Smart Meters to be like the breast implant scandal?

Remember breast implants and how safe they were supposed to be? That sad story has topical relevance with utility companies wanting to install Smart meters in homes across the entire UK.

Throughout the 1950s and the 1960s, plastic surgeons used synthetic fillers—including silicone injections given to some 50,000 women. At the time there was a positive blizzard of claims the entire process was safe.

In retrospect such assurances proves entirely unjustified.

From these so-called safe implants many women developed silicone granulomas and breast hardening that required treatment by mastectomy.

At first sight, Smart meters hardly seem an ethical leadership issue. However, the present leaders of the utility industries—both electricity and water—may need to re-think their enthusiasm for these devices. Most of all, they should stop decrying the potential dangers such devices may pose.

In January 2013, the Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual measure of attitudes to different institutions, found only half the respondents world-wide trusted business to do the right thing, while just 18 per cent trusted business leaders to tell them the truth.

As one informed commentator put it recently: “In such a climate the corporate sector has to work hard to look beyond self-interest.”  1

Expressing concern about smart meters is hardly being a modern Luddite. There is a wealth of genuine and fact-based concern about them, much of it flowing around the Internet.

For example, calling for immediate caution regarding these installations due to health risks, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine publishes a letter citing a number of “peer-reviewed, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, research in humans.”

It concludes “…significant harmful biological effects occur from non-thermal RF exposure, showing causality.” The smart meter installation is branded as irresponsible.

There is a call not only for a moratorium on installation, but also immediate relief to those requesting it, including the return to analogue meters. 2

Other perfectly respectable scientific journals detail concern about wireless radiation stemming from Smart meters. They point to studies linking non-thermal radiation to leukaemia, brain tumours, Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, DNA damage, breakage of blood-brain barrier, altered immune function, insomnia, memory and learning deficits

As with breast implants, the new wireless technologies will take a long time before any confirmed emergence of serious problems can emerge. For example brain cancers do not usually happen quickly.

Failure to acknowledge the serious doubts about Smart meters and to take immediate action to reduce risks from them may result in a later  epidemic of potentially fatal diseases.

Smart meters are an ethical leadership issue.

1 S. Murray, Skills and job creation take top spots in award table, Financial Times 3 July 2013

2 Gallick, Are Smart Meters Really Dangerous? Earth Calm, May 28, 2013

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