Monthly Archives: November 2010

Cindy Sage Debunks 'Smart' Meter Propaganda

Click here for a DVD of Cindy Sage’s interview on the BioInitiative Report, which she co-edited.

Comments by Cindy Sage,
Sage Associates
November 16, 2010
on the article:
‘No Health Threat From Smart Meters’
Klaus Bender. PE
Director of Standards & Engineering
Utilities Telecom Council

In this article, we defined the concept of the smart grid and the benefits to society. We also highlighted the importance of radio networks to the successful deployment of the smart grid. We discuss the important concepts of RF energy and the impact on humans. Specifically, there is no demonstrated longterm impact of low level non ionizing energy on humans.

[Note: Italicized text quoted from Mr. Bender’s statement for UTC.]
The author ignores decades of published scientific work that delineates bioeffects and adverse health effects due to long-term, low-intensity ELF and RF exposures. This statement that there is no demonstrated impact is false and unsupportable.

Ionizing energy, beginning with the ultraviolet component of sunlight, has been demonstrated to have long term impact, but the frequencies citing in this report are hundreds of orders of magnitude below that of sunlight. Therefore, this shows that the often quoted sources in the media expressing concern about the RF safety from smart meters are shown to be based on faulty logic, or faulty “facts” and misrepresentations.

Bender’s assertion that only ionizing radiation has adverse effects on humans shows either an intention to mislead, or gross ignorance of the scientific literature and scientific controversy over the inadequacy of existing FCC and ICNIRP public safety limits for non-ionizing radiation. Further it ignores scientific evidence that anyone in a position of leadership should take into account before issuing industry-position articles.

We show that a specific analysis of the component used in this smart grid deployment are significantly below general population MPE and note, again, that FCC limits for MPE of general population are already at least 50 times lower than levels that can cause tissue heating.

This statement justifies smart meter exposures on the basis of clearly outdated and inadequate FCC public safety limits. Tissue heating is of no relevance. Health harm from chronic, low-intensity exposure to smart meters in the manner installed and operated in hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of residences would be due to nonthermal (low-intensity) exposures that are chronic – not acute exposures that are very short term. Bender also ignores the evidence that FCC MPEs for localized exposure (peak exposure) are also likely violated since there is no adequate way to mandate separation distances for the public.

An examination of a majority of smart meters being deployed today will show these devices use low power levels associated with unlicensed devices, on the equivalent magnitude as the devices that provide WiFi connectivity in the home. Millions of laptop computers are used in homes every day that transmit at levels similar to the smart meter and the transmitters from these devices are always “on”.

Exactly the point. The public already has significant exposures to RF/MW, from other sources. The cumulative exposure by adding on mandatory, smart meter exposures may place people over the exising FCC limits (which are inadequate) even in their own homes.

Some utilities are deploying meter reading systems that use commercial wireless providers to gather data. These meters have the same radio components as cell phones, the same phone consumers raise to their head every day.

This thinking highlights how industry is oblivious to the obvious. Cell phone exposures, to which Bender compares smart meter emissions, are already showing a doubling of risk for malignant brain tumors at only 10 years and longer ipsilateral use, in adults and a five-fold increased risk for young people. Surely, a comparison of smart meter emissions to cell phone use is not reassuring. And, the combined exposures are even more likely to be harmful to health.

So when confronted with complaints that say smart meters cause a variety of health effects, ask the complainant to produce the science to support the claim. The conversation should end shortly thereafter.

The author is cheerfully referred to the ‘classroom corner’ to read and report back on the references listed below.

Who is UTC?
From their website at:
“The Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) is a global trade association dedicated to creating a favorable business, regulatory, and technological environment for companies that own, manage, or provide critical telecommunications systems in support of their core business.
Founded in 1948 to advocate for the allocation of additional radio spectrum for power utilities, UTC has evolved into a dynamic organization that represents electric, gas, and water utilities; natural gas pipelines; critical infrastructure companies; and other industry stakeholders.”

What do you expect? This rebuttal by Bender on behalf of an industry trade group should be considered in light of UTCs stated mission “to create a favorable business, regulatory and technological environment for the telecom industry”.– to promote the industry rather than to provide reliable, independent assessment of health problems associated with the industry’s products.

Required Reading for Mr. Bender
Click here to download the PDF of this article including the full list of the hundreds of studies in Mr. Bender’s Required Reading Assignment.


Tragedy of the Commons Revisited: The High Tech-High Risk Wireless World
Cindy Sage, MA, Sage Associates, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
Reviews on Environmental Health, Volume 25, No. 4, 2010, pp 319-324
Freund Publishing House Ltd.

The October-December 2010 issue of Reviews on Environmental Health will carry this article by Cindy Sage, MA, Sage Associates, and co-editor of the BioInitiative Report. It is a perspective on the need to recognize “the air as commons”. It addresses our diminishing capacity to deploy unlimited radiofrequency and microwave radiation burden into the environment. What is ‘the wireless commons’? Who owns it? Who is monitoring it’s carrying capacity, and who is preventing overuse with respect to public health and environmental impacts?


