First Peer-Reviewed Study of Health Symptoms Associated with Smart Meters Published in US Medical Journal


Federica Lamech

A journal article entitled “Self-Reporting of Symptom Development From Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields of Wireless Smart Meters in Victoria, Australia: A Case Series” by Federica Lamech, MBBS has been published in the November/December 2014 issue of the peer-reviewed medical journal Alternative Therapies. Lamech, who has suffered symptoms from wireless smart meters herself according to the EMF Refugee site, says she was “unable to function” after smart meters were installed in her neighborhood near Melbourne Australia. She describes the context of her research at the outset of the article (emphasis ours):

“In 2006, the government in the state of Victoria, Australia, mandated the rollout of smart meters in Victoria, which effectively removed a whole population’s ability to avoid exposure to human-made high-frequency non ionizing radiation.  This issue appears to constitute an unprecedented public health challenge for Victoria.  By August, 2013, 142 people had reported adverse health effects from wireless smart meters by submitting information on an Australian public Web site using its health and legal registers.”

“(It appears that)…the effects of these symptoms on people’s lives were significant.”

Records from the study- according to Lamech- were stored in her home office “under lock and key.”

“Of the 92 participants reporting symptoms from exposure to wireless smart meters, 87 were adults and five were children.  Of the adults, the youngest person was 23 years of age and the oldest was 74; 55 (63%) were female and 32 (37%) were male.”

“Five most common symptoms were (in order of frequency: Insomnia (48%), headaches  (45%), Tinnnitus (33%), Lethargy (32%), and Cognitive Disturbance (30%)”

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 13.14.08Lamech addresses critics who imply that people are just suffering from hay fever:

“It is..unlikely for the reported symptoms to be associated with any seasonal factor (eg, extremes of temperatures, degree of humidity, bushfire smoke, or high pollen count), because the reporting period stretched between September 2012 and August 2013, which meant that symptoms were reported during all 4 seasons.

Smart meters represent an ubiquitous presence throughout the state of Victoria, having been rolled out across the entire state.  Their presence is not subject to seasonal variation.  Therefore they are a credible possible cause of the symptoms reported in this study, although a case series cannot prove causality.  It can and does, however, offer a new hypothesis, one that will have to be tested by further research.”

Lamech cites similarities between her research into smart meter health impacts and previous studies:

“What is immediately apparent is the fact that most of the symptoms reported in the current case series were also present in the Naval Medical Research Institute report.”

Lamech notes that the frequency of specific symptoms reported in the Swiss study very closely mirrors the data she collected.

Lamech notes that the frequency of specific symptoms reported in the Swiss study very closely mirrors the data she collected.

Mandated, Involuntary Exposure

Lamech identifies the difference between past wireless exposures and that imposed by the smart grid:

“With regard to smart meters, 2 unique features should be considered:

(1) exposure may be involuntary.

(2) exposure can be universal.

In Victoria, smart meters were mandated, thereby removing the individual’s choice to avoid exposure in his or her own home, and involuntary exposure also occurred to meters in neighboring homes.  Each smart meter in the mesh networks transmits an unknown and variable number of burst transmissions per day, which typically reach into many thousands in number.

belief is increasing in the concept that intermittent pulses of radiofrequencies, such as those used in  the smart grid, are more biologically significant compared with constant-type exposures, even when the time-averaged exposure is miniscule.”

The report concludes:

“Victorians in this report claimed a direct chronological association between exposure to wireless smart meters and symptom development.”

Lamech comments on the urgency of additional research:

“An evidence based approach, such as the one used in all other areas of medicine, must be applied, which would mean the establishment of a post rollout surveillance study and funding for further research into the particular effects of wireless smart meters, in conjunction with research into the short-term and long-term consequences of EMR exposure.  Until more knowledge is accumulated and until this type of wireless technology can be proven safe, the author believe that communities should use a cautionary approach, asking for a moratorium on deployment of wireless smart meters and smart grids and for the use of safer technologies for smart meters, such as hard-wiring, fiber optics, or other non harmful methods of data transmission, including reading of meters by meter readers. Living in a wireless smart grid makes the Austrian Medical Association’s recommendation to ‘take all reasonable measures to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields’ impossible to implement.”

