Radio-read water meters pose dangers – Letter to the editor, Fairfield Ledger

From the Fairfield Ledger, Thursday, June 7, 2012, page 4

To the editor: On the front page of your May 30 issue, you show a picture of me speaking with city councilman Daryn Hamilton about Fairfield’s radio-read water meters. You quote the city council asserting the meter causes no known dangers.

The city’s reference for claiming RF meters are safe is the report “Health Impacts of Radio Frequency from Smart Meters,” released in 2011 by the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST). This report has since been criticized by international science and medical experts.

Dr. David Carpenter, former Dean of Public Health at the University at Albany described the report as “faulty” and “full of inaccuracies.” Elihu Richter MD, MPH, a distinguished medical epidemiologist from Israel said “It is now fairly certain that there will be widespread adverse public health impacts [from RF emitting meters].” Lukas Margaritis, Professor of Cell Biology and Electron Microscopy at the University of Athens stated the report’s conclusion, that RF meters are free of health hazards, “has absolutely no scientific validity.” Olle Johansson, PhD, Swedish Professor of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institute said: “Exposure of millions to billions of human beings to pulsed microwave radiation should immediately be prohibited.”

In Fairfield, RF emitting meters were installed in over 1000 homes without even informing residents that the meters emit radio frequency (RF) radiation. The meters transmit pulses of RF radiation every 14 seconds 24 hours a day. Recent published research shows that other devices emitting RF radiation at similar peak intensity and frequencies can cause arrhythmia, rapid changes in heart rate indicating potential for serious heart problems, impaired mental function, indicating interference with brain functioning, and reduced fertility.

Therefore, while there is no definitive research yet showing that these specific meters in Fairfield are unsafe, there is extensive research and statements from scientific and health experts questioning the safety of RF emittingmeters. Also,while this meter meets FCC standards, research shows that damage to health can occur at levels thousands of times below radiation levels the FCC considers harmful.

Fairfield residents with these meters are reporting the same symptoms that others with RF (smart) meters in other cities are reporting, including headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears, nausea, insomnia, and other problems. These are established symptoms of RF exposure. In its April 2012 report, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine called for “an immediate caution on Smart Meter installation,” stating: “Multiple studies correlate RF exposure with diseases such as cancer, neurological disease, reproductive disorders, immune dysfunction, and electromagnetic hypersensitivity.”

In California, 13 local governments have banned smart meter installations, including Santa Cruz, whose public health department stated: “There are no relevant public safety standards for pulsed RF involving chronic exposure of the public… FCC guidelines are irrelevant…There is no scientific data to determine if there is any safe RF exposure level.”

Over 700 Fairfield residents have signed a petition calling for a safer alternative to these RF emitting meters. [See] I applaud the city in moving so quickly to create an opt-out program. However, many residents feel they should not have to pay fees for replacing a meter of questionable safety, especially when the city did not even inform them that the meter was exposing them to RF radiation 24 hours a day.

Richard Wolfson, PhD


7 thoughts on “Radio-read water meters pose dangers – Letter to the editor, Fairfield Ledger

  1. As a physicist and former dynamic systems failure analyst, I offer a cautionary note, which doesn’t seem to have been considered, that goes beyond analysis of electronics alone.

    Every object in creation has a natural resonant frequency at which it can be easily excited by very little input (force, pressure, voltage, etc.) A drinking glass, for example, is simply unaffected by sound except when that sound is a perfect pitch (frequency) match of the glass resonant frequency. In that case, the glass is destroyed. Small input under the right conditions can wreak major damage.

    The point is that the magnitude of the input (RF wave in our case) is only one factor. A second factor is the biologic resonant frequencies in the molecules, cells, neurons, and systems of our bodies. There are a great many different such frequencies and small electromagnetic input at any one of them could cause significant disruptions.

    Perhaps they do not, but without extensive biomedical testing, no one can really know. Companies selling new technologies have a notorious history of avoiding testing whose results they fear may impact product sales, so caution may be in order.

    Best regards,
    Bob Klauber
    PhD in Engineering Physics
    Retired dynamic systems failure expert

    • Very true. My only question is…the dynamic you described involves soundwaves. I would think the signal given out by the meters is not the same, but maybe I’m comparing apples and apples here…

      • An electromagnetic field is comprised of oscillating magnetic and electric fields. These interact with any electrically charged body, like the electrons in the atoms of a human body. Same principle of excitation at resonance whether it is a sound wave (with pressure exerting force) or an e/m wave (with the elec/mag fields exerting force).

