RF pollution, radiation and cancer - smart meters, mobile phones and WiFI

Appreciate the comments, and it’s worthwhile discussing it without judgement as a lot of people hold these views about Smart Meters and also mobile phones. The American Cancer Society puts it like this:

RF radiation is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” This is based on the finding of a possible link in at least one study between cell phone use and a specific type of brain tumor. Because RF radiation is a possible carcinogen, and smart meters give off RF radiation, it is possible that smart meters could increase cancer risk. Still, it isn’t clear what risk, if any there might be from living in a home with a smart meter.

Because, the amount of RF radiation you could be exposed to from a smart meter is much less than what you could be exposed to from a cell phone, it is very unlikely that living in a house with a smart meter increases risk of cancer.

If RF radiation is a potential concern, then mobile phones and WiFi would be a bigger concern as @PhilT mentioned. There are suggestions on the above site on how to reduce RF exposure from these other sources.

There are some persuasive websites and videos online, but unfortunately in some cases these sites can be akin to scams. So, while I welcome the discussion, I’d also advise caution for anyone using these type of sources to make decisions. For example, have a look at this product called Geoclense, which CHOICE tested in lab conditions.

In the absence of a lab, though, you can still do your own thorough research by searching for a meta analysis, which will look at all the studies and compare the results to give a full picture of the current evidence. Here’s one such meta analysis on electromagnetic hypersensitivity that looked at 31 different experiments and found that 26 found no evidence under blind or double-blind provocation conditions.

There is one guaranteed risk in all of this - that is that eventually someone will try to sell some dodgy solution, usually designed to suck as much money away from people as possible. Even if it doesn’t convince people one way or another, hopefully this discussion can raise a few doubts if and when that time comes.


If someone really wants to avoid this excess RF from Smart Meters and other sources of RF put a Faraday Cage around the house and cut off all power and connection to the wiring, this will isolate the premises from RF radiation including TV signals, wifi, mobile phone, and home electrical utensils. The resultant impact to a persons lifestyle in the current connected world would be immense but may also be extremely inconvenient.

Certainly RF radiation may yet prove to be dangerous to us but more research needs to be conducted to determine which and how much RF radiation is too much.


The way I see it its just one more techno device to add to the radiation. All these illnesses we have now are due to our toxic lifestyle. Yes its become a part of our lifestyle with mobile phones etc but we dont need to keep adding to the techno killer. No one knows just how bad this radiation is and we wont know for years. Just like way back they didn’t know about thalidomide. Anyway we wont have any choice. If you want electricity you will have to have one. Thats the bottom line.

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Seems the most likely health impact of smart meters is that your meter reader is a Dr Pepper swilling geek in a data centre rather than someone who walks 50km a day reading meters and running away from dogs :wink:


Sadly, when using the internet many people are fooled into thinking that quantity equals quality. When researching information, it is important to look for valid and replicable evidence based research from reputable sources.


You mean like farcebook? :smirk:

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Depends on how you use it, and who you follow.

I find it is a good source of new/current information from scientific & medical etc sites, news media (like the ABC programs), Choice and so on.


I think the issue is that there IS so much RF radiation around us at all times now, that there is bound to be accumulative damage. No study looks at multi avenues for radiation, but plenty of people report real and debilitating sickness from living near/around RF radiation. The media and government will say no problems, but ask Charlie Teo, world renowned neurosurgeon, and you may hear something very different.


Hi @kylie,
Thanks for the comment, and appreciate the reference to Charlie Teo’s work. A lot of people have strong views about the issue, and as has been noted, there are many websites and Facebook pages that push electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation as an imminent health concern. With all the conflicting info, it’s difficult to know what to believe, and in this case, it’s not something we have a lot of individual choice about (unless as @grahroll suggested we start adding faraday cages to our houses).

We can discuss the evidence, though, and hopefully this discussion will be useful for other readers when making up their mind. For example, one way to look at multi-avenue or overall affects of radiation is to look at overall incident rates of brain cancer as Simon Chapman, Professor of Public Health at University of Sydney did in The Conversation. Professor Chapman’s data ends in 2011, but figure 1 from Cancer Australia expands the view to the present.

It’s technical, but it does raise an interesting point. We all agree that there has been increased exposure to everyday RF radiation since the early 80s, but after 40+ years of studies and record keeping, the incident rate has remained relatively stable. To my logic, if mobile phones and other sources were causing cancer, we would see at least some corresponding increase in incidence of this type of cancer.

