Site editor’s introduction: Prior to addressing the Golden Bay Community Board and members of the public on May 13, 2014, Network Tasman Ltd’s employee Andrew Stanton was asked to supply answers to 32 written questions. (The initial 32 questions may be read at the bottom of this post http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/answer-the-questions-network-tasman-ltd/.) Mr. Stanton initially chose to respond to only 16 of the 32 questions.

These replies (which he re-numbered 1- 16, which does not reflect the original numbering) are at this link http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/answers-to-questions-from-network-tasman-ltd-part-1/

On the same that I published this post www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/answer-the-questions-network-tasman-ltd/ Mr. Stanton provided more answers, and these will be the subject of this post.

The text supplied by Mr. Stanton is in standard font. I have made comments in response to some of the answers to the questions and these are in italics to distinguish them from the answers supplied by Mr. Stanton.

 

Questions for Network Tasman Ltd (2)

 

1)      If individual “smart meters” will act as a local hub, what is the number of other “smart meters” from which each hub meter will be receiving and transmitting data?*

 

Please give an estimate of the number of other meters with which each meter will communicate.

 

  1. Yes most meters will act as relay points ( or hubs) for other meters and the very nature of the mesh network makes it difficult to state exactly how many meters each meter will communicate with. Terrain, weather, vegetation and environment all impact on the mesh and meter hops change on a daily basis. Studies from other operational networks in NZ show most meters communicate with either 1 or 2 other meters and that 90% of meters communicate with 3 meters or less.

 

This suggests that 10% of “smart meters” in the type of network proposed by Network Tasman Ltd will be more active than most.

 

2)      How often are non-data-transmission signals (time synchronisation signals, network admin or local communication checks etc.) sent from the “smart meters” (for example, between the “smart meters” themselves if they are part of a mesh network or between individual meters and another network (such as cellular phone network or other network?)*

 

  1. I don’t have any information on the split between ‘data’ and ‘non-data’ transmissions, all of our information is on total transmission time rather than summarised by data type. Test results from operational meter systems show that the median transmission duration for a meter is 45 seconds per day and that includes all data, time sync, admin etc transmissions.

 

This sounds reassuring enough but you will see from this post

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/answers-to-questions-from-network-tasman-ltd-part-1/

that even in cases where the median transmission time for a “smart meter” is about 45 seconds per 24 hours, this still exposes occupants of a home or business to more than 9,000 brief pulses of radiofrequency radiation over than 24 hour period, which works out to be about one pulse every eight and a half seconds, or so.

 

3)      What is the duration of any non-data transmission signals sent by these meters?*

 

  1. See answer above

 

4)      Will NTL re-certify existing analogue meters which are in good working condition?* (This questions requires a YES or NO answer so that people know where they stand with the company.)

 

  1. Both NTL and the customer would miss out on benefits with a recertified analogue meter so at this stage we are not looking at recertifying old meters.

In his presentation to the Golden Bay Community Board and members of the public on May 13, 2014, Mr. Stanton stated the it was electricity retailers that were pushing Network Tasman Ltd to move to “smart meters”. It would be a shame if electricity retailers’ interests trumped those of the general public and this is the reason that Network Tasman Ltd has stated that they are “not looking at recertifying old [analogue] meters. Removing meters that are in still in good condition is very wasteful.

 

5)      Will NTL remove “smart meters” promptly on request if a customer changes his/her mind and decides the health, privacy etc. risks from a “smart meter” is not acceptable?

 

  1. We would work with the customer to investigate their concerns and find an agreeable solution as both NTL and the customer would miss out on benefits with the removal of a meter.

 

As per my comments at this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/answers-to-questions-from-network-tasman-ltd-part-1/

It does not give customers much confidence if Network Tasman Ltd will not give a firm undertaking to remove “smart meters” promptly if occupants of the home or business where they have been installed decide they do not want to to be exposed to the potentially carcinogenic RFR produced by the meters, or they are unhappy with the risks to their privacy (and potential home security) posed by the “smart meters”.   (See this link for a discussion of “smart meters” and privacy: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/network-tasman-there-are-no-privacy-concerns-with-smart-meters-yeah-right/ Information about “smart meters” and health may be found at this link www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/health-issues/.

