2016-07-29 Finally a response from BCUC

1)    A member who is sensitive is finding it impossible to attend church. It seems that many churches are now Wi-Fi hotspots. When the member asked the minister and congregation to accommodate her by turning it off during service, she was refused. This doesn’t seem very Christian to me. I wonder if churches need this to attract young people or/and if they are paid by Shaw to use the church as a hotspot.

2)    An excellent site re. EHS

http://www.electrosensitivity.co/home2.html 

http://www.electrosensitivity.co/legal.html   Legally, internationally, ES is recognized as a “functional impairment” and a “disability”.  This should be taken to churches, schools and businesses.

3)    In Michigan, a high school is banning cell phones in class because they distract from learning. Reduced exposure to microwave radiation will be an added benefit.

“”What we found is that some students are so used to using their cell phones whenever they want, that they have a hard time abiding by rules or remembering to abide by rules in classrooms where the expectations are more strict. And that results in distractions in the classroom by the student, distractions in the classroom because the teacher has to address the student.”

http://www.king5.com/news/michigan-high-school-bans-cell-phones-in-class/279760043

4)    A few months ago, ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) showed a program “Wi-Fried”, which introduced many to the possible harm from exposure to wireless radiation. It was well received but shortly thereafter, we assume after industry complaints, the producer was put on leave and the program was panned and taken off the ABC listing. The video is still available at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5ZOJZQbkmI .  Many experts have written in support of the program and the producer. Below is one excellent letter.

5)    In Ontario, good Samaritans are offering help to a senior cut off by Hydro One, but what about all the others in trouble? The utility companies are making life miserable for many while ensuring the coffers of their corporate buddies are full.

“Community worker Jane Kali of North Hastings Community Trust who has been helping Mills is also worried about the hundreds of other residents in the rugged rural area southeast of Algonquin Park who are in arrears and risk losing their power.

“Two more people are being disconnected this week,” Kali said. “The help for Peggy is awesome. But this is a systemic problem that we need to tackle for everyone.””

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/07/28/pensioner-cut-off-by-hydro-overwhelmed-by-kindness-of-strangers.html

6)    The BCUC finally answered my complaint, after more than one year.  They said:

“At this time your complaint is closed as the evidence reviewed does not demonstrate an increased fire safety risk related to smart meters. However the Commission has determined that there are gaps in reporting incidents where the meter and/or meter base is the possible source of a high temperature or fire event…”

Read their comment above very carefully.  Does this make any sense?

I will continue to share the evidence that I sent to the BCUC so you will know exactly what they received, and then I will share their full response. I, for one, do not consider my complaint as being closed….

In Segment #19, BCUC says that they have no evidence that the $$meters have design flaws yet did not say what evidence, if any, that they reviewed. I, with help from experts, did provide information on design flaws. If meters are being removed from fires and not inspected, but rather sent immediately to ITRON, how can they say that few smeters have failed? No one is tracking.

Letters:

Opinion piece: A response to the Demasi ABC Catalyst situation

From Mary Redmayne PhD

July 28, 2016

I am shocked with the way Dr Maryanne Demasi of Catalyst programme “Wi-Fried” has been treated. I am a researcher who has been working in the field of radiofrequencies and health for some years. My PhD thesis was titled Wireless phone use by young New Zealanders: Health and policy implications. This was followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at Monash University. I have many papers in the peer reviewed literature.

The programme explored extremely important questions regarding health and safety and was, I believe, presented in a balanced way, as discussed below. While some of those interviewed were clearly extremely concerned, most of their comments were well handled. For instance, after Dr Davis showed an illustration of how far radiofrequencies can penetrate a child’s head, Dr Demasi reasonably enough showed surprise and asked, “Now, do we know that this translates into health effects for the child?” Dr Davis said, “No, we don’t ….”. Dr Demasi followed the response by explaining, accurately, that radiation exposure drops off exponentially with distance, distance matters. One comment from an interviewee I take issue with is Frank Clegg’s claim that the Standard in some countries is 100 times safer. The power density limit is indeed 100 times lower, but this does not necessarily translate into 100 times safer.

The programme also provided comment from ARPANSA, often to follow up a comment by another interviewee. Examples are after Dr Armstrong’s comment on the IARC 2B decision; after Dr Davis’ comment of radiofrequency exposure on sperm; and after Frank Clegg’s comment on international Standards; and both before and after talking to Drs Davis and Teo about brain cancer associations.

This is responsible reporting. Let’s look more closely at ARPANSA’S line.

Dr Karapidis said, “We’ve been doing research in this area for a very long time, and our assessment of the evidence suggests that although some studies do show effects, there is no established evidence that the low levels of radiofrequency radiation from tablets and phones and Wi-Fi and what-have-you, causes health effects” (my emphases). Just a note: Dr Karapidis does not seem to have personally done relevant research resulting in published any papers in the academic literature.
To be understood by a general audience, Dr Karipidis’ statement needs to be read with background knowledge of what ARPANSA means by “health effects” and “established evidence”.

ARPANSA has a very specific meaning for “health effect” which can be quite misleading, and undeservingly reassuring, if you are not aware of it: “an adverse health effect results in detectable impairment of the health of the exposed individual or of his or her offspring. A biological effect on the other hand may or may not result in an adverse health effect.” (ARPANSA, RPS3, 2002).