However, that’s just my personal reasoning to that information, and I welcome views to the contrary (in interests of a meaningful discussion, all we ask is people include evidence or their personal logic). It’s also worth considering, is there a tipping point where everyday RF radiation will start affecting incident rates, either in time frame or amount? Perhaps we need to get Charlie Teo or Simon Chapman to give us better answers to that one though.


It’s all pretty simple to me. Electrical items all produce magnetic or radiation fields of varying sorts and intensities. There’s lots of exposure that we cannot avoid, be it mobile phones, TV and Radio towers, Satellite etc. So what I do is assume I’m being zapped from uncontrollable sources all the time, assume all exposure is cumulative, and take measures to lessen my exposure over my lifetime. I turn off my wireless router when not in use, have placed a lead sheet behind (on the house side) of my smart meter, rarely use my mobile phone without speaker, use a landline phone instead of a cordless as much as possible, don’t walk or ride along paths or trails that run along high voltage power lines and don’t sleep with an electric blanket on. Sometimes all a bit inconvenient, but I feel safer doing it. And I’m not silly enough to think these guarantee anything.


Our Queensland power supplier replaced our old meter with a smart meter 3 months ago. Then I met a person who had fled her home in Victoria because her smart meter was making her very ill. I did some research online and found that they are indeed hazardous to many people’s health. I thought that it would just send a ping down the line once a month to tell the supplier how much electricity we’d used. But no, it sends out a constant stream of data 24/7, even when the household have all gone to bed. So I got a bloke to check it for Electro Magnetic Radiation but he said there was none - yet - because the microwave part isn’t switched on yet. It will be when there’s enough smart meters in our street. But the bottom line is that smart meters are of little benefit to consumers and have a huge downside including INCREASING power consumption and being more of a fire hazard than the analogue meters. They say they comply with the Australian standard, which is true, but the standard is way too high for public safety. Don’t take my word for it, everyone should do their own research.

The bottom line for economising on electricity usage in the house is to simply be conscious of your usage, and in particular the time of day you use it. If you’ve got solar panels, use your appliances when you’re generating your own electricity. The power bill is a big hit on the household budget, so be thrifty!


Absolutely true. Everyone would be well served by referencing reliable scientifically based information rather than conspiracy sites.

Their value for managing power is questionable, but the RF hazards are essentially a mobile phone or less. [quote=“coolaz, post:13, topic:15081”]
because the microwave part isn’t switched on yet.

What part would that be that has a microwave in a smart meter, or any meter?

This US site makes the points that we endure so much RF from so many sources across such a wide spectrum it would be near impossible if not impossible to isolate a cause-effect for a health hazard from any single one of them.

My take on the smart meter is that the major ‘benefit’ is it provides the utilities a way to increase their revenue from us through enabling plans with time-of-day demand pricing. But that has nothing to do with health.

If you are truly concerned about RF you should be abandoning your mobile and your wifi for starters.[quote=“coolaz, post:13, topic:15081”]
The bottom line for economising on electricity usage in the house is to simply be conscious of your usage, and in particular the time of day you use it. If you’ve got solar panels, use your appliances when you’re generating your own electricity.
Well written, that.


I wonder how she determined that? Also consider that the smart meters are usually outside the house and except for older houses they are generally near the garage and away from the living/sleeping areas.

Isn’t that what happens to turn the off-peak hot water systems on and off late at night?

Wouldn’t all houses need to then have microwave transmitter/receivers? Or if it is a suburban microwave transmission system then it would be up on a mast like the mobile phone towers. Was he trying to sell anything /up sell?

For some easy to read stuff, you might want to have a look at:

For scientific analyses, have a look at Search Results | Mendeley
To give you an idea of the results, the conclusion from one of the studies was “The RF transmitters in wireless-equipped Smart Meters operate at similar power levels and in similar frequency ranges as many other digital communications devices in common use, and their exposure levels are very far below U.S. and international exposure limits.” (Foster, K. R., & Tell, R. A. (2013, August). Radiofrequency energy exposure from the trilliant smart meter. Health Physics. https://doi.org/10.1097/HP.0b013e31828f5805)

I hope that has allayed some of your fears in relation to smart meters and health.


There is mounting criticism of Smart Meters in Victoria where they have been mandatory for a while now. Given that the old analogue meters were safe, reliable and durable I can’t see any significant upside for the consumer to change over. It would be OK if smart meters just pinged a reading to the retailer once a month but they’re producing Electro Magnetic Radiation 24/7. People can choose how and when they use other devices like mobile phones. They can use ethernet cables to connect from their modem to their computers and other devices, and they can use landline telephone connections, all of which dramatically reduce harmful EMFs. But if they can’t say no to having a smart meter installed then their basic rights of choice in their own home are being denied. More information is available at Stop Smart Meters Australia: https://stopsmartmeters.com.au/2018/01/15/smart-meters-causing-tidal-wave-of-mysterious-illnesses-that-strike-people-in-their-own-homes/

Hi @coolaz, any device which uses electricity creates EMF. This includes all devices in the home and a home’s electricial wiring.

