No Health Threat From Smart Meters - nema.org ??No Health Threat From Smart Meters ... two‐way communications, advanced sensors, and distributed computers to improve the efficiency, ...

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<ul><li><p>UTILITIESTELECOMCOUNCIL</p><p>1901PENNSYLVANIAAVENUE,NW|FIFTHFLOOR|WASHINGTON,DC20007USA|+1.202.872.0030|WWW.UTC.ORG</p><p>NoHealthThreatFromSmartMeters</p><p>by</p><p>KlausBender.PEDirectorofStandards&amp;Engineering</p><p>UtilitiesTelecomCouncilAsutilitiesseektomodernizetheiraginginfrastructureandupgradetoasmartelectricgrid,wirelesscommunicationswillplayaneverincreasinglyimportantroleinthefacilitatingtheseenhancements.Severalconsumergroupshaveraisedconcernsaboutthepotentialhealtheffectsofatwowaycommunicationsdevice,thenextgenerationelectricmeterorsmartmeter,ontheirhomes.Thisarticleprovidesabriefreviewofthesafetystandardsdealingwithradiofrequencyenergyandsafetyandshowsthatsmartutilitydevicesposenohealththreat.Wecompareotherhouseholdwirelessdevicestosmartmeterstoshowtheenergyfromameterisactuallylessthancommonlyuseddevices.Smartgriddeploymentsusedevicesthatfallintothesamecategoryasmanywirelessdevicesfoundinthehome,suchaswirelessroutersusedforinternetconnectivityandwirelessbabymonitors.AndunlikethelaptoporWiFirouterinthehomethatarealwaystransmitting,smartmeterstransmitforonlyafractionofthedayforshortdurations.</p><p>IntroductionSmartGridisatransformedelectricitytransmissionanddistributionnetworkor"grid"thatusesrobusttwowaycommunications,advancedsensors,anddistributedcomputerstoimprovetheefficiency,reliabilityandsafetyofpowerdeliveryanduse.DeployingtheSmartGridbecamethepolicyoftheUnitedStateswithpassageoftheEnergyIndependenceandSecurityActof2007(Title13).TheSmartGridisalsobeingpromotedbytheEuropeanUnionandothernations.Thesmartgridwillrelyontheuseofradiofrequenciestoprovidewirelessconnectivitytothevariouscomponentsofthenewelectricdistributionsystem.Wirelesscommunicationstechnologyhasbecomeubiquitousinourlives,enablingmobileconnectivitywithcellphones,wirelessinternetservicesandhomeareanetworkingwithWiFitechnologyandevencookingourfoodwithmicrowaveovens.Yet</p></li><li><p>NoHealthThreatfromSmartMeters2</p><p>ExcerptedfromtheFourthQuarter2010IssueoftheUTCJOURNAL.Copyright2010UtilitiesTelecomCouncil.AllRightsReserved.</p><p>thereareunsubstantiatedconcernsthatthesmartmetersbeinginstalledaroundthecountryandtheworldwillcauseillhealtheffectstomembersofthehouseholdwherethemetersareinstalled.Therefore,weexaminethefactsabouttheimpactofradiofrequencyenergyonthebody,showingthatthedevicesutilitiesseektoinstallposenothreatofharmtohumans.Weshowthatthetypeofradioenergyusedandemittedbysmartmeters,cellphone,wirelessroutersandmicrowaveovenscanonlydamagethebodyatextremelyhighlevels.Whileresearchcontinuesintolongtermeffects,therehasbeennoconclusiveevidencethatlowlevelRFenergyhasalongtermnegativeimpact.WeconcentrateonRFenergyandacknowledgethatelectricmetersareconnectedtothepowersystemandunauthorizedtamperingordismantlinganelectricmetercouldposeelectricshockdangertoanyonecomingindirectcontactwithenergizedelectricconductors. </p><p>FederalJurisdictionforSafetyofRadioFrequencyDevicesTheFederalCommunicationsCommission(FCC)hasjurisdictionovertheapprovalanduseofradiofrequencydevices,whetheralicenseisrequiredforthedevicesorifunlicensedoperationisallowed.FCCregulationsarebasedonstandardssetbytheInstituteofElectricalandElectronicEngineers(IEEE)basedonyearsofresearchbyhealthprofessionals.TheFCChasatwofoldroleinensuringsafety.First,theFCChasallocatedtheradiospectrumintoavarietyofpieces,mostofwhichneedcoordinationandalicensebeforeoperationispermitted.Examplesofthisincludetelevision,satelliteandradiobroadcastchannels,avarietyofcellularandpersonalcommunicationsservicefrequencies,andmicrowavefrequenciesthattransmithugeamountsofinformationfromonepointtoanotherusingdishstyleantennas.Atthesametime,theFCChasallocatedsomefrequenciesforunlicensedoperation,allowingconsumerstopurchaseproductsatBestBuyorWalMartandinstallthemintheirhomes.Thesedevicesoperateatlowpowerlevels,enablingcommunicationsbutposingnothreatofhealtheffectstohumans.ExamplesincludetheWiFiroutersalreadydiscussed,wirelessbabymonitorsandgaragedooropeners.TheFCCssecondroleistoapproveradiodevicesformanufacture,importandsale.Regardlessofwhethertheequipmentoperatesonlowpowerunlicensedchannelsorathigherpoweroperationsthatrequireanauthorization,eachdevicemustbetestedtomeetFCCstandards.ThesaleofuntestedandunapprovedequipmentisaseriousoffenseandtheFCCaggressivelyprosecutesviolators.</p><p>FCCMandatesonRFExposureandImpactonHumansTheFCCisrequiredbytheNationalEnvironmentalPolicyActof1969,amongotherthings,toevaluatetheeffectofemissionsfromFCCregulatedtransmittersonthequalityofthehumanenvironment.Severalorganizations,suchastheAmericanNationalStandardsInstitute(ANSI),theInstituteofElectricalandElectronicsEngineers,Inc.(IEEE),andtheNationalCouncilonRadiationProtectionandMeasurements(NCRP)haveissuedrecommendationsforhumanexposuretoRFelectromagneticfields.OnAugust1,1996,theCommissionadoptedtheNCRP'srecommendedMaximumPermissibleExposurelimitsforfieldstrengthandpowerdensityforthetransmittersoperatingatfrequenciesof300kHzto100GHz.Inaddition,theCommissionadoptedthespecificabsorptionrate(SAR)limitsfordevicesoperatingwithincloseproximitytothebodyasspecifiedwithintheANSI/IEEEC95.11992guidelines.</p></li><li><p>NoHealthThreatfromSmartMeters3</p><p>ExcerptedfromtheFourthQuarter2010IssueoftheUTCJOURNAL.Copyright2010UtilitiesTelecomCouncil.AllRightsReserved.</p><p>(SeeReportandOrder,FCC96326)TheCommission'srequirementsaredetailedinParts1and2oftheFCC'sRulesandRegulations[47C.F.R.1.1307(b),1.1310,2.1091,2.1093].ThepotentialhazardsassociatedwithRFelectromagneticfieldsarediscussedinFCCsOfficeofEngineeringandTechnology(OET)BulletinNo.56,"QuestionsandAnswersAbouttheBiologicalEffectsandPotentialHazardsofRadiofrequencyElectromagneticFields."1TheFCCalsooffersOETBulletin65onthistopic.TherevisedOETBulletin65hasbeenpreparedtoprovideassistanceindeterminingwhetherproposedorexistingtransmittingfacilities,operationsordevicescomplywithlimitsforhumanexposuretoradiofrequency(RF)fieldsadoptedbytheFederalCommunicationsCommission(FCC).Thebulletinoffersguidelinesandsuggestionsforevaluatingcompliance.