Toward a Smart Meter RECALL!

CPSC_logo_redblue_QRCustomers all across the United States have reported being harmed by utility smart meters. In Indiana, a mother of three small children can’t live in their home because a bank of smart meters gave her debilitating health problems.  In California hundreds of customers have reported headaches, ringing in the ears, heart palpitations, sleep problems and more.

Customers report flames shooting from outlets, burned out appliances and fires after smart meter installation.  Meanwhile in some states, the utility companies and their regulators response is to charge more money (opt-out fees) to avoid smart meters and they ignore the health and fire hazards.

The US Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) is a federal agency that will take complaints on utility smart meters from all US states.

Last year the CPSC recalled 1.3 million GE dishwashers due to “15 reports of dishwasher heating element failures, including seven reports of fires, three of which caused extensive property damage.”

If you’ve been harmed by smart meters or had safety problems call: (800) 638-2772  Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET  

or submit your complaint by email.*

Here’s the information you will need to provide:

  1. A description of the product;
  2. The name of the manufacturer;
  3. A description of the injury, or death, or the risk of illness, injury, or death related to use of the product;
  4. The date or estimated date when the incident occurred or when you first became aware of the potential for the product to act in an unsafe manner;

You will also need to provide a description of who you are, for example, consumer, health care professional, a government agency;  your name and mailing address; and permission to publish your Report on SaferProducts.gov.  Finally your verification that the Report is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge, information, and belief.

Record the time and date of the call and the name of the person who took your complaint.  Write  down the receipt number they give you.  Keep this information for your records.

Once the CPSC receives your complaint they will send a report back to you for your review and consent.  It will then go to the manufacturer where they will have to respond in ten days.  After that depending on the number of complaints the compliance office receives, they will decide if the products should be recalled!

* PLEASE NOTE: If you hope, or plan to file a lawsuit for damages there is a two year statute of limitations, so registering and providing a date of harm will start that clock. (If so, you might also want to consult a lawyer regarding timing)

Initial smart meter complaints sent by email to the CPSC were troublesome.  Calls to the CPSC today (6/25/13) confirmed that the CPSC is taking reports on smart meter harms.  If your complaint was rejected please persist and follow up with a phone call.  Also we learned in order to reach a decision for a recall they may work with other federal agencies such as the Department of Energy, or the FDA.  Be assured however that the CPSC is handling smart meter complaints.

FCC seeks comments on wireless risks

FCCThe Federal Communications Commission (FCC) oversees the “safety guidelines” for public exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation (wireless) from a myriad of common devices now in use in many homes and communities.  Industry routinely points to these guidelines as proof of safety, however they were only designed to protect from thermal harm, and only for thirty minutes of exposure.

A majority of wireless devices, (cordless phones, cell phones, cell towers, wi-fi routers, baby monitors, smart meters and more) constantly emit RF radiation, 24/7.

The FCC says it’s now taking another look at their guidelines, (See FCC proposal) These guidelines were created in 1996 and they have not been reassessed since then. They also state they “have confidence in the current exposure limits and notes that more recent international standards have a similar basis.”

Phillip Janquart of Courthouse News Service recently wrote an article on this issue and he recognized the BioInitiative 2012 Report, “with over 1800 new scientific studies, indicating current guidelines are inadequate to protect the public from physical harm, which warns that cell phone users, pregnant women and young children are at particular risk.”  He further noted the following:

“There is a consistent pattern of increased risk for glioma (a malignant brain tumor) and acoustic neuroma (a tumor near the ear) with use of mobile and cordless phones. Epidemiological evidence shows that radiofrequency should be classified as a human carcinogen,” Dr. Lennart Hardell, of Orebro University in Sweden.

New studies also purportedly link phone radiation to sperm damage, according to the BioInitiative report.

“Even a cell phone in the pocket or on a belt may harm sperm DNA, result in misshapen sperm, and impair fertility in men. Laptop computers with wireless Internet connections can damage DNA in sperm,” according to the BioInitiative report.

The report added there is “strong evidence” that EMFs can increase the risk for autism and alter brain development of fetuses.

“This has been linked to both animal and human studies to hyperactivity, learning and behavior problems,” according to the BioInitiative report.

Dr. David O. Carpenter, co-author of the BioInitiative report, said “there is now much more evidence of risks to health affecting billions of people world-wide. The status quo is not acceptable in light of the evidence for harm.”

* * * * *

The FCC does not want to impose an “undue burden on industry”, but is seeking comments on whether the limits should be “more restrictive, less restrictive or remain the same,” but purely as a matter of “good government.”

The EMF Safety Network will be submitting comments on this proposal which are are due by Sept. 3, 2013.  More on this subject later…

CALL TO ACTION: Reject Obama’s Wheeler to head the FCC

Last week, President Obama nominated Tom Wheeler, the founder of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), the wireless lobbyist group to head the FCC.  Wheeler is also a venture capitalist and a fund-raiser in Obama’s presidential campaign.