It is notable that Dr Karipidis agreed that research does show “effects”. The studies showing effects is actually an extensive body of literature. Just two of many demonstrated and re-demonstrated effects include sperm damage and increased production of free radicals (Reactive Oxygen Species which can lead to oxidative stress and there on to inflammation and a variety of diseases). Oxidative stress is what people take fish oil to counter.

Effects such as sperm damage have been demonstrated from mobile phone emissions as well as from WiFi, although there is less literature specifically examining this source. For instance, at least one WiFi study (and many phone studies) found sperm did not move properly after exposure and DNA was broken. This could and should be regarded as a health effect using ARPANSA’s definition but has not been acknowledged as such by them or other bodies such as WHO. These are not regarded by the regulators as “established evidence”.

Inflammatory effects have been reported from radiofrequency exposure in a variety of situations. Just this year, research from three research groups has found inflammation or inflammatory markers after exposure in the liver of rats, and the eyes and salivary glands in people.

The general public (the ABC’s viewing audience) would I suspect consider increased free radicals leading to inflammation, and damage to their sperm, as health effects (and these are just two examples of many). ARPANSA does not.

What I suspect many members of the public, industry and regulators don’t like is that they don’t want to hear that their mobile phone and other devices may affect them adversely, so they shoot the messenger. The point is that safety (in terms of a wide variety of health outcomes) is by no means sure, and many biological effects which could lead to disease have been repeatedly demonstrated.

An important point in terms of the findings of breaching the broadcasting standards is the concept of consensus; in this field, consensus depends on whose conclusions you are referring to. The “scientific” consensus among Government and industry is that there is “no established evidence” – hardly reassuring when they are the ones who decide whether and when it’s established! However, if you were to ask all independent scientists internationally researching in this field I believe you would find a majority who are concerned by the existing evidence, and a great many who are convinced that problems exist.

The documentary may have been regarded as more challenging if radiofrequency radiation had been referred to as microwave radiation, even though this is a more specific and accurate name for most emissions from everyday transmitting devices. But it did not take this route.

The public knows very little about how the technology they use regularly works or may affect them. Most know very little about how to minimise their exposure without giving up using it. The Catalyst programme went a little way towards helping this situation. We need people like, and including, Dr Demasi bringing such well-researched documentaries on challenging issues to our attention. In my opinion, the points above invalidate the breach claims upheld in the ABC review committee report.

Mary Redmayne

_________________________________________________________________________

Risky Business?

RESPONSE TO “BCUC’s Staff Report on Smart Meter Fire Safety Concerns”    Segment #19

KEY:  Highlighted text is from Sharon Noble  Non-highlighted text is the draft report as written by BCUC staff.

= = =

BCUC

Observations (continued)

The evidence reviewed indicates the safety hazard associated with watthour meters has not materially increased with the introduction of smart meters in BC as further detailed below:  (continued)

2)    Do smart meters have design flaws which result in meters being a fire hazard?

The evidence reviewed suggests that the Itron smart meters installed in BC do not have design flaws which cause meter fires or thermal incidents.

Comment: There is no evidence supplied in this report, or in other materials available at other times from others, to justify this statement. One obvious component not examined is the built-in disconnect switch. If the Manufacturer’s Test data shows normal operating temperatures for each model of meter and its disconnect switch when subjected to realistic test conditions, including weather and overload, overvoltage and transient voltage conditions among others, and the tests results have been reviewed and verified by a BC Professional Engineer and if BC Hydro can provide proof of that, then perhaps the BCUC can be confident that the operating characteristics will be within acceptable limits for application, and the BCUC assertion might carry some significance.

 Although there have been a relatively small number of structural fires whose origin was identified at or in the vicinity of a recently installed smart meter, the available investigations  by fire/electrical experts have not found the meter itself to be the cause.  The most likely cause for the majority of these investigations was found to be the meter socket or human installation error. A similar rate of meter socket and human installation error fires would be expected if the replacement meters were not smart meters.

If there was an issue with the design of the meters it would be expected to affect a significant number of the 2 million meters installed in BC. This has not been the case and the occurrence rate of meter and meter socket related fires in BC is consistent with other jurisdictions and with the BC Residential Structure Fires statistics prior to smart meter installation.

  • What were the available investigations? Given that the meters are removed, there are many that could not have been investigated
  • How is the incident rate determined when no one is tracking? 
  • What evidence was reviewed to arrive at the conclusion that there are no design flaws that have contributed to meter fires or failures?
  • Who were the experts who determined that the smart meters themselves did not cause fires? What were their qualifications?

Given that meters were destroyed or removed, and that there are a high proportion of “undetermined” ignition sources, it is impossible for any determination to be made regarding the safety of smart meters. No conclusion can be drawn from the information that was considered.

Comment: The above conclusions are not based on hard evidence, only conjecture, because of the fragmentation of reporting and incident data, and the inability or reluctance for forensic inspection of burned meters.

 

 

Sharon Noble
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters

The cost of wireless convenience: EHS, infertility, cancer.