Questions Remain Unanswered Regarding Potential Health Effects Related to Smart Grid Technologies

Robert Daniel 2 years ago 0

In June and July of 2011, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) hosted two separate workshops related to the possible health effects associated with radiofrequency (RF) emissions from smart grid technologies. In December 2011, EPRI published a report summarizing the results and findings from those workshops [1].


The first workshop on “technology” identified numerous electromagnetic field (EMF) emission sources from smart grid-related components that might cause health effects. Supposedly, EPRI would follow-up and study these possible sources and “inform the public about emissions associated with emerging smart grid technologies.” I conclude that this informing of the public has not yet happened.

A second workshop on “health effects” reviewed the science available in 2011 regarding EMF-related health effects and identified “critical gaps and research needs” for smart grid technologies. Regarding this workshop, I am not aware of progress being made in completing the identified research other than periodic field testing of wireless smart meters to ensure that emission rates comply with outdated Federal exposure guidelines.

After reviewing the summary information from the EPRI workshops in 2011, I am left with two impressions that are quite disturbing:

  • With the health issues that exist related to smart grid technologies, how could the smart grid industry continue to move forward with deployments even though there are acknowledged “critical gaps and research needs”?
  • In many instances, members of the public are mocked as subscribing to conspiracy theories when expressing health concerns over smart meters. How can smart grid industry officials and proponents so readily dismiss public concerns and health complaints based upon the science summarized in the EPRI report that would tend to substantiate those concerns and complaints as well-founded and legitimate?