 

6)      In microwatts per square metre, how much RFR would someone be exposed to: (NB: Please specify the measurement of the actual pulse, not time averaged data.)

i)                    10 cm from the “smart meter” (during a data package transmission)

ii)                   30 cm from the “smart meter” (during a data package transmission)

iii)                 50cm from the “smart meter” (during a data package transmission)

iv)                 1 metre from the “smart meter” (during a data package transmission)

v)                  5 metres from the “smart meter” (during a data package transmission

vi)                 10 metres from the “smart meter” (during a data package transmission)

vii)               20 metres from the “smart meter” (during a data package transmission)

 

  1. See below

 

7)      In microwatts per square metre, please state the RFR exposure from the Landis+Gyr “smart meter” for someone during time synchronisation signals, network admin or local communication checks etc. at the distances as specified above. (NB: Please specify actual measurements of each pulse, not time averaged data.)

 

  1. See below

 

8)      In microwatts per square metre, how much RFR would someone be exposed to: (NB: Please specify the actual pulse, not time average data.)

i)                    10 cm from a relay during a data package transmission

ii)                   30 cm from a relay during a data package transmission

iii)                 50cm from a relay during a data package transmission

iv)                 1 metre from a relay during a data package transmission

v)                  5 metres from a relay during a data package transmission

vi)                 10 metres from a relay during a data package transmission

vii)               20 metres from a relay during a data package transmission

viii)              50 metres from a relay during a data package transmission

ix)                 100 metres from a relay during a data package transmission

 

  1. See below

 

9)      In microwatts per square metre, how much RFR would someone be exposed to: (NB: Please specify the actual pulse, not time average data.)

 

x)                  10 cm from an access point during a data package transmission

xi)                 30 cm from an access point during a data package transmission

xii)               50cm from an access point during a data package transmission

xiii)              1 metre from an access point during a data package transmission

xiv)             5 metres from an access point during a data package transmission

xv)               10 metres from an access point during a data package transmission

xvi)             20 metres from an access point during a data package transmission

xvii)            50 metres from an access point during a data package transmission

xviii)          100 metres from an access point during a data package transmission

 

  1. See below

 

10)   In microwatts per square metre, please supply the RF that someone would be exposed to at the distances specified above from i) a relay and ii) an access point

a)      during time synchronisation signals,

b)      network admin

c)       or local communication checks

d)      any other RF pulse produced by either a relay or access point

(NB: Please specify actual measurements of each pulse, not time averaged data.)

 

  1. The Hawaii Natural Energy Institute has just provided a report that has a lot of detail on actual measurements taken from in service meters and Access Points at various distances. The report can be found via a link on our website to the SSN resource centre for anyone interested in the detailed responses requested in Q6-10.In summary the report shows that when standing directly in front of a meter while it was transmitting on peak power a person would be exposed to 0.00004% of the RF limits in the NZ standard. Standing at the base of a pole with an AP transmitting would expose a person to the same peak level, 0.00004% of the NZ limits.

 

Mr. Stanton refused to answer questions relating to the amount of radiofrequency radiation in the first list of 32 questions were sent to him, so the same questions were included in the second list of questions. Interestingly enough, he has not answered them again.

I have looked at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute’s website and I have not found the document to which Mr. Stanton refers, above. (Perhaps I missed something? I can’t spend all day reading “smart meter”-related websites.) If any readers find the URL, please email it to me through the Contact form at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/ Thank you.

However, given his obviously reluctance to give people information in actual units (rather than as a percentage of the NZ standard), perhaps Mr. Stanton’s omission of a URL to the appropriate page on the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute’s website was intentional.

