Image courtesy of sippakorn at
Image courtesy of sippakorn at

Remember when we were kids and used to watch our old electric meter on the sides of our homes? The disc would continuously rotate and the numbers on the analog dial would slowly change and we could see how much electricity our homes were using. This phenomenon was so interesting to me as a child. So, where did these old electric meters go, and what implications could this have for our health? In 2009, with the help of multi-million dollar federal grants and approval of our City Council, Austin Energy switched out all of Austin’s electric analog meters with the newest, automated wireless technology, Smart Meters.

These automated, Smart Meters are basically high-powered wireless computers on the sides of our homes that emit very high power densities (75,000 uW/m2) of RF and Microwave radiation (900 MHz and 2. 5GHz, respectively). Note that a typical cell phone emits about 1,500 uW/m2 when in use. These Smart Meters emit over 50 times more radiation than our cell phones, yet unlike cell phones, Smart Meters repeatedly pulse these high RF and Microwave radiation levels day and night, every 10-30 seconds. This translates to over 3,000 pulses a day. We can choose to turn off our cell phones at night, but we cannot turn off our Smart Meters.

The radiation signals from Smart Meters wirelessly travel through our homes and communicate with one of the 450 data concentrators positioned across Austin. As a result of this intense data collection, our minute by minute electricity usage is stored in Austin Energy’s data base. In addition, these automated meters utilize a technology that generates huge levels of voltage transient/spikes in our homes’ electrical circuitry. To summarize, there are two major environmental exposures we are subject to today, that we as children were not exposed to:  a)  the new Smart Meters pulse high levels of radiation over 3,000 times a day, and b)  they cause high levels of voltage spikes in the electrical circuitry lines surrounding our homes. Both of these issues have been shown to cause severe health problems in adults and children.

As you can expect, many Austinites are concerned about these automated, wireless smart meters which continuously emit RF and Microwave pulses. There are numerous Austinites who have reported health issues such as headaches, chest pains, palpitations, sleeplessness, etc. associated with their Smart Meters. The obvious issue is that the Smart Meters in Austin have never been safety tested for residential use. Take a look at the smart meter on your home and note that the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Listing insignia is not stamped on it. We all know we can’t buy a radio, blow dryer or a computer that does not have the recognizable UL Listing stamp. So, how can Austin Energy put an electrical device on our home which has not passed UL testing and certification?

What does the medical community say about Smart Meters? Recently in October 2013, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) issued a report ( documenting the negative health effects associated with automated Smart Meters. AAEM cited health issues such as fatigue, headaches, neurological, cardiac, pulmonary disease, reproductive disorders, immune dysfunction, cancer and other health conditions. They directly cited, “The evidence is irrefutable” and in the report, AAEM called for several actions:

  • “Avoidance of smart meter EMF/RF emissions based on health considerations, including the option to maintain analog meters.”
  • “A moratorium on smart meters and implementation of safer technology.”
  • “Physicians and health care providers to consider the role of EMF and RF in the disease process, diagnosis, and treatment of patients.”

In addition, from a hematology standpoint, it has been shown that the radiation from Smart Meters causes cell wall damage to red blood cells. In the 2013 documentary, Take Back Your Power, it was shown that live blood analysis using dark field microscopy detects red blood cell wall morphological degradation for those exposed to smart meters for 1 minute at 2 feet away. Anemia is therefore a common symptomatic response of those over-exposed to smart meters.

From a personal standpoint, my husband and I were exposed to our smart meter which directly faced our bedroom wall. Over a few years time, we both developed multiple symptoms such as headaches, chest pain, sleeplessness, and anemia. We could not determine why these health issues were becoming worse over time. One key symptom we could not ignore was we both experienced our legs involuntarily twitching at night and it was occurring repeatedly, every 25 seconds.

We were driven to understand what was causing this involuntary muscle contraction. We knew it was not due to a typical biological process, but to an environmental, electrical pulse, but we could not figure out the cause. We finally used a radiation device that measured RF and Microwave radiation and found our Smart Meter was pulsing every 25 seconds right outside, facing our bedroom. We contacted Austin Energy and they disabled the radio emitter of our Smart Meter. Interestingly, the twitching and involuntary muscle contractions stopped. We knew the root cause of our issues was the Smart Meter.

Being engineers, we worked with Austin Energy, shared the radiation and power density data we had collected and insisted that a Smart Meter Opt Out Program be developed in Austin for those wanting an option for an analog meter which did not pulse. After about a year, we were successful and now Austin has the first Smart Meter Opt Out Program in Texas.

For the last 3 years, the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) has been working on an Opt Out Program for the state. Hats off to Austin Energy; they are now the benchmark of Texas and the PUC is using them as an example for a statewide program.

To learn more about Smart Meters and how to protect you and your family from the radiation and electrical voltage spikes/transients they generate, go to Information about the Austin Energy Opt Out Program can be found on the left side bar. Now, Opt Out Austin!