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Smart meters are dangerous

Smart meters are an insidious, violating and dangerous technology being ushered in at a speed the public cannot fathom ("BGE to begin smart meter installation in May," March 18). They are a health and privacy disaster in the making.

Smart meters are currently mandatory, relying on radio frequency radiation or RF/wireless signals. The utility asserts that it will only transmit your personal data two minutes a day. In reality, to maintain the entire mesh network, all meters will be talking with one another 24/7, engulfing our homes and neighborhoods continuously with RF radiation.

The Maryland House of Delegates is currently considering House Bill 878, which will offer ratepayers the ability to opt out of smart meters. The Public Service Commission (PSC) is also holding an opt-out hearing on May 22nd. Attend the hearing to support an opt-out.

According to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, current medical literature raises serious questions about genetic, cellular and hormonal effects; blood/brain barrier damage, and increased risk of certain types of cancers as a result of exposure to this radiation. Children are at risk for altered brain development, impaired learning and behaviorial problems.

According to the Interagency Working Group (a federal interagency group which includes members from the FDA, FCC, OSHA and the EPA) the FCC safety limits for RF radiation are "not protective of public health."

Smart meters capture personal data. They will know whether we're home or not and if our alarm system is activated or not. In a second phase, household appliances will have RFID chips, which will communicate wirelessly with our smart meters, adding another layer of radiation into our home.

Smart meter appliances will tell the utility about our personal energy usage and habits. This data may then be sold to marketing firms. No regulations are in place to prevent any of this.

And there are no proven energy or rate savings.

Kate Kheel

The writer is vice president of Maryland Smart Meter Awareness.

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