Health Information

Advanced two-way digital meters use low-energy radio frequency waves to send energy-use information to the PUD through a secure wireless network. Radio frequency is a form of electromagnetic energy that moves through the space around us. It is used with many everyday devices such as microwaves, baby monitors, and WiFi routers. Advanced meters result in much lower levels of radio frequency exposure than these common household electric devices. In fact, exposure levels are many times lower than with a cell phone held to the ear.

In 2017, we held a series of community meetings to talk to people about advanced meters.  While most participants supported the advanced meters, there were some questions and concerns centered around radio frequency (RF) and electro-magnetic fields (EMF) and the potential these energy fields have to cause cancer or other health impacts. One section of our website is dedicated to this discussion, but more importantly, here is specific information from the American Cancer Society.

In part, the Cancer Society says:  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.

Another concern we heard was the potential for smart meters to interfere with pacemakers, here is what the Cancer Society website went on to say: One concern expressed is that the RF waves produced by smart meters might interfere with electronic medical devices such as a heart pacemaker. A study that examined the effect of smart meters on pacemakers and implantable defibrillators found that the smart meters did not interfere with these devices.

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EPRI Electric and Magnetic Fields Research

Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) exist wherever electricity is present. Electric power lines and substations, electrical wiring, household appliances, and electrical equipment all produce EMF. EMF also occur naturally in the environment.

During the last 35 years, research at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and elsewhere has investigated whether EMF associated with electricity can cause biologic changes or affect health. Hundreds of studies have been reviewed in health risk evaluations by the World Health Organization and other national and international organizations concerned with public health.

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