This Report is prepared in support of open discussion on radiofrequency microwave radiation levels (RF radiation levels) that are produced by wireless electric meters (i.e., smart meters) in California. There has been virtually no information made available to the public, nor to decision-makers on RF radiation levels. Significant unanswered questions still exist about what levels of radiofrequency microwave radiation will be produced by these meters.
This question has very important consequences for public health and welfare, because the public may be subjected to exposures at levels that either violate federal safety limits, or face chronic exposure levels that have already been associated with adverse health impacts, or both.
This Report uses computer modeling to predict power density levels that may be present where smart meters are in operation. The methodology used in this assessment is consistent with FCC OET 65 equations for prediction of RF power density levels. Many scenarios are modeled, to bracket the range of reasonably predictable RF exposures in typical living conditions. Many variables must be considered (installation very close to occupied space, how many meters are installed on a single wall, how frequently they will transmit an RF pulse, how powerful the RF radiation pulses will be, how far inside a home they will penetrate and at what intensities, how much ‘piggybacking’ of RF signals will occur from neighboring wireless meters, reflections that may increase RF levels, and what amount of RF wireless exposure may already be present beforehand, etc.)
To date, California’s electric utilities have told the California Public Utilities Commission only that they will comply with applicable federal safety limits. However, there are substantial discrepancies in what the FCC compliance testing says is needed for wireless meters to comply with their safety limits, and the manner in which many meters are being installed and are operating.
People may use this assessment to further their knowledge about wireless meters, using the tables that predict RF radiation levels, the tables that highlight potential violations of safety limits, and the health study-related tables showing RF radiation levels reported to pose health impacts. Although the authors expect there will be differences of opinion about the content of this report, we believe it will provide a basis for more educated decision-making and full disclosure of impacts.
The Report is not intended to be a substitute for disclosure of RF radiation levels by the CPUC and the electric utilities it regulates. They are responsible to the public to provide reliable and comprehensive information on impacts from wireless meters.