Thursday, January 19, 2012

Smart Meter Health Concerns

I am getting more and more annoyed at the opposition to smart meters based on health concerns.  Leaving aside the cancer issue and looking at what people are claiming electromagnetic radiation can cause here is the list of issues I have heard linked to smart meters:
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Digestion issues including bowel movements
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Nervous and hormonal system impacts
  • Heart palpitations or a rapid heartbeat
  • Behavioural problems 
I am sure there are more, but let us just focus on those.   This list sounded very familiar to me for some reason, then it came to me and I realized that it all relates to stress.  It is interesting how closely the above list fits with the list of physical symptoms that can be caused by stress.

Over and over again people have similar sort of issues as noted above about some unknown.   People look for a cause for this effect and find one because humans are good at seeking patterns and finding them even when they do not exist.   Got headaches and sleeping badly?   Must be that new thing BC Hydro installed on my house.

Most people have a large amount of stress in their lives and worry regularly.   Add a new focus to that stress and worry and you get stress related physical problems.   So if you are worried and going to be stressed about a smart meter on your house, then it is reasonable to have some of the symptoms of stress.  It is not the smart meter causing the problems, it is the stress.

When one looks at what an organization like the World Health Organization has to say:
Tissue heating is the principal mechanism of interaction between radiofrequency energy and the human body. At the frequencies used by mobile phones, most of the energy is absorbed by the skin and other superficial tissues, resulting in negligible temperature rise in the brain or any other organs of the body. 
A number of studies have investigated the effects of radiofrequency fields on brain electrical activity, cognitive function, sleep, heart rate and blood pressure in volunteers. To date, research does not suggest any consistent evidence of adverse health effects from exposure to radiofrequency fields at levels below those that cause tissue heating. Further, research has not been able to provide support for a causal relationship between exposure to electromagnetic fields and self-reported symptoms, or “electromagnetic hypersensitivity”.
This is about as conclusive as it gets to say there is no link between non-ionizing electro-magnetic radiation and the above health problems.

So all the non-cancer health issues related to smart meters are all either stress induced or a somatoform disorder (aka psychosomatic issues).  If you are worried about smart meters, you can make yourself ill, this is not something to blame BC Hydro for.
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