smart meter

Electro-pollution from smart meters

Organic NZ Magazine: Sept/Oct 2012
Section: Health and food
Author: Paul Waddell

Electro-pollution from smart meters

Dangerously high levels recorded

By Paul Waddell

smart meter
A spectrum analyser can measure the strength of signals emitted by smart meters

For over 20 years I have been interested in the effects of electro-pollution, mostly about how it affected me and my family. About a year ago I decided to get more serious about this, and six months ago I completed a block course on EMF testing at an Australian Building Biology College and have been offering a testing and remediation service to people here in New Zealand since then.

I have often tried to measure the output from a customer’s smart meter but during a site visit there just isn’t the time to accomplish this, as it sometimes requires you to stand there for a long time between pulses. When a friend, Bill, called and asked if could help him measure the three smart meters at his house, I was very keen to try to find out what was really being transmitted from these devices that, unless we try to stop them, will in the next two years be fitted to virtually every house in our land.

Bill is electro-sensitive and has been trying to shield himself from these meters by covering the inside wall and the outside of the meter box with tin foil (great care must be taken if trying this, preferably with the aid of an electrician). Bill also has the top-of-the-line testing equipment from Gigahertz Solutions. With his equipment we could measure a very strong, short duration pulse at an average of 15 minute intervals, but his tester was unable to make a reading as it went beyond the scale of the instrument, which made this a reading over 20,000 µW/m² (microwatts per square metre).

To help understand how strong this reading is, the Building Biology Guidelines for sleeping areas has 10 µW/m² as a slight concern and greater than 1,000 µW/m² as extreme concern.

Bill’s meter is a type that measures the total peak reading but not the frequency of the signal. Fortunately, I have a different type of meter called a spectrum analyser which is capable of much higher readings and of recording the frequency. Within half an hour of trying the spectrum analyser we had seen a number of pulses and the final reading we took was a succession of eight pulses one after the other. We were absolutely stunned by the extremely high level of this reading: 1,360,000 µW/m².

This tells us two very important pieces of information, firstly that the power companies are not telling us the full story about how many times a day these meters transmit. Because they are part of a mesh network they can possibly be receiving and transmitting very frequently all day and night to transfer data from other smart meters that may not have such a good connection back to the power company, not the once or twice a day that they claim.

Secondly, the very high level of power in this signal, dangerously high in my opinion, is also far higher than they claim, and massively higher than any cellphone tower that I have measured. My understanding is that they use an average reading over time to fool people into believing that the reading is very low when it is actually extremely high for a very short duration.

Not only do these smart meters create microwave pollution, but they can also introduce high frequency voltage spike and harmonics (dirty electricity) into the house which is another form of dangerous electro-pollution.

These smart meters are a real hazard and I encourage you all to either strenuously avoid them if you don’t have one yet, or contact your power company and request its removal for a non-transmitting meter or change power companies to one that will.

The next step for Bill and me is to set up the equipment on a sunny day (lots of rain lately in Auckland) and data log the smart meters for a day or more to see what is happening over a longer time period. We’ll let you know.


Paul Waddell has a certificate in EMF Testing from the Australian College of Environmental Studies and operates an electro-pollution testing consultancy called SafeSpace in Auckland. The links page of his website offers information and tips for making your home safer.