Local Doctors Voice Strong Health Concerns about Smart Meters

“There is definitely cause for concern”
— Dr. Magili Chapman Quinn

“I believe it is crucial to err on the side of caution”
Dr. Karen Emery

Citing the lack of studies on smart meters and international debate over health effects of wireless radiation, several Maine physicians are calling for an immediate moratorium on installation of any new smart meter equipment. They are also advocating for their patients’ right to choose whether to expose their families to the radiofrequency radiation emitted by smart meters.

While a report issued by Dr. Dora Mills of the Maine Centers for Disease Control cites inconclusive science as justification for installing smart meters, many concerned local doctors feel that is reason to halt installation.

“If you think about it in terms of a court of law, there is at least a reasonable doubt about the safety of smart meters,” says Dr. Magili Chapman Quinn, DO, who practices Osteopathic Family medicine in Falmouth and Portland.

“There is definitely cause for concern, especially given that no health studies have been conducted on smart meters, and there are reports of health effects in other parts of the country where the meters have been installed,” says Dr. Quinn. “Those are red flags.”

In her report, Dr. Mills cites information from several international agencies on the health effects of wireless radiation (primarily addressing cell phone radiation since there are no health studies on smart meters), but the majority of sources cited in Dr. Mills’ report (including the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health) state the need for further research and more data based on incomplete or inconclusive science.

In fact, Dr. Mills’ own report (p.65) includes this statement from the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion:

“Research on potential health effects from exposure to RF energy is an active field of investigation. Not surprisingly, there is inconsistency and in some cases conflict between the results of individual studies. Given this inconsistency, it is possible to select the results of individual research studies in support of a variety of opinions; which may range from no risk of health effects on the one hand, to a clear need to reduce current exposure limits on the other.”

Falmouth pediatrician Karen Emery, MD echoes the call for a precautionary approach based on inconclusive science.

“I believe it is crucial to err on the side of caution with high-frequency wireless technology that forces exposure to multiple new layers of radiofrequency radiation, especially since the U.S. allows products on the market until they are proven harmful,” says Dr. Emery.

“I don’t believe we should install smart meters and wait for the science to conclusively show no risk, because by then it will be too late,” Dr. Emery says. “We owe it to our children and future generations to make sure this technology will not be causing ill effects prior to installing it. As the Hippocratic oath states, ‘First, do no harm.’”

In her report, Dr. Mills states, “The Maine CDC staff involved with this review have not spent their entire careers nor work fulltime in the topic area of health effects of RF radiation.”

Coincidentally, internationally known Ph.D. scientists who have spent their entire careers studying the health effects of RF radiation are holding a forum next week in California on the growing body of evidence on biological harm from wireless radiation, including smart meters. Here’s a partial list of panelists:

  • Dr. Joel Moskowitz, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
  • Dr. Sam Milham, M.D., M.P.H., Washington State Dept. of Health, (retired)
  • Dr. David Carpenter, M.D., Dir. of the Institute for Health and the Environment and former Dean, School of Public Health, State University of New York
  • Dr. Magda Havas, Ph.D., Trent University
  • Dr. Martin Blank, Ph.D., Columbia University, Dept. of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, who says, “DNA, our precious genetic material, is particularly sensitive to electromagnetic fields. If we are to protect our genetic code, it is critical that we take steps as a society to protect DNA from damage.”

In addition to protecting people from potential long-term health effects, local doctors like Amy Kustra Barksdale, M.D., are concerned about their patients who are already sensitive to wireless radiation and experience symptoms like migraines, nausea and dizziness.

“For these patients it is medically imperative that they not have any new sources of measurable wireless radiation introduced on or near their homes, as this would adversely impact their short- and long-term health,” Dr. Kustra Barksdale says. “Some patients need their homes as safe havens, to recover from the wireless exposures they encounter throughout the course of their regular workday.”

Each smart meter transmits up to 100 times per day and night, with a peak transmission power ten times that of a wireless router and thirty times the power output of a typical Wi-fi enabled laptop computer.

Local doctors point out that some patients who are particularly sensitive to wireless signals need to maintain Wi-fi-free homes in order to maintain their health.

“For these patients, the only prescription is avoidance of these wireless signals in their own homes,” Dr. Kustra Barksdale says.

In her smart meters report, Dr. Mills makes it clear that she is not weighing in on whether people should have a choice about having them installed on their homes.

Also in her report, Dr. Mills says the President’s Cancer Panel 2008-2009 report does not indicate the need for the precautionary principle. However, the President’s Cancer Panel section Dr. Mills includes in this report states (p.68):

“Sharp controversy exists in the scientific community as to possible adverse health effects from exposure to low frequency electromagnetic energy. The use of cell phones and other wireless technology is of great concern.”



One Response

  1. […] The Fight to Protect Health, Safety and Security Posted on November 17, 2010 by Doug Cook “There is definitely cause for concern” — Dr. Magili Chapman Quinn “I believe it is crucial to err on the side of caution” — Dr. […]

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