City Desk

Commission Looking Into Health Effects of Pepco Meter

Vindication could be at hand for the outspoken group of Pepco customers who claim that the company's smart meters causes health problems. D.C.'s Public Service Commission has decided to investigate whether the meters cause health problems, the Washington Business Journal reports.

While the commission decided against an investigation earlier this year, a letter from Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander last month that supported an investigation appears to have changed the commission's mind.

Pepco says the meters, which were installed across the city in 2010, have no health effect. But people who have "electrosensitivity"—a possibly psychosomatic illness that supposedly makes sufferers sensitive to electrical equipment—claim that having the meters so close to their houses creates a distracting fog of electrical emissions. In April, Christine MacDonald wrote about some of the meter opponents, including one couple that stopped Pepco technicians from installing the meters, for Washington City Paper.

Electric meter picture via Shutterstock

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  • IMGoph

    Score one for the tinfoil hat brigade!

  • adam

    Let me get this straight. Not only is there no evidence that these meters have cause health problems, but the particular health problems these people are claiming the smart meters cause is not an actual health problem, but a figment of their imaginations? I'm thinking that Pepco has better places to spend its money. Like in providing reliable power.

  • artista

    Do you mean psychosomatic?

  • MM

    Tin foil hats? How about another study released just last week "290% Increased Risk of Brain Tumor After 10 Years of Cellphone Use"

    see study here

    and do a free search here to find out how irradiated your home has become

    Wake up, there is a limit to how much RF radiation your body can absorb without negative health affects.

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  • MamaG

    For many who are 'allergic' to the electromagnetic radiation that digital/SMART meters emit, life is now very difficult and some people are unable to function as a result. It is presumed that 3-7% of humans are noticeably effected when near these meters, causing a myriad of symptoms that go away if these people can get out of range. The problem is, with every electric meter being changed out, there is nowhere to hide. most people do not recognize the cause of the symptoms and get treated inappropriately... The long term exposure for the rest of us is still in known, but ther is a lot of research/evidence showing that our neurological systems are effected. You can find some of the research I and others are compiling on a Facebook page: 1canaryinacoalmine

  • April

    The American Academy of Pediatrics has called upon the FCC to review outdated 15 yr.old radiation guidelines for cell phones and other wireless devices. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has called for a nation wide halt to smart meter deployment on mass populations.

    Smart Meters were rushed to the marketplace without long term medical testing on humans and the enviromment. The effects of radiation are cumulative over a lifetime. We can turn of the wifi, the baby monitor, the wireless toy,or the cell phone but the smart meter is forced upon us. It is more than a 4th Amendment violation.

    Check out the You Tube lectures of Dr.Martin Blank and many more renowned physicians and scientists around the world.

  • Ray

    There are several thousand peer reviewed studies showing biological effects from EMF. This more than supports these reports of health effects.

  • seeseehpounder

    My smoke detector gave me AIDS. Luckily, my doorbell came up with the antidote and my red blood cells are returning to normal. My Mr. Coffee is a germaphobe which is ironic because he doesn't even practice safe sex with the can opener.

  • mike

    Hi all,

    Prof. Dominque Belpomme has shown that Electrosensitivity is NOT psychosomatic and is measurable using a brain scanning technique he has developed.

    Let's all hope, however, that none of the above commenters get any of the symptoms or conditions that have been linked to electromagnetic radiation in any of these 5,000+ studies ( , as I expect most people will fail to give a shit, like they do.

    Even T-Mobile's own study, where they commissioned the Ecolog Institute in Germany to evaluate potential health effects, showed links to cancer.

    Cell damage, double-strand DNA breakage and blood-brain-barrier leakage have all been shown to be caused by exposure to EMF at levels WELL BELOW the standards used in the US.

    It's lucky you don't have profit-hungry corporations in the US, because otherwise you might think that there was some kind of deliberate attempt to keep findings like this to a minimum. After all, the famous tobacco industry lessons have obviously cleaned out all the bad eggs from the nest and we live in times of milk and honey don't we?

