CHOICE membership

RF Radiation and cancer - smart meters, mobile phones and WiFI


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, so I went there to see what 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.


It sounds like a communicated disease to me, people only have it after they have read/heard about it. Exactly the same as “wind turbine syndrome”, which is promoted by those who prefer polluting fossil fuelled power instead of clean renewable power.

A smart meter say 5 metres away from a person, even if it is your claimed 10X more power, its still many, many orders of magnitude less intense relative to a mobile phone next to your ear. The intensity will be close to an inverse cube law, as the electromagnetic signal is likely to radiate reasonably uniformly, so a phone at 1cm from your head vs a smart meter at 5m distance will be billions of times more intense. It truly is astonishing that peoples’ heads dont explode when they use a mobile phone! :astonished:

I’m pretty sure you’ll find there there aren’t “hundreds of thousands” of solar installations using the old spinning disk analogue meters. There may be a few operating like that, probably illegally (since they are not designed to spin backwards), but the meters are changed to digitial meters for all new PV system installations.


Where I am, and anywhere that the power company buys power back at a different rate to that which they sell it, smart meters are required, by definition - a spinning disc meter will do an approximation of net power use and associated billing in a tariff equity situation, but as @gordon pointed out they weren’t designed for that purpose. In my case a smart meter is required by law, and it would be fairly obvious you had an unapproved setup as accounts staying in credit when installing solar is very common - they’d be on it like a flash (but a safe, non-ionising, non-cancer causing flash).

Two points - peer reviewed scientific study reference please, and perhaps a new topic for this as it is a clearly separate issue to using a smart meter to save energy and/or money.


Hi @coolaz. The Arpansa report: "ARPANSA Preliminary Measurements of Radiofrequency
Transmissions from a Mesh Radio Smart Meter
’ states:

The radiofrequency electromagnetic energy transmitted in a single pulse from the smart meter is similar to that measured from a car remote unlocking fob and much less than measured from a single GSM SMS transmission.

This is from measurements carried out by Arpansa and not unverified information from suspect and controversial internet sites.

Here is the Victorian Government website which also provides additional information. I expect that critics of smart meters will dismiss this information, stating that the presented information’s purpose is to validate the Victorian government position and decision in relation to adoption of smart meters in Victoria. However, the information presented in this website is consistent with that of many independent and testing agencies, such as Arpansa.

There are other papers such as that by EMC, GSMA and ENA. It is worth noting that the EMC report is often quoted by others (inc. VIC government and ENA) as being valid and independent.

If one looks at the Arpansa information, the level of emf inside the home is possibly 10x less than other common appliances. Even measured outside next to the smart meter, the levels are still less than a baby monitor (which parents often place in a baby’s bedroom and operate 24 hours per day) or a mobile phone that continuously pings/communicates with nearby towers to establish a communication link.


How do you know there are thousands of people? Who counted? How? Tell us so we look at the results too. If there are thousands and the effects are severe it should not be hard to observe.

Assuming for the point of discussion there are in fact thousands of people complaining then that does indicate something is going on. It may be that those people have suffered some actual harm. It may also be that they believe they suffer harm but have not. There are many cases of mass beliefs where no objective evidence can be found to support the reality of the belief.

To determine what is happening requires independent evidence and stories on the internet, even if well-intentioned, don’t qualify.


From the World Health Organisation, to help keep things in perspective


It is outrageous that politicians are turning into dictators. What happens to personal rights, and “authorities as servants of the people”? Smart meters are not for everybody. There’s a lot of research proving they can be harmful for vulnerable groups as elderly, people with health issues such as brain tumors, babies and so on. It has to be a personal choice to install it or not. It has to be at least an opt-out option!

NSW smart meters

That is quite a claim @tanya. Would you post links to some of that research? Unlike conspiracy and fringe sites this one is likely to be highly credible.

This one from the US puts a bit of perspective on ti.

The bottom line from the cancer society is that if one is worried about smart meters there are many more sources of EMF in modern life you need to turn off and address well ahead of the meters…

I do see a LOT of conspiracy sites pretending to be ‘defenders of the people’ making accusations, assertions, and claims without rigorous evidence, just anecdotal stories mixed with unsubstantiated claims and statements.


The problem I see with this movement is picking out smart meters as culprits.

