CCST Report on RF Health Impacts from Smart Meters Available for Comment

January 18, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) report, "Health Impacts of Radio Frequency from Smart Meters," is now available for public comment and review.

At the request of Assembly Member Jared Huffman (Marin) and Assembly Member Bill Monning (Santa Cruz), the CCST agreed to compile and assess the evidence available to address the following two issues:

– Whether FCC standards for SmartMeters are sufficiently protective of public health taking into account current exposure levels to radiofrequency and electromagnetic fields.

– Whether additional technology specific standards are needed for SmartMeters and other devices that are commonly found in and around homes, to ensure adequate protection from adverse health effects.

SmartMeters are electronic monitoring devices that continuously measure the electricity output from each household and business. They communicate on a regular basis back to the utility. The goal is to enable power companies to better understand patterns of power consumption throughout the day and adjust power generation accordingly.

CCST is currently accepting comments on the report. Comments will be accepted through midnight PST, January 31, 2011.

Among the key findings of the report:

1) Wireless smart meters, when installed and properly maintained, result in much smaller levels of radio frequency (RF) exposure than many existing common household electronic devices, particularly cell phones and microwave ovens.

2) The current FCC standard provides an adequate factor of safety against known thermally induced health impacts of existing common household electronic devices and smart meters.

3) To date, scientific studies have not identified or confirmed negative health effects from potential non-thermal impacts of RF emissions such as those produced by existing common household electronic devices and smart meters.

4) Not enough is currently known about potential non-thermal impacts of radio frequency emissions to identify or recommend additional standards for such impacts.

For opponents, probably including two women arrested for trying to block PG&E deployment trucks, the report shows that "they cannot dismiss health impacts from the radiation in smart meters." For Assemblyman Jared Huffman, who requested the report, it indicates "the debate over this issue is not going to be resolved any time soon."