This is the first peer-reviewed and published study into smart meter health problems, but something tells us it won’t be the last.  Thank you Federica Lamech for your important research into this area.

This article is in the print version of the Nov/Dec 2014 Journal Alternative Therapies. The digital version of the article can now be bought online for $15 via this link.

Individual issues can be purchased directly from the publisher. The cost of the Nov/Dec print issue is $ 15 incl. delivery within the US and $ 25 incl. delivery internationally.  The PubMed listed abstract is available here.

This entry was posted in Australia, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, health effects, Health studies, Physicians, radio-frequency radiation, Smart Grid. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to First Peer-Reviewed Study of Health Symptoms Associated with Smart Meters Published in US Medical Journal

  1. Great Post Josh,

    More of these peer reviewed studies will be pilling up, hopeful faster than the body count.

  2. greg says:

    This study is so flawed it’s meaninglessness. The symptoms were self reported. There was no control group. No measurement of actual electrical fields before and after meter installation. No proof of cause and affect. If you are worried about electrical fields, start with your cell phone (I don’t hold mine near my ear), then get rid of your wireless internet router and your portable land line phones.

    • Jan says:

      I actually found reading the report itself was quite fascinating. I think a primary reason for its value is that the symptoms were, in fact, self-reported. People had no idea that what they were submitting was going to form the basis of a peer-reviewed study. It was also apparently completely open-ended, so doesn’t suffer from the bias of many purported ‘surveys’.

      However, I agree with your comments about cell phones and the like!

    • Tanya says:

      So much ‘research’ today is secretly funded by industry that I’d be more concerned about a more planned study that industry has had a chance to know about beforehand and get the opportunity to sway with either funding or threats. So many ‘experts’ have deliberately stuck their small minds in the sand that they wouldn’t know how to go about investigating the biological effects of radio frequencies.

      It is interesting to see the correlation of symptoms, not only amongst sufferers independently of each other, but also with the Swiss study.

    • Neil says:

      Your just another pro tppa person. ” I don’t give a shit what my government does to me as long as big corporations get there huge profits and big pharmacy benefits as well”

      • Jonathan says:

        Yes, the mantra of the fringe crowd — everyone is corrupt. And you make no attempt to actually address the comments. I would guess “Alternative Therapies” has a power of 0.3 — might as well read the Bible.

  3. Andre Fauteux asked:

    Hello Dr Lamech, What do you answer to those who claim smart meter symptoms are due to the nocebo effect (fear of harm)? What % of people who reacted didn’t know the meter was changed or ignored the potential health risks?
    Thanks very much and best regards

    Andre Fauteux, Editor
    La Maison du 21e siècle magazine
    2955 Domaine-lac-Lucerne
    Ste-Adèle (Qc) Canada J8B 3K9

    450 228-1555

    From: Federica Lamech
    Object: nocebo effect
    Date: March 1 2015 19:16:34 UTC−5

    Hello Mr Fauteux,
    in my opinion smart meter symptoms are not a nocebo effect.
    Only 8% of cases claimed to be electrosensitive prior to smart meter exposure, which means that the rest were not likely to have any reason to suspect that smart meters were going to make them sick. A few cases described finding out that they had had a smart meter installed AFTER they had developed symptoms and the majority were not aware of what a smart meter even was (including that it is a wireless device), as the public here in Victoria were simply not informed.

    In my experience as a medical practitioner, ascribing symptoms to ‘nocebo’ effect is a lazy and dangerous practice, that can in some cases lead to tragic outcomes (eg. chest pain being blamed on stress and the patient subsequently goes on to die of a heart attack, as the ECG can be normal in the early stages of ischaemia).

    It is also not appropriate to declare a nocebo effect as the cause of symptoms in people whose medical history we do not know and that we have not examined and properly assessed. This is especially the case as the number of people claiming same or similar symptoms from smart meter exposure is too high, it crosses geographical, cultural and age boundaries.

    5 of the cases in my report were children, which makes the likelihood of nocebo effect miniscule.