</p><p>UnderstandingtheImpactofRFEnergyonHumansRFsignalsareknowntopropagateaswaves,andoneofthekeycharacteristicsofthewaveisitsfrequency.Frequencyisthemostsignificantcontrolfactorinradiotransmissionandimpactshowthewavestravelthroughspace,whethertheypassthroughwallsorbounceoffthem,thewavesinteractionwithfoliage,etc.Useofthetransitfrequencyiscommonknowledgeinoursociety,ascommercialradioandtelevisionstationsoftenusethisparameteraspartofthepublicpersona.FrequencyalsodeterminestheimpactofRFenergyonthehumanbody.Onlyveryhighfrequencies,ultravioletraysandabove,havethecapabilityofmutatinglivingcellstocausecancerandsimilarillness.ThisfrequencyrangeisknownasionizingradiationbecausetheRFenergycreatesionsoutoflivingcellsbyremovingoraddingelectronsatthecellularlevel.Nonionizingradioenergyfallbelowthisfrequencyrangeandtheprimaryinteractionwithhumancellsistoheatthem.Thisisthebasisforthemicrowaveoven.Nonionizingenergy,atahighenoughlevel,willheathumancellsuntiltheydie,butnonionizingenergyissimplyincapableofmutatingcellsandcausingdiseaseslikecancer.Industryresearchandstandardsagencies,suchasANSIandIEEE,havecompiledtheresearchassociatedwithhumanexposureofRFenergyandcreatedguidelinesthattheFCCandtheFederalOccupationalSafetyandHealthAdministration(OSHA)haveadopted.Thestandardsincorporatefrequencyoftheenergytodefinemaximumpermissibleexposurelevels(MPE)correlatedtofrequency.Thestandardsaremostconservativeatfrequencieswherethewavelengthoftheenergyisnearthesizeoftheaveragehumanandhavethemostpotentialforwholebodyimpact.TheresultingMPElevelsincorporatedintotherequirementsincludea10:1safetyratiotoaccountforvariationsinsize,weightandphysicalconditionofthesubject.Therefore,exposureevenat100%oftheMPElevelwillnotcausephysicalharm.InordertofurtherprotectthepublicfromexposuretoRFenergy,theFCCsettheMPElevelsdiscussedaboveastheoccupationalorcontrolledenvironment,intendedforworkersandotherprofessional</p><p>1http://www.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety/</p></li><li><p>NoHealthThreatfromSmartMeters4</p><p>ExcerptedfromtheFourthQuarter2010IssueoftheUTCJOURNAL.Copyright2010UtilitiesTelecomCouncil.AllRightsReserved.</p><p>previouslytrainedinsafetyrelatedtoRFenergy.TheFCCthencreatedageneralpublicoruncontrolledenvironmentcriteriathataddedanadditional5:1safetyfactorovertheoccupationallevel.ThustheFCCsMPElimitforthegeneralpublicis50timeslessthanthelevelresearchshowscanactuallycauseharm.ThetablesbelowshowthelimitsforoccupationalandgeneralpublicMPE.Table1.LIMITSFORMAXIMUMPERMISSIBLEEXPOSURE(MPE)(A)LimitsforOccupational/ControlledExposureFrequency ElectricField MagneticField PowerDensity AveragingTimeRange Strength(E) Strength(H) (S) |E|2,|H|2orS(MHz) (V/m) (A/m) (mW/cm2) (minutes)</p><p>0.33.0 614 1.63 (100)* 6 3.030 1842/f 4.89/f (900/f2)* 6 30300 61.4 0.163 1.0 63001500 f/300 6 1500100,000 5 6</p><p>(B)LimitsforGeneralPopulation/UncontrolledExposureFrequency ElectricField MagneticField PowerDensity AveragingTimeRange Strength(E) Strength(H) (S) |E|2,|H|2orS(MHz) (V/m) (A/m) (mW/cm2) (minutes)</p><p>0.31.34 614 1.63 (100)* 30 1.3430 824/f 2.19/f (180/f2)* 3030300 27.5 0.073 0.2 303001500 f/1500 30 1500100,000 