Before you go looking for what smart meters are, you must hear something very important: smart meters, like any other device that emits radio frequencies, do not pose any risk to your health.
There’s a lot of talk on the internet right now about the dangers of smart meters. People claim that because smart meters use radio frequencies, they can cause cancer, anxiety, insomnia and other complications. These aren’t just harmless internet conspiracies; there are real protests against the statewide adoption of smart meters, and protesters cite their health as their primary concern. But what are smart meters, how do they work and why is radio frequency radiation harmless?
Smart meters are walkie-talkies that measure energy consumption
Smart meters are digital devices used to measure your home’s energy consumption. They accurately measure your electricity usage in kilowatt hours and use wireless radio frequency (RF) technology to communicate your energy usage to the utility company in real time. This is the part that people think is dangerous—the radio frequencies. But we’ll get to that in a second.
Electricity meters, both smart and dumb, measure the amount of electricity you use in terms of kilowatt hours. They’re usually installed outside your home, but as you can probably guess, they’re hardwired to your building’s circuit.
Older mechanical meters measure your energy usage using two metal conductors and an aluminum plate. The two conductors use the electricity flowing through your home to form an electromagnetic field (a form of radiation), which causes the aluminum plate to spin. The plate spins faster when you use more electricity, and slower when you use less electricity. As the plate spins, it spins the gears on a five-panel display called the meter, which tells you your power usage in kilowatt hours.
Smart meters use AC sensors to measure voltage and amperage in your home circuit. They are precise digital sensors with no moving parts, and they are not at risk of failure due to mechanical faults or wear. Unlike mechanical meters, smart meters communicate energy usage to the utility company via radio frequency, eliminating the need for meter verification officers and allowing the utility company to view your energy usage. energy in real time.
Don’t confuse smart meters with energy monitoring products like the Senses or the Smappee. These are devices that attach to your electrical panel and allow you to monitor your energy usage on your phone or tablet, and they tell you how you can save money on your electricity bill.
What’s the big deal?
Many people spread the myth that RF radiation from smart meters causes cancer, insomnia, anxiety, and a host of other health problems. But smart meters have been installed in American homes since 2006and according to the United States Energy Information Administration, nearly half of all American homes have a smart meter. Where does this misinformation come from and why is it so sudden?
Well, some Americans were concerned about smart meters when they were first introduced in 2006, but over time these concerns began to fade. But the UK has recently started a nationwide transition from mechanical meters to smart meters (which come pre-packaged with energy monitors, lucky Brits), and it’s caused some controversy.
Initially, only a fraction of the UK were concerned about the impact of smart meters on their health. But after UK utility companies made headlines for inflate people’s electricity bills and regardless of manufacturing defects in thousands of smart meters, the “health problem” of smart meters has become a common complaint and a hot topic for second-rate Internet news sites that want to make a quick buck. People wanted a reason to hate smart meters, so half-baked websites started claiming that smart meters caused cancer. And since the Internet is global, these absurd concerns have crossed the Atlantic.
But these concerns are completely absurd. RF radiation is harmless.
Low frequency radiation is harmless
We’ve already covered why Wi-Fi and other RF applications aren’t dangerous, but we’ll take a moment to explain things again. It’s a bit complicated, but if you know that ionizing radiation is dangerous, and non-ionizing radiation is harmless, then everything will be fine.
The dangerous radiation you hear about in Chernobyl documentaries and Godzilla movies is ionizing radiation. These forms of high frequency radiation occupy the extreme end of the radiation spectrum and are powerful enough to strip atoms and molecules of their electrons. The most powerful forms of ionizing radiation are gamma rays and X-rays, and they are caused by internuclear and intranuclear decay.
Will your smart meter cause any form of nuclear decay? Of course not. Your house would evaporate.
Smart meters operate between the 902 MHz and 2.4 GHz bandsthey are therefore classified as radio frequencies, which occupy the lower end of the radiation spectrum. Radio frequencies are non-ionizing and completely harmless. They’re less powerful than the infrared light from your TV remote or the UV frequencies you suck at the beach for a deep tan.
You do not believe me ? The most powerful Wi-Fi routers operate at a 5.8 GHz band, which is much higher than any smart meter. Put your hand next to a Wi-Fi router and let me know if it gets hot.
This science is not conclusive; it’s a fact. Every American who has lived for the past 100 years has spent every day of their life bombarded by RF radiation, but life expectancies continue to climb. More testing have been made on radio frequency safety than on the chemicals in your carpet or your toothpaste.
How to make money with an online conspiracy
According to a 2011 study by the US Energy Information Administration, health problems are one of the main causes canceling or postponing the installation of the smart meter. This is a harmless symptom of a very serious problem. The internet is saturated with misinformation and it affects the real world.
In the writing industry, we have what is called a “niche”. A niche is what makes a website or writer stand out from the crowd, it’s what gives authority to a voice within an online community and it’s what earns money. money. Unfortunately, even when a website produces quality content in a niche, it’s hard to generate traffic.
But if you build your business around conspiracies, it is very easy to create a niche and make a profit. The written word carries some authority, and if you make a fuss about something the average person doesn’t know much about (like low frequency radiation), then chances are people will believe what you say. , especially if you tell them that their health is in danger.
Want to make money from an online conspiracy? Here is a quick guide:
- Find something common, but mysterious, and pretend it’s deadly. It doesn’t matter if science is against you, because people don’t believe in science.
- Build a sense of community. People feed off each other to make their beliefs feel more valid.
- Easy-to-read testimonials are worth more than a million scientific papers. But if you can find a half-baked scientific article or an outdated study, then you should use it.
- Try going to the news. They also want to make money.
- Design a call to arms. When people publicly protest something, they are less likely to listen to opposing views.
- Convince people that they are in a community of “truth” and that they are fighting against a powerful conspiracy.
- Blame the government. People hate the government.
- Conveniently ignore logical equivalence. In the case of smart meters, you should suggest people use mechanical meters, even though mechanical meters produce electromagnetic radiation.
- Join other conspiracy communities. Your subscribers can overlap.
Any testimonial website or blog post that makes a claim about your health does so for profit. They don’t do it because they care about you and they don’t do it because they want to save the children; they do this because every click on their website produces some form of ad revenue.
Radio frequencies from a smart meter won’t kill you, but believing everything you read online can lead you to make stupid decisions about your health. Always look where a website gets its information and try to weigh things in terms of evidence, not speculation.