    It would be interesting to pose that same question to those who claim that this is a ‘nocebo’ effect. On what grounds can they make such a statement? Are they using an evidence based approach? What are their motivations for dismissing people’s symptoms reporting? Do they understand the risk such a dismissive attitude may have? Do they care? If they are in a position of authority, do they accept that it is not consistent with their ‘duty of care’?

    Federica Lamech

    AF’s article about Dr Lamech’s study, the world’s first on smart meter health complaints published in a peer-reviewd journal:

  4. Jo Donnelly says:

    We moved into a new apartment block in Penrith NSW 8 weeks ago and we became sick, we were one of the first to move in and knew there was a problem, but thought airing the apartment, etc. would fix it.
    We noticed that when others began to move in we got sicker and opening our windows did not seem to help very much and the other tenant in this apartment felt worse when we did.
    We thought perhaps it was because the new tenants were airing their apartments out for the first time and it was coming into our windows.
    Now that the building is 2/3rd full we are extremely unwell with nausea, pressure in head and ice pick headaches, shaking, dizziness, sometimes feel like we are going to pass out and/or vomit.
    Chest tightness and heart palpitations and pain, unable to concentrate or think clearly, fatigue, a warm peppery indigestion feeling in oesophagus, insomnia, buzzing feeling through our bodies that makes us feel like we are being poisoned/irradiated.
    Most of the other tenants we have spoken to in the apartment block are also experiencing ill health since moving in and we get told each time we bump into a different tenant in the lift or common areas, especially the older people, things like:
    “We stay at our daughter’s house several nights a week because we get sick here”.
    One old lady on the floor underneath us said “ I feel so sick since I moved in I was bedridden the first 3 weeks and cannot go into the kitchen as I feel like there is an electric shield”, as she waved her arms around trying to describe something was within the apartment making her very tired, weak and sick.
    Others who had not linked their maladies to the building, said they have” been hospitalised several times since moving in but did not know what was causing their health problems”.
    And/or “we have had headaches and stuff since moving in but just thought we had a virus”
    Then our 8 year old granddaughter came to visit for the afternoon and dinner a couple of weeks ago, she had not been told of any of our symptoms or anything negative about the building.
    If anything she was glad her grandparents had a new apartment and she was very excited about the thought of being able to come there regularly to visit and even stay, earlier in the day she was asking where we would put her toys, etc.
    By dinner time she became extremely ill, she was weak and limp, she started to describe, in a child’s way, some identical symptoms that we were experiencing, some she was able to describe better than we were, perhaps due to her innocence.
    We had to practically carry her downstairs and out of the building to wait for her father to pick her up, he got there just before we called an ambulance.
    Once outside the building she was still saying she could not get her breath and felt sick and asked us to take her across the road.
    We now have no doubt this was due to her being bombarded from many directions by these smart meters at the time of day/night when everybody is home cooking and using many other appliances, all that work through these smart meters, giving off radiation, dirty electricity, etc.
    While out the front of the building, other tenants that we had never met or spoke to before, seen how sick she was and offered their help, she told them, “I just want to get away from here” they then explained to us, that they too have been sick since moving in to the building and whenever they are in the building.
    When her father picker her up, she was fine by the time she got home, seven minutes away.
    Another lady from a downstairs unit, who would be much closer to the 48 smart meters underneath all our units, came to our door the other night, holding her head and saying since moving in she was continually feeling tired and felt like there was a cloud covering her head.
    She said that originally she thought her problems since moving in was due to change of area, but that now she is “very disappointed with the building as she realises it is when she is in the building”, she looked very sick.
    I knew not to go near smart meters (SMs) as it doesn’t take much logic, common sense, or to find legitimate research and information by those who don’t have a vested interest in denying the dangers, to figure out they are extremely dangerous.
    So because I was not told this apartment block was fitted out with these digital death devices, otherwise known as (MUVSM) makes us very sick meters, we had no idea this was the cause and that we were being subjected to this deadly emission of radiation causing dirty electricity, etc.
    Then out of the blue last week, after getting sicker and sicker and having no doubt it was only when in the building, racking my brain for reasons why, I remembered that when we were being shown the apartment just before moving in, the landlord mentioned something about the electricity company not having to come out, or only having to swipe a card to get the readings for this apartment blocks electricity.