ARPANSA is the Australian authority in EMF and its information is sourced from leading world research on EMF, its health affects and risks.

In relation to smart meters, the ARPANSA website specifically addresses smart meter EMF. This information can be found here.

There is also general information on electricity and EMF here.

Low level EMF which can be generated by smart meters is no different to EMF generated from the use of common house hold appliances and devices, such as clock radios, electric blankets, mircowave ovens, hair dryers, air-conditioning etc etc. The only difference is each appliance/device, including smart meters will generate slightly different levels of low level EMF.


In addition to the EMF sources mentioned by phbriggs2000, there is the general EMF fog (from which there is no hiding in built-up areas) created by dozens of radio and TV stations, phone towers, NBN fixed wireless, communications towers- police, emergency service, ambulances, businesses etc, aircraft radar, military comms, including high power VLF transmissions to submarines, and the EMF generated by car ignition sparks, radios, MP3 players, indicator lights, windscreen wiper motors, electric window winders etc. The list of EMF radiation to which everyone is exposed to is very, very long.


And one must not forget natural forms of electric and magnetic radiation.


[quote=“coolaz, post:37, topic:15081”]
the old analogue meters were safe, reliable and durable I can’t see any significant upside for the consumer to change over [/quote]

We have moved on from the old technology because the new meters can read the electricity supplied by solar PV panels, so the energy suppliers can provide the necessary credits. I assume that improves things for a great number of people who get a reduction in their power bills.

On my quick search of the amount of transmissions of the smart meters, it appears there is no standard. Different implementations use different systems. Overall it seems to work like the Wi-Fi many people use in their home where there is a small amount of data transferred, but also some conferring between the Wi-Fi devices to ensure that everything is working.

If you have a mobile phone with you and on, it is regularly polling the nearby towers to ensure you have a connection. You don’t have any control over that short of turning your mobile phone off.

That page has extensive quotes from www.cancer.org, so I went there to see what What Are Smart Meters? | Can Smart Meters Cause Cancer? | American Cancer Society actually says about smart meters.

Here is what they say: “It would be nearly impossible to conduct a study to prove or disprove a link between living in a house with smart meters and cancer because people have so many sources of exposure to RF and the level of exposure from this source is so small. Because, the amount of RF radiation you could be exposed to from a smart meter is much less than what you could be exposed to from a cell phone, it is very unlikely that living in a house with a smart meter increases risk of cancer. The World Health Organization has promised to conduct a formal assessment of the risks from RF exposure but this report is not yet available.

The stop smart meters group appears to be trying to ferment fear without valid supporting evidence. Please note that under the heading of ‘Resources’ there is a complete absence of any scientific studies that support the claims being made. I note that they cross reference with other similar groups who also lack supporting evidence.

For your own benefit, I would suggest that you seek out scientific evidence based source material from reputable sites, rather than accept at face value the selective quotes provided by this group.

I hope that helps.


Everything @meltam posted has been posted on this forum before and great to have it front and centre once again. But it would be beneficial if posters with contrary views had a read of such existing information and discussion, and did their research rather than coming in with theories, fringe or otherwise, that have been either proven or debunked already and recycling them.

If they have new information it should be linked to that they feel it rebuts. Perhaps they, or we, might learn something additional, although information and evidence from authoritative sources will always be better than that from blogs or opinions or conspiracy sites that are filled with baseless or at least suspect claims.

A salient thread is at


To say that that “We have moved on from the old technology because the new meters can read the electricity supplied by solar PV panels, so the energy suppliers can provide the necessary credits.” is rubbish. Hundreds of thousands of households have solar power combined with old-style reliable analogue meters and the power companies credit the consumer each billing period.

Certainly mobile phones, modems etc are also hazardous but their intensity is in the 100,000 uW/m2 range whereas smart meters operate at ten times that strength. The point is that sensitised people can choose to drastically reduce their exposure to such devices by hard-wiring them or doing without. But if they’re forced to accept a smart meter on their house they can’t avoid the powerful radiation that’s running 24 hours a day. Some have had to flee their homes! The fact that thousands of people have complained about the severe health effects clearly indicates that there’s definitely a problem.