Scientific studies can be hard to sort out. “Experts”–often paid by the wireless industry–weigh in on RF radiation science, and many pronounce your cell phone “safe.” People tend to rely on two-minute TV news stories, with a talking head or two, because most of us don’t have the time or training to plow through the mountains of detailed data presented in peer-reviewed papers.
But it’s not as hard as you think. Let’s look at a just-published study on cell-phone and cordless-phone radiation. (Full text here.) It is published in Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, a journal that has been around for 30 years. Reading just the summary, we see the researchers, located in the Dept. of Cell Biology and Biophysics at the Univ. of Athens in Greece, subjected mice to cell-phone-frequency radiation—which also happens to be the same frequency as most smart meters—for a few hours a day. Another set of mice were exposed to cordless DECT phone radiation for 8 hours a day, a slightly different frequency, but near that used for some types of smart meters. The mice were not available for comment, but were most likely unwilling participants in the research. We relate.
They studied “whole-body” RF radiation, at the actual levels people are exposed to in typical usage—which is well below what the FCC says is okay for you. Whole-body numbers are the relevant ones if you are talking about smart meters, as this post points out. Many people don’t even put their phone to their head anymore, so whole-body measurements are probably more relevant. These researchers picked some crucial areas of the brain to look at—basic functions like memory, attention, reward, and planning.
A previous study by this group showed that just 120 minutes a day of cell phone radiation made mice pretty dumb: they couldn’t remember what they’d learned the day before about the maze. The wireless industry would likely just advise them to get GPS!
This just-released study looked at brain chemical changes—proteins that make it possible for one bit of your brain to talk to another, and for the brain to protect itself and repair from damage. What happened to the mice who used 180 “Rethink Possible” minutes a day? Simply put, their brains showed serious deficits in important chemicals, or way too much of other ones. “Rethink Possible” can result in some seriously impaired thinking.
“The observed…changes may be related to brain plasticity alterations, indicative of oxidative stress in the nervous system or involved in apoptosis and might potentially explain human health hazards reported so far, such as headaches, sleep disturbance, fatigue, memory deficits, and brain tumor long-term induction under similar exposure conditions. … The reported herein effects can be considered non-thermal.”
To break it down: Brain plasticity: that’s means how well the brain adapts to new information and situations; bright mice adapt quickly. Oxidative stress: bad shenanigans in your cells, that you eat your veggies to avoid. Apoptosis: cell death—that is, when your cells are programmed to kick off, and whether they get pinkslipped earlier than they should. Human health hazard: that’s what people made sick from smart meter have been saying–see this list of reported smart-meter harm. Non-thermal: that’s low levels of RF that the FCC doesn’t care about, doesn’t regulate, and doesn’t track, but which science shows can harm you.
These changes weren’t just tiny ups and downs, but in some cases the levels jumped up or fell by a factor of hundreds. For instance, something called “nerve growth factor glial maturation factor beta (GMF)” fell by a factor of 300 times for the mice in the cordless DECT phone experiment, a vital chemical change that the researchers conclude may impact the basic maintenance of the nervous system. It could keep your brain from cleaning house like it should.
Another brain protein called “GFAP” overproduces in both kinds of RF radiation, and this may lead to glial-filament overproduction, eventually giving rise to a mostly incurable type of tumor associated with cell-phone use called glioma. In any case, these various radiation-induced dis-regulations of brain chemicals are a clear sign of oxidative stress, something long recognized as degenerative to the human body.
The researchers finish their report by noting among other things that their study is the first to look at the brain chemical effects of a particular consumer product that can be found in the overwhelming majority of homes around the first world—the cordless phone (DECT). That is an astonishing fact: consumers everywhere have been buying these little ‘miracles of convenience’ for two decades, and there has been no regulatory concern for the long-term health effects. Given the fact that they can constitute a 24 hour-a-day exposure for many people, at home and at work, serious attention should be paid to this exposure source. Here is a gold-standard study showing clear heart-rhythm effects from DECT phones (video). [Or read the paper.]