1.0 30 </p><p>f=frequencyinMHz *PlanewaveequivalentpowerdensityNOTE1:Occupational/controlledlimitsapplyinsituationsinwhichpersonsareexposedasaconsequenceoftheiremploymentprovidedthosepersonsarefullyawareofthepotentialforexposureandcanexercisecontrolovertheirexposure.Limitsforoccupational/controlledexposurealsoapplyinsituationswhenanindividualistransientthroughalocationwhereoccupational/controlledlimitsapplyprovidedheorsheismadeawareofthepotentialforexposure.NOTE2:Generalpopulation/uncontrolledexposuresapplyinsituationsinwhichthegeneralpublicmaybeexposed,orinwhichpersonsthatareexposedasaconsequenceoftheiremploymentmaynotbefullyawareofthepotentialforexposureorcannotexercisecontrolovertheirexposure.</p></li><li><p>NoHealthThreatfromSmartMeters5</p><p>ExcerptedfromtheFourthQuarter2010IssueoftheUTCJOURNAL.Copyright2010UtilitiesTelecomCouncil.AllRightsReserved.</p><p>Figure1.MPELevelbyFrequencyandClass(Source:Sitesafe,Inc.,ArlingtonVA)</p><p>TheFCCsOET65documentalsodefinesconceptsliketimeaveraging.Asshowninthetablesabove,theaveragingtimeforoccupational/controlledexposuresis6minutes,whiletheaveragingtimeforgeneralpopulation/uncontrolledexposuresis30minutes.Itisimportanttonotethatforgeneralpopulation/uncontrolledexposuresitisoftennotpossibletocontrolexposurestotheextentthataveragingtimescanbeapplied.Inthosesituations,itisoftennecessarytoassumecontinuousexposure.2SincetheknowndangerinRFenergyistissueheating,ifthesubjectmovesoutoftheareaofhighRFlevels,thecellswillreturntonormaltemperature.At100%orlessofMPE,thereisnodangerincontinuousexposure.Timeaveragesaysthatifoneisanareaidentifiedas200%oftheoccupationalMPE,uptothreeminutesofexposureissafeaslongasthreeminuteselapseinanareaatlessthan100%MPE.Insummary,thereisnoknownlongtermhealtheffectfromexposuretoRFenergyatlevelsbelowthosedesignatedbytheFCC.Thisenergyisallaroundandtheenergyassociatedwithsmartmetersisfarlessthanthoseofothercommonservicesandequipment.</p><p>2FCCOETBulletin65</p></li><li><p>NoHealthThreatfromSmartMeters6</p><p>ExcerptedfromtheFourthQuarter2010IssueoftheUTCJOURNAL.Copyright2010UtilitiesTelecomCouncil.AllRightsReserved.</p><p>Comparison of RF Power Density in the Everyday Environment Device Relative Power Density in microwatts per square centimeter (W/cm2) </p><p> Source: Richard Tell Associates, Inc.3 </p><p>MeterReadingSystemConfigurationsResidentialandindustrialelectricmetersallowutilitiestoaccuratelybillfortheenergyconsumed.Thesedeviceshavebeenusedaslongastheelectricindustryhasbeeninplace.Earlymetersrequiredmanualreading,withautilityemployeewritingdowntheusedataandreturningtotheofficetoenterthatinformationintotheutilitybillingsystem.Theuseofradiofrequenciestointerrogatemetersbeganintheearly1980s.Thesesystemsusedaninterrogationsignalsentfromautilityemployeeeitherwalkingordrivingthroughtheareaofinterest.Aradiosignalpingsthemeterswithinrangeandthedevicesrespondwithconsumptioninformation,alsousingradiosignals.Aspreviouslynoted,theelectricinfrastructureintheUSisgoingthroughamajortransition,replacingequipmentthatcanbe40to50yearsold.Atthesametime,variablerenewableenergysourceslikesolarandwindmustbeintegratedintothisnewgrid.Increasedcommunicationwithconsumersthatallowscustomerstoadjusttheirenergyusageinresponsetopricingorreliabilitybasedsignals.Remotemeterreadingandcutoff,aswellasothersmartgridapplicationsareallkeycomponentsofthesmartgridandthesecapabilitiesrelyonsmartmeters.Smartmetersystemsvaryinginimplementationdependingontheutilitysneedsandthevenderselected.Mostutilitiesareelectingtoinstallradiobasedsmartmetersystems.Radiobasedsystemsalsovaryinconfiguration,buteachsystemismadeupofthefollowingcomponents:</p><p>1. Meter:Themeterdevicemeasuresconsumptionandstorestheinformationforretrievalbytheutility.</p><p>3PacificGasandElectric:http://www.pge.com/myhome/edusafety/systemworks/rf/</p><p>FMradioorTVbroadcaststationsignal 0.005</p><p>SmartMeterdeviceat10feet 0.1</p><p>Cybercafe(WiFi) 1020</p><p>Laptopcomputer 1020</p><p>Cellphonehelduptohead 3010,000</p><p>WalkieTalkieathead 50042,000</p><p>Microwaveoven,twoinchesfromdoor 5,000</p></li><li><p>NoHealthThreatfromSmartMeters7</p><p>ExcerptedfromtheFourthQuarter2010IssueoftheUTCJOURNAL.Copyright2010UtilitiesTelecomCouncil.AllRightsReserved.</p><p>2. MeterTransceiver:Thetransceiverisaradiothatreceivesinstructionsfromtheutilitynetworkandtransmitsnecessaryinformationtotheutility.Thetransceiverisoftenanintegralpartofthemeter,especiallyinthecaseofelectricmeters.Often,waterandgasmeterstransceiversaremountednearthedevice.Themetersradiosystemcanalsocommunicatewithhomeenergymanagementsystemsusedbycustomerstocontrolandmonitorappliancepowerconsumption.Themetertransceiversoperateonlowpowerunlicensedchannels,orinsomecases,usingcellularradiochannels.</p><p>3. DataAggregationPoints:Themetertransceivertransmitsinformationtonearbycollectiondevices,oftencalleddataaggregationpoints(DAPs).Thesedevicesareoftenmountedonnearbypowerpolesatheightsof20to30feetaboveground.TheDAPscollectinformationandtransmitthatinformationtotheutility.Iftheutilityhashighcapacityfiberinfrastructure,thatresourcecarriesinformationfromtheDAPs.Typically,theDAPwillcommunicatewithcenterreceivestationsonradiofrequenciesintheunlicensedbands,orusingcellulartechnology.</p><p>Acommonmisconceptionaboutsmartmetersisthattheyarealwaysonortransmitting.Thisisfarfromthecase.Untilrecently,waterandgasutilitiesusuallyreadmetersonceortwiceamonthandthetimeneededtotransmitinformationislessthan1second.Onlyrecentlyhavegasandwaterutilitiesinitiatedmorefrequencymeterqueries.Electricutilitiesareimplementingtimeofusebillingstructuresbutrarelyneedtoreadthemetermorethanonceevery15minutes.Again,thetimetotransmitconsumptiondataislessthan1second.Thismeans,inthisscenario,theselowpowerdevicesaretransmittingapproximately0.11%oftheday4,atshortburstsoflessthanonesecond.Evenifthemetertransmitsonceevery15seconds,asisthecasewhennointerrogationsignalisused,transmissionwouldstillonlyby6.7%oftheday</p><p>WeknowfromourdiscussionofRFexposure,eveniftheRFlevelsfromthesedeviceswouldexceed100%oftheFCCMPE,theimpactonthebodytakestime.FortheRFsignalfromasmartmetertobepowerfulenoughtoharmthehuman,thatsignalwouldhavetobesopowerfulthetransmissionwouldbeontheorderofTVorradiobroadcaststations.Thisisclearlynotthecaseforsma...</p></li></ul>