I cannot see how a meter that communicates very briefly with the mobile network a few times a day, that is usually away from living areas or outside the house, can be so much worse than using your phone for hours each day pushed on to your head or working all day in rooms filled with WiFi signals or a whole lot of other ways we are exposed to EM radiation today.

Until I get a good answer to that question this problem goes into the same category as chemtrails and black helicopters that form the network of government surveillance and control. These are symptoms of public feelings of distrust in government not evidence that the physical problem exist.


Quite often when there is new technologies or a substantial changes to the ways things are previously are done, there are those within the community which for some reason or other, oppose this change.

To try and gain support for their objections, they often look for emotive reasons which are likely to encourage others to also support their cause.

Unfortunately, many of the emotive reasons are based on beliefs or pseudoscience and not on the best available facts. The best available facts being evidence and opinions of known experts or world leaders in the technical fields in question.

Information from reliable sources such as governments, professional industry associations or other organisations (such as the United Nations, university research centres or collaborative bodies) will base conclusions on science, namely thorough research and best available evidence. They ignore the pseudoscience and conspiracy theories are they have no scientific merit and often are disseminated to confuse those who may have questions about the issue at hand.

When reviewing available information, it is important to see who authored the presented information, their qualifications and professional capability, and their agenda. This often provides background to the likely reliability of the information presented.


OT but. Our governments often thumb their noses at science and evidence to suit their ideology, donors and power base. However good governments, when they happen, diligently make decisions based on unbiased evidence. Consider the NBN as a topical example of flawed decision making. Regardless of governmental proclamations and decisions, government agencies that are allowed to remain unpoliticised (such as ARPANSA) are usually as straight as it gets.


Would it also be considered a dictatorship if the government forced its citizens to wear seatbelts when driving? Implementing more efficient technology that has no side-effects is not a dictatorship, it’s just smart - like wearing your seatbelt.

I feel like an opt-out option would be bad with the seatbelt example, possibly receiving a fine or death. Simply opting out of more efficient and harmless technology also has ramifications. Maybe those who want to use the out-dated technology can pay the hundreds of dollars required to fund regular call-outs and maintenance of the often damaged meters. Those who accept the evidence behind smart meter safety should not have to pay for your distrust of whatever it is you distrust.


A chat with a recent new local has left me puzzled. Having installed solar PV they indicated they had refused to have a smart meter installed. Having moved from NSW it seemed they wanted a meter like they had with solar over the border.

Six months on they have no new meter, but now see a problem in that they are not getting any feedin credits!

Is there a different reason for not wanting a smart meter?

It was suggested that early PV installs simply metered the differential at each customer. Billing or credit was based on this difference independent of actual export or supply from grid?


Research including that carried out at The University of Wollongong is suggesting a new explanation for why some of us may be blaming EMR for illness.

It’s well known from marketing science that the mind can be tricked, moods altered, behaviours modified by subtle suggestion and environmental clues. Research through double blind tests has demonstrated how some of us are wired can induce symptoms without any physical causation.

From the ABC report briefly:

It was the knowledge of being exposed, rather than the exposure itself, that resulted in our participants feeling ill. Further studies with similar designs have backed up this research.

So what role does the media play in all this?
Misinformation and alarmist coverage understandably fuel community concerns, leading some people to believe that they are sensitive.

This is a powerful example of the nocebo effect in action, and demonstrates the potential harmfulness of misinformation,…

Our minds constantly search for patterns and explanations for the world around us. But when misinformation clouds our judgement, it can have detrimental effects on our health.

Off topic a little but on the same science, the same phenomenon may be more overtly evident in every day life in the media and politics, where reasoned logical argument is over ridden by the use of emotional triggers to change how we feel and move opinion. Fear of …? Something advertisers and marketers have used for centuries.


A good illustration of the old FUD principle at work…

Works well in politics, eg, Mediscare.


Many of the reported symptoms of electromagnetic hypersensitivity (and wind turbine ‘infrasound’ hypersensitivity) appear to be similar to symptoms of anxiety/worry which is either remarkable or coincidental.

Possibly the worry/anxiousness of the these technologies is created from reading or hearing about uncollaborated anecdotal reports/personal opinions in media and/or through online blogs?


This article appears to demonstrate similarly imagined problems.