PORTLAND- In Maine’s ongoing PUC investigation into the safety of smart meters, opponents turned up the heat this week on Central Maine Power (CMP). Complainants in the case filed their comprehensive expert and lay witness testimony with the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The submissions detail biological and health effects from radiofrequency or microwave radiation (RF) and smart meters.
In his cover letter to the PUC, Bruce McGlaufin of the Portland firm of Petrucelli, Martin and Haddow representing smart meter opponents, noted the comprehensive lay witness testimonies and declarations “provide compelling evidence of the direct adverse health effects related to the radio frequency radiation transmitted by smart meters.” McGlauflin added: “When this direct evidence of real-life human consequences is evaluated together with the expert testimony of some of the most highly qualified scientists and public policy specialists, there is but one conclusion to reach-smart meters pose a significant health risk.”
All of the independent scientists providing testimony for meter opponents are recognized authorities on low-level biological effects of RF or related public health matters. Collectively they have hundreds of peer-reviewed published journal articles to their credit. Experts for the complainants include Dr. Lennart Hardell of Sweden, the world’s foremost authority on cell phone induced brain tumors and author of over 300 papers on RF issues; Dr. Jerry Phillips, Director of the Center for Excellence in Science, an expert on how low-level RF effects DNA and also expert on the often misused “weight of evidence” approach to evaluating research. Dr. Dariusz Leszczynski of Finland who served on the International Agency for Research on Cancer with Dr. Hardell is another expert who has authored 90 papers and has developed highly specialized screening techniques for transcriptomic and proteotomic analyses showing cell phone effects on gene and protein expression.
In sharp contrast, witnesses for CMP are hardly published in this field, and are employed by Exponent, a renowned “product protection” firm making its fortune defending products like tobacco, asbestos, benzene and MTBE. Exponent is featured in the book Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health by epidemiologist and former Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environment, Safety and Health, David Michaels.
“While we have submitted comprehensive, irrefutable, compelling and often tragic testimony” said Ed Friedman, lead complainant in the case, “the fact is the legal burden of proof is on CMP and the PUC to guarantee smart meters are safe, not on us to prove they are not. While the PUC may find there is conflicting evidence on the subject of low-level effects of RF, they still could not meet their statutory requirement to guarantee safety.”
Friedman calls for the complete removal of all smart meters and a return to safe and long-lasting electromechanical meters noting “most possible alternatives shy of this remain unsafe.”
Recent testimony submitted by Maine’s Office of Public Advocate showed several Maine smart meter RF levels below those of the FCC guidelines. “No surprise there,” said Kathleen McGee a complainant in the case adding “the report is as irrelevant as the obsolete government exposure guidelines. Indeed, adverse health effects are occurring at levels lower than the FCC limits. That is our point, well-illustrated by the plain, simple and incontrovertible facts shown in our submitted evidence.”
Richard Conrad, a Ph.D. biochemist is another expert and brought his dual perspective as a research scientist and sufferer of electrical sensitivity to designing a survey investigating possible correlations between smart meters and health effects. There were over two hundred survey respondents from around the world. Some significant survey conclusions are that 82% of respondents were in good or excellent health before smart meters and 42% of them developed symptoms prior to any knowledge a smart meter was present (thereby disproving the psychosomatic label industry has tagged smart meter victims with). Before smart meter installation 32% had some electrical sensitivity and this jumped to nearly 68% following smart meter installation. 99% of respondents were very sure (82%) or fairly (17%) sure their symptoms (tinnitus, insomnia, headaches, heart arrhythmias, cognitive difficulties, etc.) were initiated or worsened by smart meters.
A look at survey comments submitted by many respondents tells a story of devastation said Conrad. “Many respondents were forced from their homes, are unable to work anymore and in a constant state of chronic debilitating ill-health following smart meter exposure or installation. Exposure to smart meters has destroyed the ability of many respondents to function normally in their personal and work lives.”
Survey results and other testimony are available on the Maine PUC website and within a few days should be available on the Maine Coalition to Stop Smart Meters website at www.mainecoalitiontostopsmartmeters.org .
Dianne Wilkins, Coalition organizer, intervenor in this investigation and former complainant in an earlier smart meter case before the PUC had this to say:
“Smart meters threaten our health, our privacy, our security and in no small way our human rights, democracy, dignity and way of life. Smart meters are one of the largest uncontrolled toxic biological experiments of our time. An experiment sanctioned by Maine legislators on unsuspecting and trusting citizens, citizens who are getting ill just going home, making dinner, going to bed; living. Their deployment is unconscionable.”