In his perspective “refuting concerns about Wi-Fi” (Leader, July 31), retired physicist Bill Kaune points to safety guidelines set by the FCC assuring us that electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted by our RF-transmitting electric meters and other common wireless devices is not harmful.
Thousands of studies and hundreds of reputable scientists around the world have invalidated those guidelines since Mr. Kaune retired two decades ago. Why? FCC guidelines only consider thermal effects—how much your skin heats up when exposed to EMR. But it is now understood that the heating of tissue is not the main problem with microwave radiation; these frequencies affect our bodies in other significant ways.
WSU Professor Emeritus Martin Pall estimates that FCC acceptable levels are 7.2 million times too high. In a 2018 paper he identifies attacks on our nervous systems, DNA damage, and cancer-causing mechanisms, among other issues. Dr. Pall further states that pulsing wireless devices, like our utility meters, are damaging not only due to radiation: “the pulsations and the polarization make these EMFs much more biologically active.”
So why hasn’t the FCC updated its 1996 guidelines to reflect alarming, more current research about technologies to which we are increasingly being exposed?
An investigation by the Harvard School of Ethics answers that question in a 2015 report “Captured Agency: How the Federal Communications Industry Is Dominated by the Industries It Presumably Regulates.” In chapters like “Just Don’t Bring Up Health,” and “Wireless Bullies and the Tobacco Analogy,” Harvard’s comprehensive exposé documents FCC corruption in great detail.
While many continue to deny health impacts from the wireless explosion, a segment of our community has asked our PUD to provide a safer, non-transmitting, non-pulsing utility meter option—analog meters. A policy is currently being developed to allow meter choice for customers with health concerns about our current RF-transmitting meters.