wireless smart meters.
The text of the resolution is below. (link to AAEM Resolution on letterhead)

This represents the first national physician’s group to look in-depth at wireless health risks; and to advise the public and decision-makers about preventative public health actions that are necessary.

Cindy Sage
Sage Associates

January 19, 2012

Proposed Decision of Commissioner Peevey (Mailed 1/22/2012)                                 BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA     On the proposed decision 11-03-014

Dear Commissioners:

The Board of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine opposes the installation of wireless “smart meters” in homes and schools based on a scientific assessment of the current medical literature (references available on request).  Chronic exposure to wireless radiofrequency radiation is a preventable environmental hazard that is sufficiently well documented to warrant immediate preventative public health action.

As representatives of physician specialists in the field of environmental medicine, we have an obligation to urge precaution when sufficient scientific and medical evidence suggests health risks which can potentially affect large populations.  The literature raises serious concern regarding the levels of radio frequency (RF – 3 KHz – 300 GHz) or extremely low frequency (ELF – o- 300 Hz) exposures produced by “smart meters” to warrant an immediate and complete moratorium on their use and deployment until further study can be performed.  The board of the American Board of Environmental Medicine wishes to point out that existing FCC guidelines for RF safety that have been used to justify installation of “smart meters” only look at thermal tissue damage and are obsolete, since many modern studies show metabolic and genomic damage from RF and ELF exposures below the level of intensity which heats tissues.  The FCC guidelines are therefore inadequate for use in establishing public health standards.  More modern literature shows medically and biologically significant effects of RF and ELF at lower energy densities.  These effects accumulate over time, which is an important consideration given the chronic nature of exposure from “smart meters”. The current medical literature raises credible questions about genetic and cellular effects, hormonal effects, male fertility, blood/brain barrier damage and increased risk of certain types of cancers from RF or ELF levels similar to those emitted from “smart meters”.  Children are placed at particular risk for altered brain development, and impaired learning and behavior.  Further EMF/RF adds synergistic effects to the damage observed from a range of toxic chemicals.  Given the widespread, chronic and essentially inescapable ELF/RF exposure of everyone living near a “smart meter”,  the Board of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine finds it unacceptable from a public health standpoint to implement this technology until these serious medical concerns are resolved.  We consider a moratorium on installation of wireless “smart meters” to be an issue of the highest importance.

The Board of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine also wishes to note that the US NIEHS National Toxicology Program in 1999 cited radiofrequency radiation as a potential carcinogen.  Existing safety limits for pulsed RF were termed “not protective of public health” by the Radiofrequency Interagency Working Group (a federal interagency working group including the FDA, FCC, OSHA, the EPA and others).  Emissions given off by “smart meters” have been classified by the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a Possible Human Carcinogen.

Hence, we call for:

•  An immediate moratorium on “smart meter” installation until these serious public
health issues are resolved.  Continuing with their installation would be extremely

•  Modify the revised proposed decision to include hearings on health impact in the
second proceedings, along with cost evaluation and community wide opt-out.

•  Provide immediate relief to those requesting it and restore the analog meters.

Members of the Board
American Academy of Environmental Medicine

Admin note:  The American Academy of Environmental Medicine, founded in 1965, is an international association of physicians and other professionals which “provides research and education in the recognition, treatment and prevention of illnesses induced by exposures to biological and chemical agents encountered in air, food and water.”

EMF Safety Network files lawsuit against Sebastopol 4G cell tower

On January 11, the EMF Safety Network filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court against the City of Sebastopol, Verizon, and Crown Castle alleging the City’s decision to approve a 4G cell tower expansion was in violation of a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  According to the Sebastopol attorney, the city has a “hold harmless” clause in their contract with Verizon which requires Verizon to pay for all litigation costs related to the cell tower.

Sebastopol is located adjacent to an internationally recognized wetlands preserve, the Laguna De Santa Rosa.  The City filed a CEQA exemption for the project stating there would be “negligible or no expansion of use”, calling it a “minor alteration.”  EMF Safety Network lawyer Rose Zoia argued their exemption claims were false.  The addition of 3 and 4 G panels to the cell tower will add significant radio frequency (RF) exposure to the downtown area and extend nine miles into the Laguna.

