Smart meters pose health, fire hazards

To the editor:

Digital and ?smart? gadgets are all the rage, but after two family cell-phone-related cancers, one of them fatal, we use them with restraint. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) from non-ionizing radiation-emitting devices, such as ?smart? meters, cell phones, and wi-fi, are a class 2B possible cancer causing agent in the same category as lead, DDT, and chloroform.

Studies show that RF and EMF exposure causes damage and breaks in DNA. Children, pregnant women, seniors, cardiac patients, etc., are particularly at risk, but this technology can harm anyone. Neither of our relatives was in any risk category.

Now as seniors, along with over 40 percent of Fairfield?s population, we?re definitely in a risk category. We take precautions using phones and wi-fi, but have no way to protect ourselves from Alliant?s proposed smart or digital meters. Readings taken on Alliant smart meters in Wisconsin show they pulse radiation at known health-damaging levels, several times a minute. Digital meters entail chronic exposure to the hazards of dirty energy. We fear that either option will damage our health and shorten our lives.

Plus, smart meters present alarming fire safety concerns. The Canadian province of Saskatchewan sued to reclaim their analog meters largely because of the outbreak of fires that accompanied their utility?s smart meter roll-out. Robert Palma, a local electrical engineer with extensive experience in industrial research and development, says it is his opinion that smart meters contain poorly conceived remote control switches that constitute ?fires waiting to happen.? The measures that Alliant says have been taken to keep the meters from overheating fail to address the full scope of smart meter fire hazard.

Our time-tested analog meters are safe and reliable, lasting 30-40 years and costing less to replace than smart meters, which last only 5-7 years. Smart meters eliminate meter reading jobs but increase replacement/maintenance costs, and haven?t lowered customers? bills. Energy companies use them to collect usage data, which many customers feel is invasive of privacy, and which experts fear could be easily hacked, creating a veritable nightmare of homeland security risk.

The sobering health, fire safety, privacy and security risks that accompany Alliant?s smart meter roll-out should be thoughtfully reconsidered. We don?t have to let this happen to us. If a majority of customers tell the Iowa Utilities Board we want to keep our analog meters, they?ll support us. Because so many problems remain dangerously unresolved regarding smart and digital meter technology, we hope and pray that every Fairfield citizen will muster up the savvy and grit to buck this very unwise trend: Please, let?s convey a sane and sensible community-wide ?no!? to Alliant?s smart meter roll-out.

Fairfield Safe Meter volunteers are making this easy to do: Simply fill out, sign, and submit an Iowa Utilities Board complaint form. Look for their displays and drop boxes at HyVee, Everybody?s, and Frontline Graphics, or visit Robert Palma?s website, www.rfreduce.com/iub where you can submit the same form online.


- Fred and Betty Krueger, Fairfield