Reports of illness prompt audit of smart meter radiation
Karen Collier consumer reporter
July 15, 2014 8:25PM
AN independent audit of electromagnetic radiation from smart meters will begin next month as critics claim reports of illness from hundreds of Victorians represent an emerging health crisis.
More than 250 Victorians have contacted Stop Smart Meters Australia to report insomnia, headaches, ringing in the ears, tiredness and burning or tingling sensations.
“Adverse reactions to smart meter emissions have also resulted, for some, in loss of employment, social dislocation, and unwanted family separations,” it says in a letter to the State Government.
Independent electromagnetic radiation tests at 55 properties are due to start late next month.
Energy Minister Russell Northe said: “The Government expects that smart meters will be shown to operate well within the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency standard.”
Electromagnetic emission rates from the smart meters will be compared with those from other devices such as mobile phones, microwave ovens, televisions, wi-fi routers and computers.
A similar, smaller 2011 study found emissions were well within the accepted safety standard.
Some people listed on the Australian Electromagnetic Radiation Health Complaints Register — which has received 22 reports relating to smart meters — will be invited to participate in the new audit.
But Stop Smart Meters Australia’s Janobai Smith said the study was of “limited value” because it wouldn’t interview people about ill health, nor test for biological effects.
Steve Weller, a senior IT consultant who shifted from Victoria to Queensland to escape smart meters, believes two devices at a neighbour’s property prompted his heart palpitations, head and intestinal pain, and insomnia.
But the director of the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research, Professor Rodney Croft, said there had been no convincing demonstrations of health effects from mobile phones, “which are 100 times more powerful than smart meters”.
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