In any event, it seems curious that Mr. Stanton should state that “when standing directly in front of a meter while it was transmitting on peak power a person would be exposed to 0.00004% of the RF limits in the NZ standard” when according to a document which may be downloaded from this link http://www.networktasman.co.nz/Advanced_Meters/Radio%20Frequency%20Safety.pdf of Network Tasman Ltd’s website, someone standing one foot away from a Silver Springs enabled “smart meter” is exposed to 8.8 microwatts per square centimetre – which works out to be 88,000 microwatts per square meter. 88,000 microwatts per square metre is 1.95% of the national standard for RFR of the frequency used by the meters. 1.95% (of NS2772.1:1999 – see below) is a lot higher than 0.00004% – which equates to 180 microwatts per square metre.

According to another document on Network Tasman’s Ltd’s website the national standard (NS2772.1:1999) is 4,500,000 microwatts per square metre. However, in most respects, NS2772.1:1999 is irrelevant, because it is designed to protect against only thermal effects from microwave radiation, not other possible adverse biological effects such as DNA damage and cancer. Thus, any exposure to even a low percentage of NS2772.1:1999 needs to be assessed on the basis of what is known about the potential risks to health with the particular level of RFR – and not assumed to be safe simply because it is a lot lower than the national standard.

It is also curious that Mr Stanton states that the amount of radiofrequency radiation that people are exposed to from a relay (if they are standing at the bottom of a pole on which the relay is mounted) is also 0.00004% of the NZ standard. The document at this link http://www.networktasman.co.nz/Advanced_Meters/Report%20on%20Generic%20EMF%20for%20SmartCo%20v%201.1.pdf suggests that exposure may be significantly higher but it is hard to know for sure, because the document at the link above includes only calculated values, not actual values. (Also: The relay will no doubt be designed to broadcast outwards to communicate with “smart meters” rather than at the ground, which is another factor which may influence exposure.)

(For a more in depth discussion of the emissions from the “smart grid” that Network Tasman Ltd wants to build, please see this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/is-network-tasman-ltd-using-bad-science-to-justify-bad-decisions/)

Really, it would be much simpler if Mr. Stanton just fronted with the answers to the actual questions asked of Network Tasman Ltd.

 

11)   Please supply a map showing proposed (and any existing) relay and/or access points.

 

  1. These are available at our office

Why not supply a copy, as requested? (Failure to do so may lead some people to suspect that Network Tasman Ltd may not want this information to be made public.)

12)   Will NTL act as an MEP and install certified analogue meters for people for whom a “smart” meter (even with the transmission modem removed) is not an acceptable option?

 

  1. Our preference is to install electronic meters for all customers as it greatly reduces the number of meters in service.

 

13)   Will NTL remove “smart meters” promptly on request if a customer develops new symptoms after a “smart meter” installation?

 

  1. The RF emissions from any meter are very, very low and only for a few seconds per day. If anyone does believe they are being affected by a meter we would work with them to investigate their concerns and find an agreeable solution.

 

As I wrote at this link

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/answers-to-questions-from-network-tasman-ltd-part-1/

people would have more confidence in Network Tasman Ltd if it did give a firm undertaking to remove “smart meters” if customers developed new symptoms after a “smart meter” installation. As the coordinator for www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz I know of cases in which people have been made seriously ill by RFR from a “smart meter” at their home and have had to suffer for literally months because their electricity company has been reluctant to remove the “smart meter” – despite the customers disclosing serious symptoms to the company.

 

It is also important to realise that Mr. Stanton’s apparent belief that emissions from a “smart meter” are “very very low” is mistaken. As I explain at this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/is-network-tasman-ltd-using-bad-science-to-justify-bad-decisions/

 

“[According to a document on the Network Tasman Ltd website] At one foot away from a “silver spring”-enabled “smart meter” (such as may occur in the case of a meter mounted on a bedroom wall*) someone is exposed to  8.8 microwatts per square cm (or 88,000 microwatts per square metre).  While “smart meters” are designed to produce RFR intermittently, rather than constantly, this is not a trivial level of radiation. The authors of the BioInitiative report (www.bioinitiative.org) have recommended a precautionary level of exposure of 1,000 microwatts per square metre.”  

