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Decision based on cost, but a local resident who started a national movement to ban smart meters claims they can harm health in some individuals


April 7, 2011 (La Mesa)—Helix Water District customers won’t be getting smart water meters anytime soon. The Board of Directors opted against the change.

“We don’t want to spend a million and a half dollars,” board vice president John Linden stated. The board also noted that among 322 pilot project customers who do have the smart meters, only 9 percent accessed the smart meter website to check their energy usage.


Members of the public presented arguments for and against the smart meters. Susan Brinchman, a La Mesa resident who started the website www.smartmeterdangers.org, presented evidence raising concerns over potential health risks. Brinchman has provided ECM with a letter from her doctor to SDG&E, in which the physician states that  Brinchman has suffered harm to her health from an SDG&E smart meter on her home.


Brinchman had previously been diagnosed with sick building syndrome but says she had been feeling better until SDG&E installed two smart meters, one for gas and one for electric, on her home--including one right outside her bedroom.


According to her physician, Dan O. Harper M.D., the wi-fi frequenty generated by the SDG&E smart meter “has escalated her symptoms and is causing fatigue, insomnia and cognitive dysfunction. I am hereby requiring that the unit be removed from her home as soon as physically possible. This is covered under the American Disability Act of 1990 under the invisibilities section.” Brinchman says she also believes ear pain and a ringing in her ears are related to her smart meter and says some symptoms improved after she moved out of her bedroom, located near the meter.

SDG&E has denied the request from Brinchman’s doctor in a letter which states that the utility has “carefully reviewed available factual information” and that “the Americans with Disabilities Act…does not require SDG&E to remove your smart meter.”

Brinchman’s website contains links to articles and studies linking radiation levels associated with Smart Meters to various health impacts, fires caused by smart meters, and a study which claims measurements at some smart meters exceeded those claimed by utility companies. Legislation, AB 37 by Assemblyman Jerod Huffman, would impose a moratorium on smart meters and give customers a choice to opt out. The California Public Utilities Commission, after receiving numerous complaints from consumers alleging health problems from smart meters, is considering an “opt out” option for PG&E customers that would force ratepayers to pay $500 if they wish to opt out of having a smart meter.

Helix Water District’s Tim Ross, in a letter to Brinchman, says the district is unaware of any health problems and has relied on reports by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, World Health Organization, and California Council on Science and Technology in reaching that conclusion.

Dexter Levy, a La Mesa resident, encouraged the Board to keep its pilot meters and gather more data, a view shared by Gordon Place, La Mesa Patch.com reported.


As for the potential for smart meters to cause fires, San Miguel Fire Department spokesman Leonard Villareal sent ECM an e-mail which states, "We did some checking and in a survey of Fire agencies and SDG&E, there have been no reported smart meter fire starts in our county." He added, "Looked like they had a problem in Texas with a couple of homes."


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Smart meter radiation determined by WHO to be B2 carcinogen

Yes, smart meters (radiation) can make humans and pets sick. See Dr. Dan Harper (www.drdanharper.com) in Solana Beach, CA, for more info on this. Insomnia, ringing of the ears is very common. My traditional doctor ENT (local in San Diego) diagnosed electromagnetic field exposure as cause of my ringing ears and resultant hearing LOSS.

Now that the World Health Organization has determined that rf radiation (same type as smart meters emit) is worthy of inclusion on the B2 list of carcinogens, we have a solid authoritative body that can back our claims of health effects. FYI, I developed a rapidly growing skin cancer that looked like a large pencil eraser, within five months of the installation of the two smart meters on my home. It grew on my face, on the side facing the meter at the same level, as I read in bed for many hours each week. The doctor who operated to remove it said YES it could have come from radiation exposure.



smart meters

Smart meters are making many people sick. I want to know why our government is not enforcing the Americans With Disabilities Act by forcing utilities to remove these dangerous meters when individuals have doctors letters indicating that these torture devices are harming their patients.

The Utilities have bought and paid for trained seals to do research for them to approve essentially what is a mini cell tower on your personal property without the prior approval and notification to the homeowner.

The so called scientific group in California that did research is actually being paid to promote these dangerous devices.

Unbiased studies show inflammation to the brain and DNA breakage with smart meters. Our government doesn't recommend children use cell phones for a few minutes yet, they can sleep for hours next to a smart meter?!!! Wireless signals are based on reasearch on healthy, 180 pound, 6 foot men and not the weakest amongst us.

No person with any concern for people would ever consider these smart meters a good thing. These meters are being put in in order to save the utilities money on employees and yet the utilities are asking for rate increases when their expenses are going down.

Smart meters are a UTILITY SCAM THAT POISONS CHILDREN, THE ELDERLY, AND THE DISABLED FOR MONEY. It is just that simple. These utilities barely pay any taxes -- and we are going to let them poison us too???

Stop the madness and stop wireless smart meters.