Sebastopol’s Telecommunications Ordinance states, “ No telecommunications facility shall be sited such that its presence threatens the health and safety of migratory birds.”

An environmental study by A. Balmori, Electromagnetic pollution from phone masts. Effects on wildlife. states,

“Electromagnetic radiation is a form of environmental pollution which may hurt wildlife.”

“Phone masts located in their living areas are irradiating continuously some species that could suffer long-term effects, like reduction of their natural defenses, deterioration of their health, problems in reproduction and reduction of their useful territory through habitat deterioration.  Electromagnetic radiation can exert an aversive behavioral response in rats, bats and birds such as sparrows. Therefore microwave and radiofrequency pollution constitutes a potential cause for the decline of animal populations and deterioration of health of plants living near phone masts.”

A second study, Bioassay for assessing cell stress in the vicinity of radio-frequency irradiating antennas. assesses cell stress in water plants from RF. Conclusion excerpt: “The present work makes a unique biological connection between exposure to RF-EMF and real biological stress in living cells.”

Verizon reps swagger into town with their cookie cutter safety data, and hired guns making broad claims of FCC safety.  Cities are caught in a legal trap between mega-rich wireless industry, educated residents armed with evidence of environmental harm and the city’s local ordinances which call for protecting the public and environmental health.  The 1996  Telecommunications Act makes it illegal to deny a cell tower based on health impacts!

The Sebastopol City Council voted 2-2 to deny the cell tower expansion, however because it was a tie, the original planning commission decision to approve the 4G network was upheld.  Faced with the cost of a lawsuit from Verizon for denying the tower- or a lawsuit from local citizens which Verizon has to pay, the vote was likely  financially driven.

Your help is needed – Please donate toward this lawsuit.

Industry safety assurances unwise

Sage Associates recently published An Assessment of the EPRI Technical Report An Investigation of Radiofrequency Fields Associated With the Itron Smart Meter – Richard Tell Associates, Inc., December, 2010 by Sage Associates, November 11, 2011″

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) commissioned a report by Richard Tell Associates Inc. that has assessed radiofrequency (RF) emissions from an Itron ‘smart meter’.  The Itron meter is being installed in California by two electric utilities (SCE and SDG&E) and is similar to others being installed by other utilities. EPRI bases its report primarily on field measurements at the Itron meter test farms in southern California and South Carolina, two homes in Downey, CA, a drive-around street test in Downey, CA, and test results from two utilities.

The EPRI report concludes that no violations of current FCC public safety limits are predicted to occur. However, our analysis shows that this conclusion is unsupported and in error, according to the FCC OET Bulletin 65 rules for predicting public exposures.

The EPRI report does not address compliance of multiple meters, at 100% duty cycle (which is required under FCC OET 65 formulas), and our calculations show violations at 60% reflection factor (the lowest level the FCC regulations specify). Multiple meters will also violate FCC OET 65 public safety limits for calculations using 50% to 100% duty cycle at 100% reflection factor, which are reasonable, worst-case assumptions.

The EPRI report provides a generic, best-case assessment of RF emissions since it focuses on ‘typical’ meters rather than a broad range of conditions of location, installation and operation of Itron meters under real-world conditions.  It does not provide a reasonable, worst-case analysis, nor take into account the way in which utilities are actually locating meters in neighborhoods, nor address that the public cannot be excluded from very close proximity to meters on their own homes.

The author says that only approximations of RF exposures for ‘typical’ meters, in ‘common’ installations applying to ‘common’ exposures of individuals, are ‘likely’ to comply with FCC exposure limits. This report ignores meters that are being installed outside these highly limiting parameters, where duty cycles may be far higher, installations within or very close to occupied spaces of a home, and where there may be less shielding and more reflection of building materials that amplify exposures rather than reduce them. Tell discusses many problems with predicting RF emissions and the need for long-term statistical monitoring of matured (read fully deployed and operational) smart meter networks across regions. He says this testing cannot be done today.

