Since the beginning of time, the world has been subjected to electromagnetic fields (EMF) or radiation. The sun has been sending out radiation to give light and warmth to the earth. And as the world gets modernized, many devices and tools were discovered that also emit radiation, such as the electric power grid and smart meters.
Smart meters are one of the wonders brought by the advancement of technology. Also known as an intelligent meter, it is an electronic meter used by energy providers to record and read how much electricity and gas you have used. Unlike the traditional energy meters that must be read by a person, smart meters will automatically transmit your energy use and how much it is costing in real time through wireless networks to the product supplier. With this, consumers will be able to better monitor and control their energy usage.
However, many concerns were raised about the safety of this technology because of the EMF that is emitted. How dangerous is the EMF emissions from smart meters? Does it cause cancer?
Smart Meters and EMF Emissions
Smart meters emit radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation — a type of radiation that is low-energy and non-ionizing. Non-ionizing radiation does not have enough energy to remove electrons from an atom or cause them to heat. Despite this, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) still classifies RF radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”; after a study was conducted and found a link between cell phone use and a specific type of brain tumor. Since smart meters also emit EMF or radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation, there could be a possibility of smart meters increasing the risk of cancer.
Subsequently, a more comprehensive study investigated the effects of radio frequency relating to smart meters. This was reported in “An Evaluation of Radio Frequency Fields Produced by Smart Meters Deployed in Vermont”. The specific study was based on radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation measurements of smart meters that have been deployed in the state. The study found out that the instantaneous peak value of the RF field was a maximum of 3.9% of the MPE at a distance of one foot. However, by adjusting duty cycle and utilizing spatial averaging (a technique that more closely represents the human body), the maximum value of possible exposure at one foot right in front of the meter represents about 0.068% or less of the exposure limit.
Furthermore, the EMF emissions from smart meters also decreased exponentially as the distance from the meter increases; with exposure limit equivalent to 3.8 million times less than the actual hazard threshold for a 10 feet distance from the meter.
How to make sure if the smart meter installed in your homes or buildings is safe?
While there is still lack of evidence that the non-ionizing EMF emits from smart meters can cause negative effects on the health, still, it wouldn’t hurt to be cautious. Smith and Fisher can provide a thorough study on the safety of smart meters in your area. We house a team of highly skilled engineers with years of experience in RF studies.