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A couple in British Columbia covers their already-installed smart meter with a metal hood to block its radio transmissions. The company that makes the hoods is doing a brisk business.

In Maine, a smart meter opponent brings a lawsuit against the utility company that wants to install the new technology on his house. He wins his case.

These are just a few of the hundreds of incidents in the media lately about the Smart Meters: the digital devices utility companies are installing on customers’ homes all over North America (and other continents). 

Utility companies say smart meters will reduce stress on an overworked electrical grid and help limit power outages. They point out that more efficient use of power reduces the need for more power plants and helps keep rates low.

Smart meters take the place of your meter reader, digitally sending info about your electricity consumption back to the utility. The info gathered by the meters also lets consumers monitor their own power use, adjusting consumption so they can run power-hungry appliances when rates are low. For example, by turning on the clothes dryer late at night instead of the middle of the day.

But many consumers aren’t convinced their best interests are being served.

A debate is now raging over whether such devices are as safe as manufacturers promise?

Smart Meters: Harmless convenience or serious health risk?

So Why the Outrage?

Basically, the hubbub swirls around three issues:

1. Smart meters aren’t safe. They emit radio frequency energy that some say is a health risk, especially those with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS).

2. They’re an invasion of privacy. Because the meters record and broadcast the slightest changes in household energy consumption, they can pinpoint when houses are empty, even when occupants go to bed.

3. Smart meters save consumers money. That doesn’t wash with some home owners who claim their utility bills have tripled since the installation of the wireless meters.

Microwave electromagnetic fields (EMFs) have been linked with a variety of health issues, including cancer, heart problems, reproductive issues, behavior disorders, depression, anxiety, diabetes, and insomnia.[3] The World Health Organization (WHO) now classifies cell phones as a Class B carcinogen,[4] and other research has demonstrated that the radiation emitted by cell phones (as well as other EMF-producing devices) can increase cancer risk, weaken bone structure, and lower sperm count and motility.[5]

All that being said, the verdict is still out on just how dangerous conventional EMF-emitting devices like cell phones are. In 2016, an animal study with an unprecedented sample size demonstrated conclusively that exposing rats to a lifetime of electromagnetic radiation (beginning in utero) will indeed increase the risk of cancer incidence.[6]

This study design leaves many questions and ambiguities, though. Do humans and rodents react to EMFs in the same manner? At what level and frequency of exposure does electromagnetic radiation pose appreciable risks to human health? Are the effects of EMFs negligible below certain levels of exposure?

These grey areas carry over into the debate about smart meters, which operate with essentially the same wireless technology as cell phones.

High-level governmental panels claim that research has revealed no reason for concern over smart meters. The California Council on Science and Technology, for example, stated in a 2011 report that “exposure levels from smart meters are well below the [FCC’s established standards] for such [health] effects,” and that “there is no evidence that additional standards are needed to protect the public from smart meters.”[7] The report also noted that the levels of electromagnetic radiation emitted by smart meters is significantly less than other conventional devices and appliances, such as microwave ovens and cell phones.

Some experts aren’t convinced, though. Dr. David Carpenter M.D., a graduate of Harvard Medical School, maintains that because there have been no human safety studies conducted on people living in houses with smart maters, we can’t be certain they are safe. Smart meter skeptics worry that, in 50-100 years, we’ll look back at wireless technologies as the unacknowledged catalyst of a human health crisis.

Other opponents argue that smart meters pose security and privacy threats, and that they should be more closely regulated, regardless of their health effects. Any wireless technology (unlike analog devices) are hackable—an eventuality that it particularly worrisome when it comes to controlling the flow of energy through the electrical grid. Many consumers believe that smart meter installation should therefore be the choice of the homeowner, not power companies.

California power customers addressed this issue by fighting to make smart meters an opt-out technology, and recently won the right to forgo their usage in favor of analog, non-transmitting powers meters. Many believe the fight isn’t over, as opting out of smart meter usage in California still comes with a hefty monthly. Nevertheless, the victory sets a precedent for anyone across the United States who wishes to push back against the proclamations of power companies.

Make up your own mind (and be proactive)

When it comes to making a choice about smart meters, remember to do your own research. Don’t be swayed by fearmongering and pseudoscience, but also be willing to entertain a healthy skepticism about the safety of EMFs.

Also, listen to your body—those who feel a sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation are often ridiculed by the mainstream, but it’s entirely possible that EMFs pose risks not yet quantified by science.

And regardless of your stance on smart meters, take measures to minimize the negative effects of electromagnetic radiation. Simple dietary and lifestyle practices can make a huge difference—check out our article on electropollution for more details about how to protect yourself.

 


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240724/

[2] https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/hats/publictn/elkins/cfcs.html

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26300312

[4] https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/radiation/cell-phones-fact-sheet

[5] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283017154_How_to_Approach_the_Challenge_of_Minimizing_Non-Thermal_Health_Effects_of_Microwave_Radiation_from_Electrical_Devices

[6] https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2016/05/26/055699.full.pdf

[7] https://ccst.us/publications/2011/2011smart-final.pdf

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Melatonin is critical for optimal regulation of sleep and circadian rhythm, but researchers are finding that it’s much more than just a sleep aid. It plays a complex role in the maintenance and regulation of the endocrine system, and thus offers a number of underappreciated benefits, including antioxidant activity, inflammation control, immune system support, and disease resistance.