Utilities are hoping for the best, and deploying at full speed, regardless of the clear ‘between-the-lines’ warnings, from their own highly regarded expert.

Deploying millions of wireless utility meters on such limited testing and questionable assertions of safety is unwise. Given that RF has recently been classified as a Possible Human Carcinogen, and this wireless utility meter initiative imposes the most extensive RF blanket yet created over every living resident that is electrified, ratepayers and the decision-makers will not know what irretrievable commitments of health and resources have been made until it is too late. Where even the best industry study cannot give more reliable and defensible evidence of compliance with FCC safety limits, public utility commissions should halt the rollout, pending demonstration that RF emissions meet FCC public safety limits under a reasonable worst-case assessment as determined by FCC OET 65 formulas. As a consequence, no positive assertion of safety can be made by the parties involved in this issue, nor are any solid answers provided by this EPRI report.

Cindy Sage will be speaking about this on KPFA (94.1 FM) with Layna Berman tomorrow, Tuesday November 29 from 1-2 p.m.PST, or archived all week for free, starting about 3 p.m. at

Renewable energy project warning to CA cities

Open Letter from the City of Chino Hills to:

California Public Utilities Commission,
Past and Present Members Board of Directors,
Southern California Edison
Governor Jerry Brown


I write this letter on behalf of the City of Chino Hills, as our community is witnessing the invasion of 198-foot tubular steel poles erected through the heart of our City. These iron giants are massive beyond our worst expectations and tower over our neighborhoods; permanently and irrevocably impacting 1,000 families’ homes, churches, parks, and public facilities. We dread the additional looming impacts when the poles will be strung with six extremely high voltage lines.

We are outraged, disgusted, and disheartened over the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) cavalier dismissal of our community during the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project’s review process. Our message to Californians… “Beware!” Southern California Edison, hiding under the cloak of delivering politically correct “green energy,” can get the CPUC’s approval to build anything on their existing rights-of-way with complete disregard for people impacted along the way and even disregard for their own standards. Our entire community is permanently disfigured by the CPUC’s decision.

This damage can never be mitigated. The reality for many families is that their children will grow up, playing in their own yards, under these massive double-circuit 500 kV power lines buzzing and crackling as their parents wonder if the proximity of their own backyards to these power lines will someday prove harmful to them. Most will be unable to sell their homes as they watch the value drop in an already depressed market. Unable to walk away from their homes, which represent their biggest investment, these families will suffer from the stress of this fear forever.

Families did choose to live next to a normal neighborhood 220 kV SCE transmission line, de-energized for nearly 40 years. Never did anyone expect that a CPUC review process would allow the construction of poles that climb to nearly 200 feet in a 150-foot easement, much less that they would be approved to carry double-circuit 500 kV power lines – a level of energy unheard of in residential neighborhoods throughout the entire United States. And SCE says “the residents knew the easement was there”. Talk about misleading.

The CPUC’s mission is to”regulate privately-owned electric companies and serve the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure at reasonable rates, with a commitment to environmental enhancement and a healthy California economy.” Clearly, the CPUC has abused its vast and unchecked regulatory powers by allowing SCE to construct the massive infrastructure which permanently alters our community’s way of life and damages our families.

In recent TV coverage, KABC Channel 7 reported,”The California Public Utilities Commission sided with SoCal Edison, saying in a statement that “there are overriding statewide values which outweigh the community values of Chino Hills:’

How clear is that statement from the CPUC? Very clear. For the record, the City of Chino Hills never opposed this renewable energy project. Instead we developed a RESPONSIBLE alternate proposal that would reduce the impact on our residents while allowing SCE to move forward to meet renewable energy mandates.

If the CPUC remained true to its mission, this route through the City of Chino Hills would have been deemed unsuitable due to its significant health and safety impacts. A legitimate review process would have eliminated the route through Chino Hills and required SCE to develop a viable alternative that would not harm existing residents. Instead, our City spent $2.4 million to identify and design a viable alternative that had the support of environmentalists. The CPUC should have required SCE to do so. During the hearings and testimony, we witnessed the relationship between the SCE executives and CPUC Commissioners and staff. What is now clear is that our small City, with limited resources, likely could never prevail against SCE, a giant corporate entity with vast rate-payer funded resources and close friends at the CPUC. The path of least resistance is not always the right path.