 

 

14)   Will NTL remove “relays” or “access points” if people living or working or spending time in the vicinity object to being exposed to the RFR from this infrastructure?

 

  1. As with meters the RF emissions from any relay and access points are very, very low. They are easily shifted and if anyone does believe they are being affected we would work with them to investigate their concerns and find an agreeable solution.

 

This is a good undertaking – assuming that Network Tasman Ltd were to take people’s concerns seriously in the event of a complaint.

 

 

15)   Will NTL remove “smart meters” promptly on request if a customer changes his/her mind and decides the health, privacy etc. risks from a “smart meter” is not acceptable?

 

  1. We would work with the customer to investigate their concerns and find an agreeable solution as both NTL and the customer would miss out on benefits with the removal of a meter.

See comments relating to question 5.

 

16)   Given that the FRF produced by the “smart meters” is classified by the WHO’s International agency for Research on Cancer as a “possible carcinogen” (Type 2B, the same as lead) has NTL obtained legal advice should customers with exposure to this radiation via a “smart meter” or smart network equipment develop cancer and decide to seek legal redress for pain, suffering, loss of income, loss of life etc?

 

  1. Not specifically in regard to this subject. It is important to first understand that the classification 2B means that there is “limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals” and indeed has the same classification as coffee and bracken. It is also interesting to see what is included under Classification 1 to fully appreciate risk (alcohol, PM10, sunlight). Also to note is that WHO statements suggest that on the balance of evidence to date the exposure to low level RF fields does not cause adverse health effects. Also note comments below.

 

People can choose to avoid many possible or probable carcinogens such as coffee, bracken and alcohol, if they choose. I know of no case in which any person or company has forced anyone to consume any of these substances against their will (and in the unlikely event that this occurred, the perpetrator could well face assault charges.)

To its credit, Network Tasman Ltd has stated that they will not force people to accept “smart meters” if they do not want one.  However, people may still be adversely affected by emissions from their neighbours’ “smart meters” and the “smart grid” that Network Tasman Ltd wants to establish would expose everyone in the vicinity to increased levels of potentially carcinogenic radiofrequency radiation.

 

Some researchers consider radiofrequency radiation in the microwave range may in the future be revised to the status of a probable carcinogen, if research like the paper below.

 

http://ehtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Review-Davis-Kesari-Pathophysiology-proof-2013.pdf

 

17)   Does NTL’s liability insurance also provide cover for third party (customer) claims for pain, suffering, loss of income, loss of life etc. resulting from exposure to RFR from their network and owned devices?

 

  1. NTL’s public liability insurance applies only if it is proven to be negligent. As with EMF’s generated from our electrical distribution network and household appliances, RF generated from “smart meters” are well below international standards and guidelines. Also note comments above.

 

The answer to this question is interesting, given that in her meeting with Network Tasman Ltd, lawyer Sue Grey was told by a staff member that she should not have stated/implied that the company was hiding behind New Zealand’s NS2772.1:1999, which like most international standards is designed to protect only against thermal (tissue heating, burns) effects from radiofrequency radiation, not other possible effects, such as DNA damage and cancer. Unfortunately, from Mr. Stanton’s statement above it appears that “hiding behind” this is exactly what the company wants to do. (See this link for details of Sue Grey’s meeting with representatives of Network Tasman Ltd: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/will-network-tasman-ltd-do-the-right-thing-by-its-community/

 

 For more information about Network Tasman Ltd please see the following:

www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/answers-to-questions-from-network-tasman-ltd-part-1/

 

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/does-network-tasman-ltd-hope-to-profit-from-smart-water-meters-in-the-nelsontasman-region/

 

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/is-network-tasman-ltd-using-bad-science-to-justify-bad-decisions/

 

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/will-network-tasman-ltd-do-the-right-thing-by-its-community/

 

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/network-tasman-there-are-no-privacy-concerns-with-smart-meters-yeah-right/

 

www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/the-advantages-of-smart-meters/