For example, studies show that melatonin exhibits an extraordinary brain antioxidant capacity—one study even acknowledged how undervalued it is by stating that melatonin “under promises but over delivers” with regard to oxidative stress protection.[1]

Another study found that melatonin outperforms amitriptyline, the leading pharmaceutical drug for preventing the onset of migraine headaches—and that it does so without any side effects.[2]

Due to the wide-ranging therapeutic potential of melatonin, scientists are examining what aid it may offer for one of the leading health issues of our time: the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Melatonin, hormone health, and the development of cancer

Melatonin is an endogenous hormone predominantly produced by the pineal gland, which acts as a sort of “master control system” for the body’s endocrine processes. It influences nearly every cell in the human body, and has even been shown to safeguard mitochondrial function (mitonchrondria are the “powerhouses” of your cells that regulate energy metabolism and healthy cell growth).[3]

We’ve written before about the myriad health consequences of endocrine dysfunction, most notably in the context of chemical-induced endocrine disruption. Imbalances in melatonin levels can lead to similarly disastrous consequences (we’ll discuss some of the most common causes of melatonin deficiency later in this article).

The mechanisms behind endocrine function, cellular health, and cancer development are enormously complex, but we do know that insufficient levels of melatonin are linked with a higher incidence of cancer.[4]

And the anti-cancer benefits of melatonin aren’t just indirect; this miracle molecule is also classified as a directly cytotoxic hormone and anti-cancer agent. Studies have referred to melatonin as a “full-service anti-cancer agent” due to its ability to inhibit the initiation of cell mutation and cancer growth, and to halt the progression and metastasis of cancer cell colonies.[5]

Researchers attribute these incredible benefits to the fundamental mechanisms mentioned above: protection against oxidative stress, optimization of cell detoxification, regulation of mitochondrial function, and endocrine system maintenance.

How to optimize melatonin levels

Melatonin may have benefits that extend far beyond sleep, but its regulation of circadian rhythm is still central to its therapeutic potential.

It’s important to note that “disruption of normal circadian rhythm” and melatonin deficiency are inextricably tied to one another.[6] Researchers believe that sleep issues undermine health because they lead to melatonin deficiencies—and yet melatonin deficiencies can make it even more difficult to correct sleep patterns (thus maintaining a vicious cycle that increases the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases).

The obvious first step to optimizing melatonin levels, then, is to ensure that you’re getting proper sleep. You can check out our past article for more details on optimal sleep hygiene, but here’s the basics.

  • Any less than seven hours per night is technically considered sleep deprivation by leading sleep researchers.
  • While everyone’s circadian rhythm will vary slightly, it’s generally best to be in bed by 11:00pm. If you’re still awake much later, the endocrine system initiates a cascade of “alert” hormones, which can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
  • Consistency is key; the less radical variation in your day-to-day sleep schedule, the easier time your body will have falling into an optimized melatonin production schedule.

Another critically important (and often overlooked) element of sleep hygiene is proper interfacing with devices that produce blue light and electromagnetic fields (EMFs), both of which can disrupt the production and release of melatonin.

If at all possible, avoid contact with any such devices a minimum of an hour before bed. Try to ditch the electronics a maximum of two hours after the sun sets, and you’ll find yourself getting sleepy much earlier. Last but not least, remove all sources of blue light and EMFs from your bedroom, and sleep with an eye mask.

If you already struggle with insomnia (despite all attempts to integrate the above sleep hygiene practices into your everyday life), it’s often possible to break the cycle by supplementing with melatonin.

If you choose to take this route, though, remember that it’s very important not to take melatonin everyday for an extended period of time (doing so can cause a dependency on exogenous melatonin, which further decreases natural, endogenous melatonin production). Always take a break after a maximum five nights of taking melatonin supplements (taking a two-day break at least every three nights is ideal).

Use plant-derived (rather than synthetic) melatonin, which is more easily implemented by the body, less likely to cause dependency, and highly effective.

Remember that the goal should be to boost internal melatonin production, so that you can maintain an ideal sleep schedule without supplemental melatonin. Optimizing your body’s own melatonin production not only promotes deep, restorative sleep, but also protects the body against cancer and other serious chronic diseases.

 


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27500468

[2] https://jnnp.bmj.com/content/early/2016/05/10/jnnp-2016-313458.long

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3100547/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4233441/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5412427/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4233441/

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By now, you’re surely aware of our planet’s pollution problem.

But there’s one kind of pollution with which you may not be familiar—electromagnetic pollution.  “Electropollution” is also a direct product of our unsustainable industrial culture; technological advances have transformed nearly every inch of our lower atmosphere into a superhighway for wi-fi signals, radio waves, and other marks of electromagnetic activity.