    I cannot remember the landlords exact words and at the time I had no idea that this was a feature of the so called smart meters, but because she was referring to these meters being treated differently to other meters, it prompted me at the time to ask, “ this place isn’t fitted with smart meters, is it”, with a concerned questioning look on my face.
    She was quick to say, with a nervous laugh, oh no and then she quickly changed the subject. I gave it no more thought, because with what I had previously seen about smart meters being banned due to health concerns, etc. in certain parts of the world and places making it optional and all those who were complaining and getting extremely ill from them in Victoria, etc.
    So many having to move out of their bedrooms, houses, streets, suburbs, towns, states, etc., to get away from them, I naively believed that NSW would not roll them out.
    Because I had not been subjected to them, apart from singing the odd partition to help Victorian’s, I had not really given it any further thought.
    Then after the process of elimination for weeks as to what it was that was making so many so sick in this building and now becoming scarily ill within the apartment as well as the lift and common areas, especially when electrical appliances are in use.
    One of the final things on the list to eliminate as the problem, as I genuinely thought it unlikely they were here, was to ring our energy provider and ask them if our apartment was fitted with Smart Meters (SM), as we could not check this for ourselves because the area holding the meters here is very well hidden. We now know why.
    They were very cagy as soon as I mentioned the SM word and it was obvious they had many other complaints, as they went into damage control and put me through to several different departments who tried to bombazzle me with BS, but I rang back and got a young girl off guard and just asked the question, she had a quick look and said yes you have smart meters there.
    I was put through to a department called, something like, unit replacement and removal.
    The girl who answered the phone was obviously well guarded and ready with her well-rehearsed spiel when I asked her what the process was to have our smart meter removed and replaced with analogue, as follows:
    She said analogues are no longer being made, she went on explaining in a sort of nasty, i’ll show you tone, that, I have no choice in the matter and it was not them, but, the government who are rolling smart meters out and that anything I had heard bad about smart meters was propaganda, she said, just as with the hype saying mobile phones are dangerous. Need I say more.
    I knew not to bother continuing talking to the energy provider, or anyone else who had a vested interest in delivering me such dangerous inaccurate garble.
    But at least we no longer have to wonder why we and other tenants in this apartment block have become so sick since moving in here and why it moved through the building like cancer with each new tenant moving in, due to it being acted up in more and more apartments and the numerous meters now communicating with each other going right through all of us.
    As it has now been confirmed, the block is SMd, so we are doomed to ongoing unbearable illness, until they change the whole block back to analogue, or we move, or accumulate disease/cancer that these meters cause, or die from the exposure.
    But if this deadly horrid behaviour continues and they continue to roll these death devices out around NSW, how will we be able to avoid it, where can we move us and our children to that is safe, if they put them everywhere.
    URGENT URGENT URGENT, children are so vulnerable to this and it WILL damage them. Those, if there are any who are not sensitive to these meters, will be eventually and one day will realise the link to current medical conditions they are suffering or ones they and their children will be diagnosed with in the years to come, including cancer.
    Even if you are not sensitive and experiencing a blatant reaction to these meters now your body is being bombarded and you are still being affected by them.
    Many of these symptoms so many currently exposed to smart meters are experiencing are described by those who have suffered radiation poisoning.
    No amount of money awarded through the numerous lawsuits, class actions, etc. that will obviously follow, will give back to you or your children their health these meters are stealing from them, or reverse the permanent damage it is and will do and it will not bring back those loved ones this will kill.
    Be wise and look at uncorrupted research done by those who are not making a living and much more out of these death machines.
    Don’t wait till this country is so sickened and weak from this to act.
    Be smart and healthy, because those meters are anything but.

    • Sharron says:

      This confirms what we have known here in Victoria for a very long time now. A well written post from Jo. Home owners/landlords in NSW please take note and move to protect your wellbeing and that of your loved ones/tenants. Retain the original anologue meter and don’t allow the power companies to replace it with a so-called smart meter, which is actually a transmitting device capable of spying on your activities and costing you twice as much! You have been warned.

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