Tragedy of the Commons Revisited: The New Wireless Commons
In 1968, Garrett Hardin, an eminent population ecologist from Santa Barbara, CA published an article in Science titled ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ (1). It was immediately hailed as a landmark piece of thinking. It reshaped prevailing views about our place in the ecological network of the planet. It was pivotal in defining how pursuit of our individual actions to maximize self-interest will, across populations all doing the same thing, result in diminished and overused environmental resources.

Hardin focused our attention like never before on three things. Resources are finite. The actions of each of us, acting in our own self-interest, collectively degrades and depletes them over the long-term. And, the inevitable result is diminished quality of life. He saw that where individuals seek to maximize their own use of finite resources at the expense of the common good (i.e. the commons) it’s at the expense of everyone’s ultimate self-interest to do so.

Before sustainability was a even buzzword, Hardin created a way of seeing the world that emphasized how individuals must learn to recognize and to act with more in mind than squeezing one more cow onto the common pasture. He gave us new ways to think about how we might better manage our resources in the face of new technologies. He was not a believer in the technological fix. Those lessons are highly relevant today.

‘The Air as Commons’ and Wireless Technologies

Where wireless is concerned, the new ‘commons’ is the air all around us. The air is an essential part of our common heritage. Decades of traditional air pollution control efforts have validated the need to protect this ‘commons of the air’ from chemical and particulate contaminants (2). Today, the new threat is emissions from wireless technologies.

All wireless technologies impact this ‘commons’ and every one adds to the burden of radiofrequency and microwave radiation that is transmitted through the air, into buildings and into all living things. Wireless transmissions drive electromagnetic energy through our air, into and through virtually all indoor and outdoor living environments. The protective air cushion around our planet holds breathable air, buffers us from space radiation, and supports and sustains life in tandem with the natural electromagnetic signature of the earth itself. We are changing this ‘commons of the air’ in major ways. Wireless signals from broadcast and communications technologies are crowding out and overpowering the natural background. The ‘commons of the air’ is being altered in unprecedented ways that have enormous consequences for life on earth.

Who owns the the new ‘commons’? Who should be allowed to pollute it? What are the limits? On what basis should carrying capacity be defined? Who defines the limits? Do these limits conserve the resource for the future? Do they protect public health and welfare, and the health and well-being of other living things on earth? Who bears the burden of proof of safety or of harm? How should the ‘new commons’ be managed for the greater good? Do we know enough to act responsibly? Who decides? When should limits be placed on utilization?

Societies must now define carrying capacity for chronic electromagnetic and wireless exposures. Taking into account there is large individual variability to withstand it, new limits must conserve and sustain the ‘commons of the air’ so that is sustainable for all – and this includes sensitive populations, the young, the elderly, and those with existing sensitivity.

Correspondence: Cindy Sage, MA, Sage Associates, Santa Barbara, CA USA

PG&E Spook Outed – 'Smart' Meter Spy Outsmarted

PG&E’s peeping ‘Ralph’ resigns [ Pacific Sun ]

PG&E exec who snooped on SmartMeter foes resigns [ SJ Mercury News ]

PG&E suspends exec who used fake name to infiltrate SmartMeter Foes [ SJ Mercury News ]

PG&E exec admits snooping on SmartMeter critics
[ ABC-TV story ]

PG&E SmartMeter exec tries to infiltrate activists [SF Chronicle story ]

Senior PG&E director admits snooping on Smart Meter critics [San Jose Mercury News story]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Joshua Hart, Stop Smart Meters!
November 8th 2010
Stop Smart Meters!

William Devereaux Infiltrated Health Advocacy Group in Order to Gather Intelligence

San Francisco- William Devereaux, Senior Director of Pacific Gas and Electric’s ‘Smart’ Meter program has been caught falsifying his identity in a covert attempt to access information from a group of citizens opposing the new meters. The group has been identifying and collecting evidence of widespread health problems, meter inaccuracies, electrical interference and customer information privacy problems caused by PG&E’s wireless ‘Smart’ Meters.

Devereaux, who has testified to numerous local governments throughout California and made claims about the meters’ safety and accuracy, has been using a fake name on other activist listservs for months. This may explain how PG&E contractors Wellington Energy knew to evacuate their installation yard in Rohnert Park before a protest planned by neighborhood groups on October 28th. But on Thursday, November 4, Devereaux pushed his luck and was caught lying about his own identity and hiding his position with PG&E. Apparently assuming that his name would be hidden, Devereaux signed his e-mail to Sandi Maurer, moderator of the EMF Safety Coalition, “Ralph.” However, his e-mail program revealed the sender’s true identity:

On Nov 4, 2010, at 3:23 PM, William Devereaux wrote:
> Hi Sandi,
> Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I’ve been travelling a lot. I live in Oakland where Smart >meters have been sweeping across town and wanted to learn more about them and join the conversation to >see what I can do to help out here.
> Thanks,
> Ralph

“This is not a single indiscretion, but rather typical of the false information that PG&E has publicized, fabricating advantages for customers.” said Ellen Marks of the Environmental Health Trust. “Contrary to PG&E claims, we will face significantly increased utility bills, collection of private data revealing information about events occurring inside our home, and exposure to powerful spikes of microwave radiation 24 hours a day through our brains and bodies.”