Smart meters emit the same frequencies, but in a bizarre pattern of spikes. These spikes can be easily higher than either cell phones or cordless phones, as has been calculated here and documented here. Further, as experts have have pointed out, the exposure is involuntary. As it is with rodents.
Studies like these need to be read and understood by regulators and legislators everywhere who are wrestling with the issue of smart meters.
The science is out there for anyone to read and interpret! Please don’t leave this sort of vital review of the science to the utility representatives you are supposed to be overseeing, or so-called independent bodies that are in fact merely towing the utility line. Peer-reviewed scientific papers have many parts written in plain English, and we think you can deal with it
GET USED TO IT.
PG&E has already killed people in Hinkley, California and San Bruno California and other places that are less well known.
Why are you people complaining about smart meters? Do you think that you deserve better than those who have already been killed by PG&E?
Do you people think that your children deserve to live when the lives of other children have already been destroyed by PG&E?
I just don’t understand you people complaining about smart meters. PG&E has a record of killing and sickening people throughout the state and that’s not going to change. Why don’t you people just do nothing and accept it, like the rest of us?
If you are going to wage a campaign against PG&E for not telling the truth, you should consider being more honest about the data you’re presenting. The two research articles you cite are highly controversial, with other researchers unable to replicate the Greek experiments. Why the controversy? Because smart-meter and cell phone radiation are non-ionizing, which means they haven’t got the umph to mess up molecules in our body.
In addition to their questionable premise, the experiments were not well designed. They used VERY small numbers of mice considering the kind of effects they’re looking for and in both experiments the scientists failed to blind themselves. In other words, the guys making the measurements KNEW which mice had been exposed and which hadn’t. This is a fundamental mistake — all research should be blinded to eliminate conscious and unconscious bias.
@ Science Professional: Is “umph” a technical term?
It’s pretty obvious to anyone who doesn’t have a financial interest in wireless tech (or big Pharma) and has spent more than 15 minutes looking critically at this issue that the delicate electrical systems which comprise our bodies (not to mention other living things), can, in many circumstances, be affected by pulses of low levels of electromagnetic energy, ionizing or non-.
These “blinded” studies you would like to see are already taking place, everywhere people have allowed unlicensed wireless devices into their homes, schools and communities. Many can attest that by removing the EMF the dis-ease goes away. Professionals like yourself are very quick to dismiss the connection between exposure to man-made non-ionizing radiation and the countless modern ailments that plague us. Everyone knows, there is nothing worse for GDP than telling people a common product is bad for them.
People who run this site have nothing financially to gain by sharing this information. They’re just trying to help people. Obviously, the corporations and agencies who want Smart Meters have a lot to gain by spinning our heads with jargon and pulsed RF.
@A Science Proffesional Here are studies, in PDF, from the Defense Intellegence Agency, NASA, and the Naval Medical Research Institute along with 2,300 titles to documents from the EPA that show the harmful effects of low level high frequency non-ionizing radiation. They have been available to the public for about a year now. Hopefully you can use your skills to understand what the truth really is.
Please list the other researchers who have tried to re-do this brand new experiement, which is hot off the press. They would have had to do it in the past month or so. Come on, let’s see your citations.
If you think Smart meters are a scam and a health risk, you may want to take a look at the lists of energy efficiency scams Open4Energy tracks.
We have a number of articles on Smart meter technology and Smart meter health – so you know, I believe that choice is a good thing – but do remember that there are costs of choice. If you eat a great deal, which is your right, you will struggle to be as active as you once were.
If you need PG&E to visit your home to read the meters, because you wanted them to turn the radio off – please accept that you will need to pay for the costs of this choice also.
The current Smart meters being rolled out are the biggest energy efficiency scam in the world, by far.
The current Smart meters do not support those who generate their own electricity and sell it back to the power grid in the U.S. That is why people who have renewable energy sources like solar, hydro and wind will not get new Smart meters and still must have the utility read their analog E1 meters or E6TOU meters that are not called “SmartMeters.
And the people that still have their analog meters have been paying PG&E to read their meters forever and a day.
These people (myself included) do not need PG&E to come onto our property to read the meters, it is PG&E that needs to come onto some properties to read the meter so they can charge for their products.