Unfortunately, the short-term mindset of industrialism tends to view things from an “out of sight, out mind” perspective. In the same way that the powers that be seem to believe that toxic waste can no longer harm us once it’s dumped into the ocean, we tend to think that electro-pollution isn’t dangerous simply because we can’t see it.

A growing body of research demonstrates that ElectroPollution really is something with which we should be deeply concerned

Even previously skeptical scientists are coming to some frightening conclusions in their studies. For example, there’s now convincing evidence that the radiation emitted by cell phones can cause cancer, weaken bone structure, and lower sperm count and motility.[1] This is no longer just fringe science: the World Health Organization now classifies cell phone radiation as a Class B Carcinogen.[2]     

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’re literally bathing in a sea of electromagnetism, which disrupts the electrical functioning of your nervous system. Researchers believe that this discontinuity can be linked to an alarming array of health issues, including cancer, heart problems, reproductive issues, behavior disorders, depression, anxiety, diabetes, and insomnia.[3]

As hard as it may be to hear, the truth is that the electromagnetic waves emitted by nearly all of our beloved devices are biologically toxic. They drain us, weaken our defenses against disease, catalyze degenerative conditions, emotionally destabilize us, and constantly inundate our nervous systems with confusing and disordering signals.

Be proactive, not paranoid

Without a doubt, the scenario described above is a recipe for paranoia. Electropollution is often described as a “21st century catastrophe”—it’s an ever-present, invisible danger that mainstream medicine is still largely ignoring.

To make matters worse, the telecommunications industry does everything it can to suppress data about the harmfulness of EMFs, including cutting off funding for EMF studies. Some researchers, like Martin Pall, Ph.D., have pressed on despite a dearth of funds. Pall’s research has conclusively proven that non-ionizing radiation is harmful, and also has revealed highly probable mechanisms through which damage occurs.[4]

His work is still at odds with mainstream opinion, but you’d do well not to wait for consensus science to catch up. The incidence of parotid gland tumors (which form near the spot where people generally hold their cell phones) has increased fourfold since the rise of cell phones (and that’s just one example of a health epidemic linked to electropollution).[5]

This doesn’t mean you have to cut all electrical devices out of your life, though. You probably couldn’t anyway, even if you wanted to (short of moving off the grid and perpetually staying away from industrial society infrastructure). You simply need to practice what Dr. Robyn Benson calls “electro-hygiene.”

Here’s some proactive measures you can take to protect yourself…

Purchase a Gauss meter. Sometimes seeing (or hearing) is believing. A Gauss meter will reveal electromagnetic pollution in your everyday environment by emitting a series of sounds commensurate with the level of electromagnetism. Whenever you’re feeling skeptical about the prevalence of electropollution, a quick scan of your household devices will remind you just how important it is to remain vigilant (the Gauss meter will emit a disorderly and rather terrifying screech when placed near your devices).

Minimise close contact with your cell phone. Every moment that your cell phone is within six inches of your body is another moment of high-intensity radiation exposure. Turn off your phone when you’re not using it (or at least put it on Airplane Mode), don’t carry it against your body in any way, and talk on speaker phone with earbuds instead of placing the phone to your ear. Never use your phone as a morning alarm clock or sleep with your phone in your room—your brain is especially sensitive to radiation while you’re asleep, when your “passive” parasympathetic nervous system is at the helm.

Explore electropollution “cleaning” and protection technologies. Luckily, all kinds of wonderful tools and technologies have already been created that ameliorate your electro-hygiene process: filters and scalar wave generators for cleaning “dirty” electricity by reducing the amplitude of its emitted waves, “healing frequency” generators that create pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF’s) that harmonize with the body’s natural electromagnetic field, and even jewelry and wearable versions of these tools (such as orgonite and sympathetic resonance technologies (SRT’s).

Spend more time outside. The human body finds a natural resonance with the electromagnetic field of the Earth. This synergy is often interrupted because of all the time we spend in enclosed spaces, wearing rubber-soled shoes, or walking on concrete. Make sure to spend plenty of time outside, and walk barefoot on earth (not a street or man-made ground surface) to ensure that you keep yourself grounded. The Earth’s electrical charge is incredibly healing.   

Eat EMF-busting foods. Consume plenty of Nrf2-boosting foods, such as omega-3 fats and red, orange, green, or yellow vegetables (especially dark leafy greens and carrots). The compounds in these healthy foods will help minimize the impact of EMFs on your body’s cells.

You can protect yourself

The solutions to our electropollution problem can be as overwhelming as the problem itself. We’ll discuss the tools and technologies mentioned above in more detail in future articles.

For now, just focus on the simple practices outlined in this article, so that you can become more aware of electropollution. Integrate them into your life one step at a time, and move at whatever pace your comfort level (and budget) permits.

You’ll feel a special kind of liberation that comes with being aware of society’s invisible health destroyers—and after a bit of effort, you’ll feel a marked improvement in your physical, mental, and emotional health.

 


References
[1] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283017154_How_to_Approach_the_Challenge_of_Minimizing_Non-Thermal_Health_Effects_of_Microwave_Radiation_from_Electrical_Devices

[2] http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/iarc-rf-carc/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26300312

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25879308

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18063591

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