Elder Abuse

I consider it elder abuse that I am sick with a medical condition that my doctor says is made worse by the measurable emissions from these two smart meters on my home that are 8-350+ times higher than the natural background levels. The 350+ high surge of rf radiation, measured by a professional handheld rf radiation meter, occurs every 15 minutes or so. The bedroom that the meter is on has 30 times the normal levels, due to mirrored closet doors that intensify the rf radiation. This is a particular type of frequency that is associated with just such health effects as I have in many hundreds of peer-reviewed research studies, not the insider reports of the utility companies.
I am a senior citizen who should not have to sleep on my couch because going near my bedroom gives me a splitting headache and ringing ears, due to the smart meter. I should not have had hearing loss from the shrill ringing in the ears. I cannot even use the room at all, or occupy that side of the yard, where the electric meter is. This is loss of use of my property. I did not plan to spend my retirement in my home abused by the state of CA's Public Utility Commission and a SDG&E meter that callous corporate supervisors refuse to remove. What do you think? Would you want this for yourself? How many of you out there will also end up like this? or worse? Would you want your own mother treated like this? What kind of sick place are we living in where people are treated like this by SDG&E and our other utility companies in California, with no mercy at all for people who need these meters removed due to severe health problems? For shame. This is why a monopoly is absolutely wrong. If this is an example of where the country is headed, then I am glad I am older. The best years are truly behind us, with terrible abuse for everyone ahead if they get away with this.

Informed Choice

I'm with Susan B. The precautionary principal must be fully engaged in cases like this. With all the evidence of cell phones and other wireless devices, including Wi-Fi computer access, causing negative health effects, something like this cannot simply be installed on every home without so much as a test or thought. Equipment like this must be proven safe before it is rolled out. I know many people who experience negative health effects from wireless devices. Even though these devices may be non-ionizing radiation, studies have shown that this type of radiation is linked to calcium ion channel leakage on a cellular level. This leakage accounts for many of the symptoms people experience around these devices. There are too many people who don't want these meters, whether it be for the health effects, the invasion of privacy, loss of jobs for meter readers, and/or unneeded high expenditures to purchase and install the devices. If people don't want them, why are they being forcefully installed? Many news articles have reported on standoffs between residents and meter installers, in some cases where police were called in an attempt to force a resident to have a meter installed on their own personal property. When this leads to negative health consequences, such force creates forced homelessness for many who can no longer safely live in their own homes. There are alternatives, including pay as you go power. Anytime something is placed on a populace with such force, one has to wonder what the real intention is. The masses are rejecting the meters. Time to listen to them and give them what they want!

Smart meter health issues -- who else is affected?

Susan, thanks for posting these details on your health issues.  We would like to hear from other readers who may have health problems that could be linked to smart meters, particularly in San Diego County (please state your hometown if you post).  

If we find substantial numbers locally who seem to be impacted we'll consider running a broader poll among our readers to find out how common or uncommon this may be.

I was surprised to learn that a doctor's note would not be enough to get these things removed, even if a homeowner was wililng to pay the cost. 

Readers please weigh in!


3% would be expected to experience severe reactions at minimum

The health effects are not always noted. I did not connect my health problem at first with the meters as I had no idea of the electromagnetic radiation field created with this system. In our family, it has been one series of catastrophes after another, and I still didn't put two and two together, not being aware. Further, some of the health impacts are insidious, over time. Since the meters were put in a family member severely ill three times, a dog died, another young one turned gray, my inflammation and many symptoms, severe headache, ringing ears. I have heard from others in San Diego County, too, sick from these meters. But since the public is not aware yet, they will not connect the dots. Who would think that a meter emitted dangerous radiation into your house? Sounds like a science fiction movie. We don't want to think that this could happen in America. But it has and will turn into "a ticking time bomb of health problems", according to Dr. Magda Havas, of Canada. Watch Electromagnetic Fields: The Science on Health Effects http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7498052433339986964&hl=en#.

Three more articles on the topic: please read the comments

Open Letter About Smart Water Meters

Helix Water Decides New Meters Not Smart for Now

New Smart Meters Aren't So Smart: The Utility Company's Silent Killer

For an informational packet

For an informational packet that may be used to learn more and to educate groups about smart meters, go to http://www.scribd.com/doc/52614951/Reasons-to-Say-No-to-Smart-Meters. Let all your family, friends, neighbors, and organizations know that the new utility meters have been heavily criticized by scientists and experts for their emissions. Minimized risk statements come from utility company insider reports and obsolete standards. Since only 29 people even looked up their water bills online and only 3 people saved water (they left hoses on and received door hanger signs and calls as reminders), it appears smart meters were a major failure that ate up an enormous amount of money for Helix Water District. Further, the risky meters are still in the 322 residences in Mt. Helix area. I never heard a vote taken to end the program, nor a vote to remove the existing meters. Call Helix Water District and demand that yours be removed, if you have one. They emit rf radiation that scientists say is dangerous. 35 California municipalities have researched these problems and established ordinances banning them, and even criminalizing their installation. We now need to work on getting SDG&E to remove the ones they forced on us all. The La Mesa City Council and Mayor Madrid were all informed of the problems in December, 2010, but chose to do NOTHING. Let them know, too, that you want no electro smog in your homes from smart meters. Visit www.smartmeterdangers.org to see those city and county resolutions and join American Coalition Against Smart Meters www.causes.com/acasm. Thanks to East County Magazine for its help in bringing out the truth to its readers, helping HWD to decide, undoubtedly, to "can" the smart meter idea. Keep the pressure on...NO SMART METERS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY FROM SDG&E.

If anyone in San Diego County wants to help work on the Smart Meter problems from an environmental activism approach, please contact me at sbrinchman@aol.com. What we do now will benefit our children, grandchildren and all future generations. We cannot let our homes be filled with electro smog. It is a ticking time bomb, according to scientists. Nothing can be more important! The people in Northern California are taking their time and resources to educate the public and fight the smart meters there. Let's join them here.