  2. Other than signal strength, there are two key factors any safety/failure analyst considers. One is resonant frequency, as noted in my prior message. The second is pulsing.

    The argument that the signal pulses are innocuous because they are only on less than 1% of the time is faulty. It is the number of pulses, not their duration, that leads to failure.

    Failure from repeated application of force/stress, rather than a steady force, is known as “fatigue”. A good example is a paper clip. Bend it all the way back on itself and it doesn’t break. But bend it back and forth, and after a few cycles, it breaks.

    Consider bending the clip for one second every hour. After a half day or so, it breaks. The total time of force application (the “duty cycle”) is way less than 1%. It is the number of pulses, not their duration, that is the killer.

    Even more relevant, a steady force of given magnitude will not cause failure, when a far lesser force that pulses will. This is very well known in failure analysis circles. Consider bending the paper clip ½ way repeatedly. It breaks. Bend it all the way and hold it there, and it doesn’t.

    BOTTOM LINE: As a general rule, pulsing, regardless of duration and at markedly lower levels, is significantly more damaging than steady input.

    EXPOSURE OF USERS: The Neptune meters pulse 180,000 times per month. This would be alarming to any safety/failure expert.

    Best regards,
    Bob Klauber
    PhD in Engineering Physics
    Retired dynamics & fatigue failure expert

  3. Pingback: Comment from Bob Klauber PhD in Engineering Physics on the Neptune Smart Meters | Fairfield Safe Meters

  4. Well said Robert D. Klauber,
    We here in Victoria Australia are having an increasing number of very serious Health Complaints from these Microwave so-called Electricity Smart Meters and the Water Smart Meters have not even been yet rolled out here. We hope they never will be as all of the M/Wave Electric Meters are getting more and more hated as people here in Victoria learn just how dangerous they are.

    In the United Kingdom now people who do not want the Microwave Electricity Meters just register their objection to them officially with the Electric Power Company for their area and they are allowed to keep their old Passive and Safe Analog Meters.

    These foreign owned Electric Power Companies here in Victoria Australia try to force them on us their customers but many of us, me included have padlocked up our Electric Meter Boxes and sent off Letters stating that we refuse to allow them on our private and small business properties and I and now thousands of us have used the A.C.C.C Legal Commonwealth of Australia $1.1 Million Dollar NOTICE OF PROHIBITION OF UNDUE HARASSMENT OR COERCION FOR SMART METER INSTALLATION


    (INSERT OWN NAME) (Put on right hand side of this notice please)

    (Insert name and
    Address of Power Distributor)

    This notice is provided to _______________________________________________ and any persons, entities,
    (Insert Power distributor name and ACN no off letter you received)
    Employees, associates, corporations, sub-contractors and agents of the fore mentioned (herein referred to as Your Company).
    Notice to agent is notice to principal.

    Note: This notice is provided in addition and following a NOTICE OF PROHIBITION FOR
    SMART METER INSTALLATION (date of your first letter) and NOTICE Your Company’s
    INSTALLATION NOTICE (date of your letter received from Power Distributor after) served on Your Company.
    Your Company is prohibited and forbidden from communication in any manner, with the intent to solicit for the installation of a “smart meter” or meter containing wireless communication function(s) at the following (service) address: (Insert your address). Such an act is herein referred to as a PROHIBITED ACT.
    I have lawful and legal standing and claim of right to make such a demand.

    Any PROHIBITED ACT will be considered an act of undue harassment or coercion with the supply or possible supply of goods or services as defined by the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CTH) Vol. 3, Ch. 4, PT> 4-1, Div. 5 Sec. 168; such an offence carries a penalty of $1.1,000,000:00 One point one Million Dollars. If Your Company is in any way directed by the Government (State of Victoria) and State of Victoria Corporation to perform such an offence, the Government and individual members are liable under tort may in addition be held vicariously liable.
    Any PROHIBITED ACT remains prohibited unless I provide a NOTICE OF CESSATION OF PROHIBITION explicitly annulling this notice, or following a sale of property and change of property title holder for the property in question.
    A copy of this notice will also be provided for their records to (via regular mail):
    1. Customer Relations, DPI,
    2. Minister Michael O’Brien, Government in the State of Victoria.

    If a response to this notice containing any dispute of facts or CLAIM OF RIGHT based on lawful claim of right is not received within fourteen days from Your Company, it shall be fact that you accept as fact this notice and facts contained within, and will honour this notice; such requiring no further action on your behalf.



    Your Signature. Witness to Signature. Print Witnesses Name.

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