Energy and Climate Change CommitteeWritten evidence submitted by Paula Robinson (SMR61)

I have suffered for many years from sensitivities to many uncontrollable elements in the modern environment, including fire retardant, formaldehyde and various other chemicals used in building, furnishings, cleaning agents and toiletries. As a result I have a long term neurological condition with symptoms affecting many body systems and which have made me unable to live independently. I require care and support which is provided by the local social services and paid for by the tax payer.

Further complicating my condition has been the proliferation of new technologies using radio waves particularly communication technology. A lengthy call on a mobile phone (longer than 10 minutes) will leave me feeling sick and dizzy, with flushing in the cheek and ear. I have to limit the time I can spend at the computer, and the rest of the time the router is switched off. The field generated by the router causes me to have headaches, skin rashes, sore eyes, and weakened muscles. I can tell immediately on waking if by accident the router has been left on overnight by the stiffness and rigidity of muscles, joint pain and headache.

Fortunately I can turn the router off, I could choose not to have a computer in the house at all. I can turn off the mobile phone and limit how often and for how long at a time I use it. I don’t even have to have one. However, the smart meter is another matter altogether. Once installed, I will have no control whatsoever and have to suffer whatever effects are imposed on me by its presence.

People with sensitivities to longlife light bulbs already suffer from the legislation forcing them to use such light bulbs, in spite of the concerns raised by many before the legislation was brought in.

I hope the lesson will be learned before more people are subjected to painful and debilitating symptoms day after day in their homes by the enforced use of smart meters they do not want and cannot physically tolerate.

Recently large numbers of birds were reported to be falling dead out of the skies. One possible cause suggested was exhaustion due to human communication technology interfering with their innate navigation skills.

Do we have to have humans dropping dead from the results of physical disturbances caused by over exposure to the fields generated by these kinds of technologies before anyone takes any notice?

And maybe not even then, until it can be proved beyond doubt, since nothing must interfere with “progress”—othewise known as profitable business practice.

I am therefore adding my voice to that of others who are asking that the installation of smart meters should remain a question of choice for the end user and not be enforced by legislation.

February 2013

Prepared 26th July 2013