Below is the actual comment I gave at the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research, Listening Session on December 5, 2016. I was the fifth person to comment, and at least one person who commented before me mentioned being on the brink of suicide due to extreme sensitivity to wireless technology and/or electromagnetic fields.
There were 23 comments given, and 83% of the comments were about sensitivity to wireless technology and/or electromagnetic fields. Most of those who commented about electromagnetic sensitivity mentioned new electronic public utility meters as the trigger for their sensitivity.
New electronic public utility meters are also known as "smart," digital, advanced, wireless, AMI, AMR, AMR ERT... the list goes on. Non-electronic public utility meters are called "analog."
To: The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)
Re: NIDILRR 2018-2023 Long-Range Plan - Stakeholder Listening Session
What issues (barriers) make it challenging for you to be an active member of your community?
Answer: I have become extremely sensitive to, and thereby, functionally impaired by, some electromagnetic fields including radiofrequency radiation from wireless technology (cell phones, electronic public utility meters, WiFi, and more).
My extreme sensitivity began after two new electronic AMR ERT natural gas public utility meters were installed at my home. Because radiation is cumulative, I believe the continuous pulses of radiofrequency radiation from the new meters triggered my extreme sensitivity.
I, too, had begun to question if life was worth living.
I, too, had begun to question if life was worth living.
The symptoms described in studies about myelin sheath damage are consistent with the symptoms I experienced after the new electronic public utility meters were installed at my home.
- Myelin & Electrohypersensitivity EMFacts Consultancy - http://www.emfacts.com/2014/09/myelin-electrohypersensitivty-press-release/
- PubMed - Could myelin damage from RF exposure explain electrohypersensitivity - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25205214
- Dr. Magda Havas - MS and EHS - Jan 2011 - http://www.magdahavas.com/multiple-sclerosis-and-electrohypersensitivity/
What improvements (name the top one or two) would make your daily life better?
Answer: The accommodations I want are (1) the choice to keep analog (electromechanical/non-electronic) public utility meters without having to pay extra to do so, and (2) the availability of hospital rooms protected from wireless and other electromagnetic fields.
What has changed, for better or worse, in the last five years that has affected your ability to achieve your goals?
Answer: Being forced to accept new electronic public utility meters as a condition for natural gas service has affected me for the worse in the last couple of years.
In November of 2014, our natural gas company installed two new electronic AMR ERT natural gas meters at my home. I was already avoiding wireless cell phones because of an adverse reaction I experienced from my first cell phone in 2013. When the utility company installers told us the new meters only transmit one time per month, we did not consider that excessive, and allowed the installations.
Within a few months, though, I started experiencing some unusual and disturbing symptoms (the pain in my "phone ear" returned after being gone for over a year, also I experience rashes, muscle twitches, joint and muscle pain, balance problems/vertigo, brain-fog, extreme insomnia and fatigue, memory problems, inability to read or write, and more).
When I contacted the utility company for more information about their new electronic meters, the Regional Operations Manager emailed me with the information that the new meters send signals, not just once per month as we were originally told, but over 450,000 times per month.
We asked the utility company to remove the new electronic meters because they were making me ill, and reinstall the analog meters. They would not do that. However, they did offer to remove the new electronic meters and completely disconnect our natural gas service.
We were not prepared to be without natural gas service, and we have no other natural gas provider choice, so we did not have the new meters removed. Instead, we've shielded the meters with lead (to block the radiation), and we turn electric breakers off at night (to reduce electromagnetic fields). This enables me to sleep well once again, and slowly recover from the symptoms I've experienced.
If we had not taken these measures, I would not be able to continue living in my own home.
Some experts say it's the continuous pulses of radiation that are particularly disruptive to human biology.
I contacted the Michigan Public Service Commission, the Attorney General's office, and the Better Business Bureau, but no one helped me.
From what I understand, by 2017 our only electric company will also give us no choice but to accept electronic meters as a condition of electric service. If we refuse the electric company's new meters, the electric company could shut-off our power.
According to the amended Michigan Public Utility Rules, any utility company can immediately shut-off service, regardless of time of year, if a customer refuses the installation of a new electronic public utility meter. This discriminates against those who are sensitive to wireless technology or electromagnetic fields.
I spoke at the September 22, 2016 Michigan Public Service Commission hearing on proposed new public utility meter rules. Ninety-one percent of the people who spoke at that hearing wanted to keep analog public utility meters for various reasons, though mostly for health reasons.
I've been visiting Lansing, talking with Michigan State Representatives, urging them to support legislation that would allow all public utility customers (natural gas, electric, and water) to keep analog meters on their homes.
The National Toxicology Program has been conducting experiments in rats and mice on potential health hazards from cell phone radiofrequency radiation. This is the same frequency new transmitting electronic public utility meters utilize. The rats in this study experienced whole-body exposure to radiofrequency radiation, as do humans from new transmitting electronic public utility meters. Preliminary results from the NTP study show low incidents of brain and heart tumors in the male rats.
The #1 improvement that would make my daily life better is having the choice of an analog (non-electronic) public utility meter.
And if I were ever to be hospitalized in a WiFi saturated room, my condition would most likely become much worse in that environment. A hospital room protected from wireless technology and low in electromagnetic fields is imperative to me and others functionally impaired by an environment not protected from wireless technology and high in electromagnetic fields.