Authors of the BioInitiative Report signed a letter to US Senators urging them to reject Wheeler stating,

“Mr. Wheeler should not be in charge of the nation’s safety standards and deployment for a technology he promotes without regard to public health and safety, the integrity of the national electric grid or homeland security.

The FCC has recently announced a review of radiofrequency health and safety limits. This process must not be carried out under a new chairman who has shown antipathy toward public safety, and who puts industry economic considerations ahead of the protection of children and pregnant women.”

Blake Levitt, award-winning medical/science journalist writes in Counterpunch.org, “Why the Senate Should Reject Tom Wheeler- Another Industry Crony at the FCC?

“President Obama’s nomination of Tom Wheeler to head the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the height of cynical cronyism and industry-pandering. He should not be confirmed. Obama, in fact, could not have found a worse nominee than Tom Wheeler to head this most significant regulatory agency – one with long tentacles into all our lives whether we know it or not. Wheeler is the last person who should have his hands on the levers of the FCC, though he’s been aching to do just that for decades.”

“Wheeler has far too many conflicts of interest and industry biases to head the FCC. The FCC, regulates the nation’s airwaves and all communications plus its accompanying infrastructure, including all broadcasters, cable companies, telephone-service providers both wired and wireless, satellite communications and the Internet. FCC is at a crucial juncture regarding decisions on new airwave auctions, further media consolidation, net neutrality, and most importantly the updating of the nation’s obsolete exposure standards for radiofrequency radiation. The stakes are high. These decisions will affect all U.S. citizens for decades to come in ways great and small….”

Read the full article at Counterpunch.org

Sign this petition to US senators to reject Wheeler as the head of the FCC https://www.change.org/petitions/reject-president-obama-s-nomination-of-thomas-wheeler-to-head-the-fcc

San Diego Earth Day Fair

2013-04-21 23.59.09On Sunday April 21, Center for Electrosmog Prevention, Stop OC Smart Meters and the EMF Safety Network gathered at the San Diego Earth Day Fair to educate the public about health and environmental risks of EMF and smart meter exposure.

2013-04-22 00.00.10The booth next door to ours was a 350 campaign raising awareness about the oil pipeline and they had a cut out of Obama on their booth which stood right next to the smart meter opt-out sign. It was a nice match.

2013-04-22 00.10.23Only one person came to the booth to argue about safety of smart meters, and the risks of radiation.

Every other person was very interested in having their cell phone measured.  This gave people the opportunity to “hear” the sound of the radiation their cell phone emitted, even when they were not using it.  Android and Iphones seemed to be the worst emitters, with many emitting “pings” and some emitting a wi-fi signal.

And finally here was one fairgoer who was willing to pose for the camera. 2013-04-21 21.59.39

Speak Up! Oppose Smart Meters and Extortion “Opt-Out” Fees at the CPUC on Thursday April 18th 9:30 am

From Stop Smart Meters: We need to continue to tell the CPUC that smart meters and their mesh network are unacceptable and should be recalled!  Come to the next business meeting in San Francisco!

At the last CPUC meeting, Commissioner Florio stated that, “We will not tolerate consumer abuses in any shape or form.”

That is really fantastic news. Let’s hold the PUC at their word.  They can start by taking action against current utility abuses such as:

  •  giving people who pay hundreds of dollars to ‘opt out’ a wireless- transmitting ‘trojan horse’ meter that looks like an analog meter (especially SCE)
  •  threatening to disconnect people who insist on their right to an analog meter
  •   forcing people to spend 1-2 or more hours on the phone simply to “opt out”
  •  failing to respect the democratic decisions and laws of local governments who represent the public in the areas these companies do business
  • threatening homeowners with analog meters who let their dogs out in their own yard with disconnection of their electricity (SDG&E)
  •  refusing to remove smart meters mounted on the wall even with a doctors’ recommendation (do the utilities know better than our doctor what is a health threat?)
  •  allowing smart meter surveillance and selling the collected data to third parties
  •  using our homes for commercial purposes (mesh network) without informed consent
  •  lying about how often smart meters transmit pulsed radiation
  •   forcing smart meters on businesses without informed choice or consent
  •  utility employees spying on activists and then forwarding ill-gotten messages to CPUC staff who do nothing about it?

We look forward to this brave new CPUC who is willing to stand up for the rights of the public.  Let’s hold them to their word.

April 18th 9:30am (arrive by 9:15am) CPUC Meeting 505 Van Ness Ave. (at McAllister) in San Francisco.  Members of the public are guaranteed at least 1 minute to speak if they arrive before the end of public comment.