Smart Meter radiation concerns

  • #1
DaveC426913
Gold Member
19,196
2,685
I have been asked by someone about Smart Meters and this concern over radiation. I see several articles out there that warn of the risks, but few from reliable sources. When they talk about radiation they mean radio and microwave transmissions, which seems a bit scare tactic-ish.

I'd like to be able to pass along some facts. Anybody have some?

How powerful are these transmissions?
Any moreso that cell phones?
How frequent?
Why the microwave?
While we are awash in a sea of radio transmissions all our waking lives, obviously proximity is key. So attempts to protect oneself from emissions this nearby are - at least in principle - more efficacious than attempts to block distant common sources. However, short of encasing the device itself in layers of tinfoil, I don't see any practical way of reducing exposure.

Thoughts? References?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Evo
Mentor
23,176
2,953


They are safe.

HEALTH IMPACTS OF RADIO FREQUENCY EXPOSURE FROM SMART METERS

KEY REPORT FINDINGS
1. Wireless smart meters, when installed and properly maintained, result in much smaller levels of radio frequency (RF) exposure than many existing common household electronic devices, particularly cell phones and microwave ovens.
http://www.ccst.us/publications/2011/2011smart-final.pdf
 
  • #3
DaveC426913
Gold Member
19,196
2,685


smaller levels of radio frequency (RF) exposure than many existing common household electronic devices, particularly cell phones and microwave ovens.
Indeed. That graph shows that using a cellphone exposes one to 250x the amount of radio emissions of a SmartMeter and a microwave is 4x the amount.
 
  • #4
dlgoff
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,914
1,865


I was curious about their transmitter powers, so I went to the ARRL (the national association for Amateur Radio) site and found this Q&A.

Q) In the US, under what part of the FCC rules do smart meters operate?

A) Part 15, just like most other consumer and household electronic devices. On most frequencies, Part 15 permits only very low-power operation -- a few nanowatts in some cases. Under the Part 15 rules, certain bands have provisions for higher-power operation. Because these bands are also used by Industrial, Scientific and Medical devices, these bands are often called the ISM bands. That does not change the status of the smart meters, though; they operate exclusively under Part 15 of the rules, not Part 18 like actual ISM devices. For more information on Part 15 and Part-15 devices, see http://www.arrl.org/part-15-radio-frequency-devices" [Broken]. Other nations have similar rules.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #5
DaveC426913
Gold Member
19,196
2,685


Part 15, just like most other consumer and household electronic devices. On most frequencies, Part 15 permits only very low-power operation -- a few nanowatts in some cases. Under the Part 15 rules, certain bands have provisions for higher-power operation. Because these bands are also used by Industrial, Scientific and Medical devices, these bands are often called the ISM bands. That does not change the status of the smart meters, though; they operate exclusively under Part 15 of the rules, not Part 18 like actual ISM devices. For more information on Part 15 and Part-15 devices, see http://www.arrl.org/part-15-radio-frequency-devices. Other nations have similar rules.
Translation? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Is it saying that Smart Meters operate under stringent restrictions like other consumer products, and not more lenient restrictions, like industrial products?
 
  • #6
dlgoff
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,914
1,865


Translation?
Do the power levels of a toy WalMart walkie-talkie give you an idea of how much radiation?
 
  • #7
dlgoff
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,914
1,865


Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
IMO bad thing. But not for any radiation concerns; as I have one on my power pole. I don't want the power company turning off my air-conditioner when it's 110ºF outside and 100ºF inside.

Edit: From Evos PDF (bold by me),
The FCC guidelines do provide a significant factor of safety against thermal impacts the only
currently understood human health impact that occurs at the power level and within the
frequency band that smart meters use. In addition to the factor of safety built into the
guidelines, at worst, human exposure to RF from smart meter infrastructure operating at even
50% duty cycle will be significantly lower than the guidelines. While additional study is needed
to understand potential non‐thermal effects of exposure to RF and effects of cumulative and
prolonged exposure to several devices emitting RF, given current scientific knowledge the FCC
guideline provides an adequate margin of safety against known RF effects.
I believe that these telemetry "radios" transmit only when "queried" by the central computer or when there's some "change of state", and not continuously. I could be wrong but that's how the SCADA system I worked with operated.
 
Last edited:
  • #8
DaveC426913
Gold Member
19,196
2,685


IMO bad thing. But not for any radiation concerns; as I have one on my power pole. I don't want the power company turning off my air-conditioner when it's 110ºF outside and 100ºF inside.
I have no idea what power companies turning off your A/C have to do with the topic at-hand.

But I'd rather you didn't mention any more things you have on your power pole.
 
  • #9
dlgoff
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,914
1,865


I have no idea what power companies turning off your A/C have to do with the topic at-hand.

But I'd rather you didn't mention any more things you have on your power pole.
okay :redface:
 
  • #10
418
0
I have been asked by someone about Smart Meters and this concern over radiation. I see several articles out there that warn of the risks, but few from reliable sources. When they talk about radiation they mean radio and microwave transmissions, which seems a bit scare tactic-ish.

I'd like to be able to pass along some facts. Anybody have some?

How powerful are these transmissions?
Any moreso that cell phones?
How frequent?
Why the microwave?
While we are awash in a sea of radio transmissions all our waking lives, obviously proximity is key. So attempts to protect oneself from emissions this nearby are - at least in principle - more efficacious than attempts to block distant common sources. However, short of encasing the device itself in layers of tinfoil, I don't see any practical way of reducing exposure.

Thoughts? References?
Hi Dave:smile: The California Council on Science and Technology had an article from October 29, 2011 entitled Cell Phone Safety Study Suggests No Risk of Cancer. A quote within the document states:

"This is encouraging news about cell phones because smart meters use similar technology," said CCST Senior Fellow Jane Long, principal associate director at large at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "Smart meters are expected to have a much lower impact than cell phones, and smart meters are a critically important part of reinventing the energy system in a world that has to be concerned about climate change."
http://www.ccst.us/news/2011/20111027phone.php

I should mention that the link (url) above is the most recent update, whereas Evo's contribution with link is from April 2011. :smile: I suggest reading the article I've presented in its entirety. Thanks, and a thank you to Evo too. I should also mention I have a smart meter and cell phone! Let's just say, truth be it, I live in Technology Land. (lol) Good possiblity that Look will replace iPod.
 
Last edited:

Related Threads on Smart Meter radiation concerns

  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
946
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
3K
  • Poll
  • Last Post
9
Replies
203
Views
11K
  • Last Post
Replies
20
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
20
Views
6K
Top