This SCE project represents the height of corporate irresponsibility and it has been blessed by the CPUC. I believe that it is time to evaluate the CPUC’s relationships with the public utilities and their effectiveness in regulating these utilities, which they are supposed to do on behalf of the people of California.

Californians beware…..your community may be next. Sincerely,


Mayor Ed Graham

European Resolution Calls on Governments to Reduce EMF

PACE calls on governments to ‘take all reasonable measures’ to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields

May 27, 2011

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), meeting in Kyiv at Standing Committee level, today called on European governments to “take all reasonable measures” to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields, especially to radio frequencies from mobile phones, “and particularly the exposure to children and young people who seem to be most at risk from head tumours”.

According to parliamentarians, governments should “for children in general, and particularly in schools and classrooms, give preference to wired Internet connections, and strictly regulate the use of mobile phones by schoolchildren on school premises”, and put in place information and awareness-raising campaigns on the risks of potentially harmful long-term biological effects on the environment and on human health, especially “targeting children, teenagers and young people of reproductive age”.

Following the proposals of the rapporteur (Jean Huss, Luxembourg, SOC), the Assembly called on governments to provide information on potential health risks of DECT-type wireless telephones, baby monitors and other domestic appliances which emit continuous pulse waves, if all electrical equipment is left permanently on standby. They should, instead, recommend “the use of wired, fixed telephones at home or, failing that, models which do not permanently emit pulse waves”.

Governments should “reconsider the scientific basis for the present electromagnetic fields exposure standards set by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection, “which have serious limitations” and apply as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) principles.

The adopted resolution underlines the fact that “the precautionary principle should be applicable when scientific evaluation does not allow the risk to be determined with sufficient certainty” and stresses that “the issue of independence and credibility of scientific expertise is crucial” to achieve a transparent and balanced assessment of potential negative impacts on the environment and human health.

The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment

Resolution 1815 (2011)1
Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe

1. The Parliamentary Assembly has repeatedly stressed the importance of states’ commitment to preserving the environment and environmental health, as set out in many charters, conventions, declarations and protocols since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and the Stockholm Declaration (Stockholm, 1972). The Assembly refers to its past work in this field, namely Recommendation 1863 (2009) on environment and health, Recommendation 1947 (2010) on noise and light pollution, and more generally, Recommendation 1885 (2009) on drafting an additional protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights concerning the right to a healthy environment and Recommendation 1430 (1999) on access to information, public participation in environmental decision-making and access to justice – implementation of the Aarhus Convention.

2. The potential health effects of the very low frequency of electromagnetic fields surrounding power lines and electrical devices are the subject of ongoing research and a significant amount of public debate. According to the World Health Organisation, electromagnetic fields of all frequencies represent one of the most common and fastest growing environmental influences, about which anxiety and speculation are spreading. All populations are now exposed to varying degrees of to electromagnetic fields, the levels of which will continue to increase as technology advances.

3. Mobile telephony has become commonplace around the world. This wireless technology relies upon an extensive network of fixed antennas, or base stations, relaying information with radio frequency signals. Over 1.4 million base stations exist worldwide and the number is increasing significantly with the introduction of third generation technology. Other wireless networks that allow high-speed internet access and services, such as wireless local area networks, are also increasingly common in homes, offices and many public areas (airports, schools, residential and urban areas). As the number of base stations and local wireless networks increases, so does the radio frequency exposure of the population.

4. While electrical and electromagnetic fields in certain frequency bands have wholly beneficial effects which are applied in medicine, other non-ionising frequencies, be they sourced from extremely low frequencies, power lines or certain high frequency waves used in the fields of radar, telecommunications and mobile telephony, appear to have more or less potentially harmful, non-thermal, biological effects on plants, insects and animals as well as the human body even when exposed to levels that are below the official threshold values.

