Smart meters 3: are they dangerous for our health?

The third chapter of our saga on smart meters leads us on a particularly sensitive ground: the health of the consumers. Incidentally, the smart meters have awakened in many countries, a longstanding controversy, hardly fed for decades by the radio ham community: the harmful nature and disturbing electromagnetic waves generated by power line.

I was able to read according to articles:

” The CPL G3 is similar to the WIFI and is fatal for the health “, ” the CPL G3 uses the frequency band 63 – 95MHz “, ” the smart meters make us live in a bath of carcinogenic waves “, ” the smart meters irradiate the passers-by on pavements “, ” the data sent on the electric current irradiate and put in danger the inhabitants “.

First of all, some facts:

– There are many PLC (PowerLine Carrier) technologies as there are various radio technologies. It does not come to the idea of confusing bluetooth and GSM. It is the same for PLC: there are several families of technologies corresponding to different uses and performances. They are covered by different standards. PLC  used by the meters are low frequency PLC using in Europe a part of the band 3-148.5 kHz or 3-490kHz; the PLC technology used by telecom operators to connect a PC or a TV with an internet box are high-frequency PLC using the 2-50MHz band. The disturbances related to various technologies are necessarily different.

– Recent measurements show that electromagnetic emissions from low frequency PLC are comparable to those issued by some devices of our everyday life (microwave, vacuum cleaners) but lower than the disturbances from high frequency PLC (PLC adapters provided by telecom operators)

– Yes, these disturbances are measurable and are generally measured at distances of 30 to 50cm of electrical cable; values measured at more than 1 meter distance are very low.

– I am not aware of studies showing health risks attached to the low frequency PLC. But doubt may persist …

With these findings, it seems important to structure our perception of the subject to avoid too rapid amalgams.

– It seems healthy to want to prevent health risks: as such, it is probably desirable to improve our understanding of the impact of electromagnetic waves on our health and that, whatever their origin. Do not let us be fooled: significant lobbies have a strong to maintain our ignorance of the subject and the one of the low frequency PLC industry is not the most virulent!

– It seems to me healthier in this case, to target in priority applications generating the most significant risks. In this case, I doubt that we have to primarily target the low frequency PLC technology.

Until more accurate knowledge allowing a more objective approach, it is useful to remember that we ask fewer questions when we perceive a high value to the emissive applications of electromagnetic waves: in fact, who challenges microwave ovens, refrigerators, internet boxes or cell phones?

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