The deception by one of PG&E’s top officials is only the latest in a series of unethical tactics used to force ‘Smart’ Meters on an increasingly skeptical public. PG&E has been ripping off ‘do not install signs’ on meters, and threatening to cut off the gas and electricity supply to elderly residents of Santa Rosa- even as winter approaches- unless they accept a ‘Smart’ Meter. The company has also censored public comments on its Facebook page, deleting references to peer-reviewed scientific studies showing health damage from RadioFrequency (RF) radiation at levels far below those from the ‘Smart’ Meter.

PG&E’s meter program represents the largest system technology roll out in the history of California, yet they have not even done a basic Environmental Impact Report, which could have caught the massive violations of health, privacy invasion and increased costs to customers. The meters have been plagued with problems since the beginning, starting with widespread reports of inflated bills, privacy violations, electrical interference and reports of health issues from residents who have received the new meters. ‘Smart’ Meters use microwave radiation (similar to a cell phone) to transmit customer data back to the utility, and are being installed just as the public learns of evidence that brain tumors and other health damage can be traced to similar wireless devices. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) which sanctioned PG&E’s $2.2 billion program to install 10 million new meters throughout California at the expense of ratepayers, has not allowed individuals to opt out even in cases of severe health impacts.

Nearly two dozen local governments* have called for a moratorium. The State’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) last month also demanded public hearings be held to study potential health risks resulting from exposure to radiation from the meters.

According to Joshua Hart of Stop Smart Meters!, “This fraud and covert espionage against the people of California, carried out by the Director of the ‘Smart’ Meter Program in California, should immediately force a moratorium on ‘Smart’ Meter installation and open up a full independent State Legislative investigation of the entire PG&E ‘Smart’ Meter Program.”

* California local governments demanding a moratorium include: the City and County of San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Marin Counties, Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo, the cities of Sebastopol, Berkeley, Cotati, Fairfax, Santa Cruz, Piedmont, Scotts Valley, Capitola, Watsonville, Sausalito, San Anselmo, Belvedere, Monte Sereno, Novato, Richmond, Ross, Bolinas, and Camp Meeker

Stop Smart Meters!

'Smart' Meter Blockade Continues in West Marin

Demonstrators in Stinson Beach, CA claimed at least a temporary victory as their blockade of Wellington ‘smart’ meter installers entered its third day. There appeared to be strong public support from passers-by and no Wellington trucks were in sight. In this report citizens explain the reasons for their opposition to PG&E”s ‘smart’ meter plan.

For more info:

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CANCER CALLING – The Truth About Cellphones

An Environmental Health Trust educational panel presented October 11, 2010 in Berkeley, CA. at the Jewish Community Center East Bay, with Senior Research Fellow Lloyd Morgan, Director of Government and Public Affairs Ellie Marks,
and Founder and world renowned expert Dr. Devra Davis, author of ‘Disconnect.’

Part 1
In this segment Dr. Davis reviews the evidence of serious health effects from chronic exposure to cell phone radiation.

Part 2
In this segment, electrical engineer, researcher and brain cancer survivor Lloyd Morgan looks at ‘Cellphones: What Does the Epidemiology Tell Us?’

Part 3
In this segment radiation health activist and wife of a cell phone brain cancer survivor Ellen Marks tells of her work and that of the Environmental Health Trust to protect public health in the face of industry denial and government irresponsibility.

Support the Environmental Health Trust’s efforts to protect children’s brains.
Donate your time to the Campaign for Safer Cell Phones
• Sign up at
• Educate and motivate parents, children,
teachers, government, and business leaders about
protecting themselves and their families
Donate financial support at
• Develop model tool kits for state and local officials
• Provide training on safer cell phone use
• Conduct cutting edge research

Please remember, your tax-deductible contributions are what help keep us going. Please click here to support our work.

'Smart' Meter Blockade in West Marin

Alarmed about the proven harmful biological effects of proliferating wireless technologies, and outraged at the violation of democratic choice that PG&E’s wireless ‘smart’ meter build-out represents, women from West Marin County in California are staging regular demonstrations against the mass installation program being carried out by the sub-contractor Wellington Energy.

In this exclusive EON video report Stinson Beach community organizer Marion Weber and Katharina Sandizell of West Marin Neighbors Against Smart Meters express their opposition to one unfortunate hired installer and explain the reasons for their determined opposition in defense of their families’ health and safety.

For more info:

Please remember, your tax-deductible contributions are what help keep us going. Please click here to support our work.