A study conducted by the Arizona Department of Health Services concludes that smart meters pose no health hazard. The Arizona Corporation Commission called for the year-long review in response to some customers’ concern about the safety of smart meters’ pulsed transmissions.
Smart meters transmit usage information via radio waves directly to the utility at regular intervals. Arizona utilities have increasingly adopted the use of smart meters over the past few years.
As part of the study, workers from the Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency traveled the state to measure the radio waves transmitted by the meters at various locations, as well as reviewing studies and standards on smart meter radiation from other states and countries. The study concludes that “smart meters’ transmissions have such low power, and are so intermittent and so short— the transmissions rarely occur more than once an hour and last for only a split-second—that they fall well below even the most stringent safety levels for radio frequency (RF) radiation.
The smart meter transmissions are weaker and much shorter in duration than the signals given off by cell phones, which people typically place against their heads for long periods of time. According to the report: “When compared to mobile phones, smart meters represent lower RF exposure sources because of the attenuation factor of the building structure (for example, walls), and the distance from the radiation signal source (i.e., location of the smart meters vs. mobile phones in relation to the human body).”
Study after study have refuted claims by some smart meter opponents that the devices meters disrupt sleep patterns and cause a variety of health problems, from headaches to cancer.
Other consumers worry that smart meters can spy on them by providing information on which appliances are in use or what TV shows are being watched. However, while smart meters can detect power usage, they cannot determine what that power is being used for.