You have it backwards Alex, what corporation are you backing or backs you ?
I am getting really tired of all this propaganda and false advertising campaigns calling anything and everything “the smart grid”
The marketers of the Home Area networks now call a consumers private electrical distribution system in their houses and on their property a “consumer smart grid”.
The utility companies and meter manufactures now call their revenue collection system (the meters and radio networks) a “smart grid”. That is not the power grid, it is the revenue collection “smart grid” that the sole purpose is to automate meter reading and eliminate decent paying union meter reading jobs by replacing the workers with cheaply made wireless junk meters made in China by trans national corporations like GE that receive our tax money in the form of ARRA and TARP federal stimulus corporate welfare money.
Think about it, the corporations have cooked up a scam to defraud the taxpayers of stimulus money to eliminate jobs in the U.S. and replace those jobs with crappy, unreliable, dangerous, untested, inaccurate, toxic and cheaply constructed electronic junk meters made in foreign countries.
Thanks for that, Josh. You’re right that people need to not be so afraid to look at the research that’s out there–as in other environmental health issues, leaving interpretation of the facts to “experts” is a mistake, because the “experts” generally have a financial or ideological interest in that which they’re interpreting. There are honest scientists out there, though, and their work deserves to be paid attention to. Those who are interested in learning a bit more about the science behind microwave-induced biological damage can visit:
for a fairly accessible treatment of the subject.
Dear Science Professional,
Since the science didn’t work with helping you understand the facts, here’s some good old fashioned common sense based evidence. If someone is allergic to strawberries, you don’t feed them strawberry jam. That’s pretty simple, isn’t it? How do you know if someone is allergic to strawberries? They have a reaction ONLY when they eat strawberries, right? Well, if someone gets ill or has a reaction when they are around smart meters or cell phones, and they DON”T get a reaction when they are NOT around this technology, what does that tell you? What it tells me without even having a background in science, is that this technology makes some people visibly sick. So for someone to say that this technology does not have the ump to cause harm is like someone saying that no one could possibly be allergic to strawberries, or peanuts, or dairy products; which any sane person would recognize as an ignorant and totally false statement. As for research? Had you actually done any real research, you wouldn’t have made the statements that you did.
Elizabeth: excellent logic. But don’t you know that everyone who says they have this reaction has a mental problem? That is the spin people who can’t accept the truth are putting on this.
Science Professional: Enough studies showing biological harm at levels far below heating effects exist to exercise the precautionary principle. To do otherwise in light of the existing and growing evidence is to play Russian Roulette with public health.
If Cell Phones are considered SAFE, then why are all Cell Phone manuals telling the informed consumer that these devices should never be held near the heads or bodies?
All NEW Cell Phone commercials NO longer show people holding these near their heads or bodies. These have to be AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint Commercials! BlackBerry Torch Manual: keep 0.98 inches from your heads or bodies, and for Pregnant Women and Teenagers to avoid putting these devices near their lower abdomens!! Wonder what the LABELS on Smart or AMI meters advise?
Labels on SmartMeters ?
They don’t got to show you no stinkin labels or badges.
As for mobile phones, I recommend always using the speaker phone function.
I always use the speaker function and hold the phone at least 18 inches away from my head.
I would never buy a smart phone because they do not have extendable antennas.
I always extend the antenna and point it away from myself.
It’s getting hard to find quality mobile phones with extendable antennas now.
I have a 3 year old Motorola i776 Nextel phone. Nextel (now Sprint) keeps trying to sell me a new phone, actually offering a free upgrade, but I refused.
Instead they gave me 2 months free for renewing my contract.
Most people get a new phone and a new car every few years, but I take good care of things and they last a long time. I am going to take especially good care of my i776 mobile phone. If and when it goes kaput, I might not be able to find another good phone, so I will give it up and quit using mobile phones.
I am getting sick of all this pushing of wireless devices in the world, and have been fighting it for years, especially the SmartMeters. There is no possible way that I would ever allow a SmartMeter to be installed on my property, and most of my neighbors have refused them also. Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights, and don’t give up the fight-Bob Marley.