Energy and Climate Change CommitteeWritten evidence submitted by Julia Taylor (SMR17)

My family formally lived in Glastonbury, Somerset—one of the first towns in England to be covered with Wi-Fi transmitters. The Town Council believed the introduction of Wi-Fi broadband to Glastonbury would enhance business and improve tourism. It failed on this score so they wasted their £33k investment, but more significantly it caused immediate health problems for some inhabitants in the town.

I was one of the people affected by these masts. I am a Nutritionist and at the time I ran my clinic from my home which was located 50 yards away from one of the Wi-Fi masts. My exposure was consequently 24/7. After a few months, I started to suffer with constant migraine, insomnia, loss of memory and brain fog. It took many months for me to establish and confirm the reasons for my ill health. As a Nutritionist I was able to work with the British Society of Ecological Medicine and a private laboratory to document the cell changes that were happening when I was exposed to the electromagnetic radiation. This ultimately allowed me to confirm the cause and effect. I have now moved away, but remain sensitised to electromagnetic radiation, can no longer earn a living and must live as a virtual recluse to avoid Wi-Fi. Consequently I shall never have a smart meter and I will advise my neighbours to consider the health risks.

Whilst promoted as a green “smart” initiative it is clear from emerging evidence that not only is this technology bad for ourselves, it is also bad for animals, birds and plants:

1.In May 2011, the World Health Organisation (WHO)/IARC classified all RFR as a Possible Human Carcinogen (2B classification), ie radiation emitted by base-station antennas, radio/TV towers, radar, Wi-Fi and smart meters. I have a letter from Rt Hon J Hunt stating that the Government has dismissed this report as not worthy of action since the effects found were “limited to glioma and acoustic neuroma”!

2.In the same month, the Council of Europe recommended that restrictions be put on the use of mobile phones and access to the internet (via Wi-Fi) in all schools across the continent to protect young children from harmful radiation. Why then should they be microwaved in their own homes?

3.Medical organisations throughout the world have since joined these authorities in voicing their concerns: The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has called for a precautionary approach to wireless technologies. The Austrian Medical Association is opposed to the use of mobile phones or Wi-Fi in schools and has recently called for wireless smart meters not to be used in Austria. The Swiss Doctors for Environmental Protection have recently called for caution with respect to wireless technologies.

4.Despite the ground swell of opinion, the HPA, in association with The Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR), recently released their document, “Health Effects from Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields”. The summary of this report is probably all that most people will read and is upbeat. However, within the report is evidence of thermal and biological damage from this technology:

For example, the report presents 23 male fertility studies. 18 of these, or 78%, cite decreased male fertility and/or damage to sperm. In other words, they show clear evidence of adverse biological health effects and damage to reproductive function.

Similarly, other adverse effects reported are:

Page 86: Cellular studies ... show potential genotoxic effects.

Page 87: Authors suggested that the exposure to an RF field had affected DNA repair mechanisms.

Page 103: In general, most studies report finding effects on cell membranes.

Page 105: In general, most of the studies that have investigated changes in protein function or structure due to exposure to RF fields have found effects.

Page 136: Studies investigating cellular physiology have produced some evidence to suggest that low level exposures are capable of causing measurable biological changes.

5.Further, the updated BioInitiative (2012) report contains 1,800 new studies and states that the evidence for risk to health from electromagnetic fields and wireless technologies has substantially increased since 2007. It concludes that we now have far more evidence than is necessary to require us to immediately take precautionary action to protect ourselves, our children and all life of the planet.

These new scientific studies tell us that the situation is much worse than previously thought. Exposures are linked to a variety of adverse health outcomes that may have significant public health consequences. Overall, there is reinforced scientific evidence of risk where there is chronic exposure to low-intensity electromagnetic fields and to wireless technologies for many hours a day—ie typical of smart metering. The range of possible health effects associated with chronic exposures has broadened. The most serious health endpoints that have been reported include leukaemia, brain tumours, leakage of the blood-brain barrier and increased risk of the neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Rather than reducing concerns or providing actual indications of safety, recent studies largely reinforce the potential risks to health.

All of this considerable research is running well behind the rapid and ubiquitous roll out of Wi-Fi technologies and microwave radiation and, given the latency lag of up to 20 years for some cancers, it is too late to simply watch and wait. With this knowledge, putting a smart meter on every home would seem to be an overwhelming stupid thing to do and an obvious way to damage our children’s health from an early age and create a public health disaster.

February 2013

Prepared 26th July 2013