5. As regards standards or threshold values for emissions of electromagnetic fields of all types and frequencies, the Assembly recommends that the ALARA or “as low as reasonably achievable” principle is applied, covering both the so-called thermal effects and the athermic or biological effects of electromagnetic emissions or radiation. Moreover, the precautionary principle should be applicable when scientific evaluation does not allow the risk to be determined with sufficient certainty, especially given the context of growing exposure of the population, including particularly vulnerable groups such as young people and children, which could lead to extremely high human and economic costs of inaction if early warnings are neglected.

6. The Assembly regrets that, despite calls for the respect of the precautionary principle and despite all the recommendations, declarations and a number of statutory and legislative advances, there is still a lack of reaction to known or emerging environmental and health risks and virtually systematic delays in adopting and implementing effective preventive measures. Waiting for high levels of scientific and clinical proof before taking action to prevent well-known risks can lead to very high health and economic costs, as was the case with asbestos, leaded petrol and tobacco.

7. Moreover, the Assembly notes that the problem of electromagnetic fields or waves and the potential consequences for the environment and health has clear parallels with other current issues, such as the licensing of medication, chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals or genetically modified organisms. It therefore highlights that the issue of independence and credibility of scientific expertise is crucial to accomplish a transparent and balanced assessment of potential negative impacts on the environment and human health.

8. In light of the above considerations, the Assembly recommends that the member states of the Council of Europe:

8.1. in general terms:

8.1.1. take all reasonable measures to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields, especially to radio frequencies from mobile phones, and particularly the exposure to children and young people who seem to be most at risk from head tumours;

8.1.2. reconsider the scientific basis for the present electromagnetic fields exposure standards set by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection, which have serious limitations and apply “as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA) principles, covering both thermal effects and the athermic or biological effects of electromagnetic emissions or radiation;

8.1.3. put in place information and awareness-raising campaigns on the risks of potentially harmful long-term biological effects on the environment and on human health, especially targeting children, teenagers and young people of reproductive age;

8.1.4. pay particular attention to “electrosensitive” persons suffering from a syndrome of intolerance to electromagnetic fields and introduce special measures to protect them, including the creation of wave-free areas not covered by the wireless network;

8.1.5. in order to reduce costs, save energy, and protect the environment and human health, step up research on new types of antennas and mobile phone and DECT-type devices, and encourage research to develop telecommunication based on other technologies which are just as efficient but have less negative effects on the environment and health;

8.2. concerning the private use of mobile phones, DECT phones, WiFi, WLAN and WIMAX for computers and other wireless devices such as baby phones:

8.2.1. set preventive thresholds for levels of long-term exposure to microwaves in all indoor areas, in accordance with the precautionary principle, not exceeding 0.6 volts per metre, and in the medium term to reduce it to 0.2 volts per metre;

8.2.2. undertake appropriate risk-assessment procedures for all new types of device prior to licensing;

8.2.3. introduce clear labelling indicating the presence of microwaves or electromagnetic fields, the transmitting power or the specific absorption rate (SAR) of the device and any health risks connected with its use;

8.2.4. raise awareness on potential health risks of DECT-type wireless telephones, baby monitors and other domestic appliances which emit continuous pulse waves, if all electrical equipment is left permanently on standby, and recommend the use of wired, fixed telephones at home or, failing that, models which do not permanently emit pulse waves;

8.3. concerning the protection of children:

8.3.1. develop within different ministries (education, environment and health) targeted information campaigns aimed at teachers, parents and children to alert them to the specific risks of early, ill-considered and prolonged use of mobiles and other devices emitting microwaves;

8.3.2. for children in general, and particularly in schools and classrooms, give preference to wired Internet connections, and strictly regulate the use of mobile phones by schoolchildren on school premises;

8.4. concerning the planning of electric power lines and relay antenna base stations:

8.4.1. introduce town planning measures to keep high-voltage power lines and other electric installations at a safe distance from dwellings;

8.4.2. apply strict safety standards for sound electric systems in new dwellings;

