What is a smart meter?

What is a smart meter?

Living in a ‘Smarter’ world, being surrounded by smart phones, smart watches, smart TVs, baby monitors, wifis and other smart electronics always poses a question of how beneficial these gadgets are to us versus how safe they are. The same applies to the so called ‘smart meters’.

Originally, they were designed to make our lives easier so we don’t need to lift a finger when it comes to energy consumption in our homes and businesses, whilst saving us money. According to the Deutsche Energie-Agentur, 40 million German homes will be using this technology before 2020. So what exactly is a smart meter? How does it work and does it pose any potential health risks?

What exactly is a smart meter?

Smart meters installed in your home are digital meters. They basically take a reading of gas and electricity and automatically sends this reading to your energy supplier at a minimum of once a month and usually a few times a day. It has a neat display, showing you how much you are spending, there and then. The idea behind the smart meter is that you get an accurate reading of what you are using instead of an estimate.

How does a smart meter work?

It communicates with your energy supplier using a wireless system which is separate from your home wi-fi. The device usually uses the 2.4GHz signal, same as the wi-fi frequency.

Is a smart meter safe?

Although it is generally deemed safe by the industry, there is a strong scientific evidence suggesting that these signals, similarly to wifi and other wireless technologies might have a biological effect on our cells.

Organisations such as EM radiation Research Trust provide good amount of information on this topic.

Lynne Wycherley, the author of an article published in the Ecologist diggs deeper into the topic of smart meters. She shares that smart meters emit as many as 14,000 short bursts of microwave radiation a day. This can disrupt the electrochemistry of our cells, potentially leading to health symptoms such as migraines, tinnitus, insomnia, dizziness, anxiety, chest pain, palpitations or memory loss.

Health consequences study of the smart meter

A rat study published in the International Journal of Radiology in 2019 investigated the effects of Radiation emitted from 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (the very same frequency as a smart meter) on insulin production and antioxidant redox (protective) systems in the pancreas. You might already know that lack of insulin production is the common culprit in causing diabetes, so this study was particularly interesting.

Researchers took male rats and exposed them to wi-fi for 45 days at 4 hours a day. The results were astounding. Compared to the control group, the exposed rats had hyperglycemia and significantly reduced insulin secretion.

In other words, their pancreas wasn’t producing insulin and there was far too much sugar in their blood. They also found that the same exposed rats had increased levels of oxidative stress. Basically, their body’s antioxidant defence system was significantly compromised.

What should you take away from this for your use of a smart meter?

If the above study uses an example of single exposure of 4 hours a day, what could happen over a long period of time with multiple exposure from different sources? Simply imagine a block of flats or offices with multiple wi-fi antennas to get an idea.

The learning lesson for us here is to look for ways to reduce exposure to radiation and electrosmog levels where possible.

If you have a choice, opt out of having a smart meter. If this isn’t possible, it is a good idea to implement some simple steps, such as:

  • to limit the time spent on your phone,
  • avoid wearing a phone in your pocket,
  • keeping it next to your bed at night and
  • to switch off wifi for the night.

At Waveguard we are dedicated to helping you mitigate the effects of electromagnetic radiation from wireless devices in your home, office and on-the-go. If you are interested in finding out how we can help, contact us.

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Veronika Appleford Divincova, Research assistant at Waveguard.

In life, I believe that with more knowledge and understanding we can make better decisions.

Veronika Appleford

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