    GROW UP, children. (No offence to any children reading this - in fact if there are children reading this, ask your Mom or Dad to switch the iPads that they bought to fill in the gap in their self-esteem to airplane mode when you're using it as sperm dies three times more quickly when exposed to EMR (and has three times less motility) and girls eggs take a hammering too Tell them a grown-up said it was a good ideas as girls only have one set of eggs for their whole life, and I understand boys only have two gonads)

  • monique thomas

    Just because 92-97% of the population are not aware of any effects on their bodies doesn't mean 3-8% of the population is not having a reaction to the pulsing electromagnetc fields being radiated throughout our environment. Just because you can't see the wind doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    Electro-smog is the 21st century's version of asbestos. Only worse. In the case of the smart meters including the basic automated meter reader (AMR) using wireless communication technology in almost every case you are forced to have one installed on your home. I said FORCED. You have a choice not to use wireless computer or cell phone so as to minimize your exposure to the many differerent EMF being given off by the devices seeking a signal from a tower. But all of the little aentennae in each one of these digital utility meters is causing so many pulses through people's bodies that is distorting the body's electrical circuits and potentially disrupting function all the way down to a cellular DNA level to point of detriment for generations to come. For more info on smart meters, AMR/AMI technology!/1canaryinacoalmine

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  • name

    The 3% of the population that "thinks" they're affected probably needed to stop taking acid in the 60's and taking PCP in the 80's. That sh-- will mess up your brain.
    I really wish these idiots would put their time into something more constructive like watching the skies for alien predators, manning the beaches looking for WW2 subs, or straining the Potomac for bodies.

    I've yet to hear of any significant number of people harmed from an MRI which has 1000's of times more EM susceptibility. You get more radiation flying once, anywhere, than you'll ever get from your electric meter even if you sat on it with a bare bottom.

    I can't believe DC's PUC is allowing this to go forward rather than dealing with burying the power lines. Idiots.

    Also, get off the weed.

  • Typical DC BS

    I GUARANTEE you if you put these meters in without these idiots knowing about it, they'd never have ANY symptoms.

    And the links to "studies" is just more garbage put out by the same people who believe the US government had secret explosives already in place in the World Trade Center before the planes flew into the buildings.

  • mike

    @ Typical DC BS - you are intellectually bankrupt and clearly incapable of realising that there are any bad people in the world who don't necessarily wear turbans. Run to Daddy, and ask him to switch on the parental controls on the family computer next time.
    @ name - the only two points you make are factually incorrect. MRIs expose the body for how long? Are you aware of court documents obtained in California showing that Smart Meter emit 190,000 pulses of EMR per day? Of course not - you're trying to look up the term "ad hominem" on your iPad, aren't you?

  • mike

    PS - @ name - MRI sits in the radiowave on the EM spectrum. Smart Meters emit Microwaves = different part of the EMS. Also, flights on aeroplanes typically take a few hours - how long do you plan to sit on your ass on a Smart Meter? And will you have a choice in whether you take a flight vs whether you switch your Smart Meter on or off?

    You clowns need to do some homework and stop mouthing off trying to be funny with your fallacious bullshit.

  • mike

    also @ Typical DC BS - see my previous comment, above, about the T-MOBILE-funded study showing links to cancer. That is an INDUSTRY-FUNDED STUDY. Do you think T-MOBILE were involved?? That's a pretty big contention you're making, can you provide evidence?

  • Good Morning DC
  • Good Morning DC

    meter fires are not good for your home:

    One brand of meter that PEPCO uses in DC has been found to over bill when hot:

    Should any meter being getting hot? Do hot meters lead to fires?

    Who is watching PEPCO?

  • MamaG

    Dear Will Sommer, I am eager to read your comments after all the antidotal comments and links to research your post elicited. This is a very serious and dangerous situation we all find ourselves in.
    Dear Typical DC BS, Before I hit my saturation point of exposure to SMART meters this past spring, I took a friend around a town in Florida that we know has not been totally changed out with digital meters and had her tell me which houses/ buildings we were driving by had the new meters and which had the digital EMR pulsing meters...cuz frankly, I wondered if her claims were psychosomatic. She was correct every time. And has been since.
    She was ''cooked" when she moved into an apartment this past April that had 17 of these 'ray guns' pulsing on the wall outside her bedroom. The effects began almost immediately, but we ignored them because they were odd and unexplainable...but by the end of a week, we knew that something was terribly wrong. She left that town 9 days after moving in and moved into my home where these meters are still rare in my town. My husband and I watched her 'come back to normal' within a day. But her tollerence to exposure is less and less. Just going to the post office or grocery store is painful now. And it takes a long time for the effects to wear off. Her world is shrinking because the meters are being installed everywhere.
    We started our research with a question in a google box..."what if I have a smart meter on my house and it makes me sick". What we found is compelling.
    Your skepticism is understood. Your snark is not understood or helpful.
    I hope you can see that there is serious reason to demand a moritorium on further instillations and real investigation into claims such as mine, my friends and thousands of other people. There is a boat load of credible documentation that shows how and why the effluent from these meters is harmful on the Internet and a bunch provided in the above comments.