8.4.3. reduce threshold values for relay antennas in accordance with the ALARA principle and install systems for comprehensive and continuous monitoring of all antennas;

8.4.4. determine the sites of any new GSM, UMTS, WiFi or WIMAX antennas not solely according to the operators’ interests but in consultation with local and regional government officials, local residents and associations of concerned citizens;

8.5. concerning risk assessment and precautions:

8.5.1. make risk assessment more prevention oriented;

8.5.2. improve risk-assessment standards and quality by creating a standard risk scale, making the indication of the risk level mandatory, commissioning several risk hypotheses and considering compatibility with real life conditions;

8.5.3. pay heed to and protect “early warning” scientists;

8.5.4. formulate a human rights oriented definition of the precautionary and ALARA principles;

8.5.5. increase public funding of independent research, inter alia through grants from industry and taxation of products which are the subject of public research studies to evaluate health risks;

8.5.6. create independent commissions for the allocation of public funds;

8.5.7. make the transparency of lobby groups mandatory;

8.5.8. promote pluralist and contradictory debates between all stakeholders, including civil society (Aarhus Convention).

1 Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 27 May 2011 (see Doc. 12608, report of the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs, rapporteur: Mr Huss).

Buyer Beware, RF Appliance Warning

Dear Friends,

This is a personal story.  We just purchased a new Bosch washer and dryer – for delivery next week.
Sam Milham [author, MD,MPH, “Dirty Electricity”] happened to call this morning and said the following:

“I’ve just tested a home with an oven and dishwasher that had continuously radiating RF from internal power transmitters”.  He could verify the RF signal was continuous, and only stopped when he threw the circuit breakers for those appliances (turned off the electricity to them).  He could say with certainty the RF signal came from the appliances, because the signal was strongest at the appliance and attenuated with distance.

We have been told that these power transmitters will – in the future – be placed on appliances to monitor and report their energy usage to a wireless smart meter. Further, they should only be giving off RF pulses (the signal) very infrequently.

According to Richard Tell, an electrical engineer formerly with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — in a 2008 report on Smart Grids for Hydro One Networks, Inc./Toronto — antennas on appliances may transmit at a density of .18watts, each at ballpark 4.5 seconds per hour.

Well, these appliance power transmitters are, in at least some cases, transmitting CONTINUOUSLY.  This puts them into a category more like wireless routers and WI-FI.  No one is going to tolerate 12-15 such power transmitters inside their homes that radiate
full time.  These are appliances you come into close contact with while you cook and move around your kitchen.  Multiple, continuously transmitting RF sources are absolutely unacceptable to people with EHS and some ADA people with medical implants.

Bosch customer service confirmed that both the washer and dryer we have on order contain power transmitters.  They cannot be ‘deactivated’. We cancelled our order this morning.

[Cindy Sage, MA is the Science and Public Policy Advisor for the EMF Safety Network, Co-Editor Bioinitiative Report]

Cell Phone Radiation Disturbs Honey Bees

Honey beeDaniel Favre examines the connection between cell phone radiation and honey bees in “Mobile Phone Induced Honey Bee Worker Piping“.  Colony Collapse Disorder has been linked to a variety of potential causes, including pesticide poisoning, and varroa mites. With the onslaught of environmental radiation from cell phone, cell tower and Smart Meters networks it is important this study be widely read and disseminated. The study abstract states,

“The worldwide maintenance of the honeybee has major ecological, economic, and political implications. In the present study, electromagnetic waves originating from mobile phones were tested for potential effects on honeybee behavior. Mobile phone handsets were placed in the close vicinity of honeybees.

The sound made by the bees was recorded and analyzed. The audiograms and spectrograms revealed that active mobile phone handsets have a dramatic impact on the behavior of the bees, namely by inducing the worker piping signal. In natural conditions, worker piping either announces the swarming process of the bee colony or is a signal of a disturbed bee colony. ”

Other publications on radiation and bees include:

Bees, Birds and Mankind, Destroying nature by electrosmog by Ulrich Warnke

The Birds, the Bees and Electromagnetic Pollution, by Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy, May 2009