“Dirty power” from new electricity meters: Key to a health problem? – Environmental Health Trust


by Einar Flydal, MSc, MTS[*] and Else Nordhagen, PhD[†], 28th of March 2022

A new technical test report shows that the new “smart” electricity meters that have been rolled out in Norway and in other countries, in homes and at workplaces, pollute the electricity grid in the buildings with more “dirty electricity” than do old meters. Thereby, the new meters have the potential to be a health problem – even when they are “un-smartened”, i.e., with the radio transmitters in the meters removed or silenced. “Dirty electricity” is an industry term for several types of electrical noise spreading through power lines and creating or impacting electromagnetic fields around them.

The test report is part of the evidence to be used in a case for the appeal court in Oslo, Norway, in September 2022 to underpin that the 10 plaintiffs’ claims that they may have health issues from “smart” utility meters even when the microwave transmitter is turned off or removed, cannot be “evidently unfounded”.

As an introduction to the test report, we here explain what we did, and refer to scientific findings demonstrating that these test results may have significant health relevance.

We collected 23 different models of electricity meters, produced between 1985 and 2019, and got them tested to compare the “dirty electricity” produced from them. The company EMF Consult AS tested the amount of dirty electricity from the different meters, concluding in the report that the new meters create more dirty electricity than do older models.

– The amounts of dirty current are particularly significant at frequencies outside the spectrum tested for CE approval, which follows the EU’s certification norms, says cybernetics and electrical engineer Odd Magne Hjortland, who is the report’s author. The thresholds specified in the relevant norms are found as straight lines in the report’s graphs. – The fact that the AMS meters are located just where the house’s wiring network spreads out into the house, causes this noise to spread out effectively in the building, so that, in principle, you live inside a three-dimensional antenna that emits electromagnetic pulses in step with the noise. The noise will be amplified when several meters are installed in the same transformer circuit, which is the normal situation, Hjortland continues.

Sound engineer Erik Avnskog has also worked with the topic of electric noise for a number of years, both due to him having been a music studio owner and music producer, as well as later as an electro-hypersensitive searching for technical filtering of this noise. Avnskog tells us that such noise may indeed be problematic. We know from other test measuring we have initiated, that the noise increases upwards and past the frequencies tested in the test here presented.

It is well documented that very low frequencies consisting of “bursts” or “pulses” or “spikes” or “peaks” found in such “dirty electricity”, may affect biology, e.g. by impacting metabolism and alter the brain’s sleep pattern, by opening cell wall calcium channels (VGCCs) resulting in increased production of oxidants (ROS), and by creating extra signalling in the nervous system. Such effects happen even at very weak pulses, as long as they reach the “right” frequencies, i.e. pulse rhythms that charged di-poled proteins or other elements in the body naturally respond to.

Experience tells that some individuals are far more sensitive to such impacts others and react acutely, others only after some time, or never. The measurement test results in this new report may therefore explain why some people experience health problems from new smart meters – even when they have been exempted and removed from the new meters’ radio transmitters, even though others do not react at all.

Among the typical acute reactions to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are diffuse symptoms, such as fatigue, tinnitus, joint pain, “brain fog” and insomnia. These are among the symptoms that the US diplomats recently reported, referenced in media around the world. A research committee appointed by the US National Research Council found that EMF pulses were the most probable cause. The increase in such “noise” in society, “drowning out” nature’s own electrical pulses to which we are adapted, raises concern among some researchers. They predict growth in health problems for such reasons.

In Norway, customers with a medical certification that they have acute health problems from electromagnetic fields, are exempted from the instalment of a radio transmitter in the new electricity smart meters, named AMS (Automatic Metering System) meters. In cases of exemption from the AMS functionality the electricity grid companies are not obliged to replace the old meter, but still insist to do so, even with the transmitter removed or deactivated, with threats of power outage if not accepted. They claim “dirty electricity” cannot possibly be a health problem, referring to The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority’s regulations.

There are no relevant statistics collected in Norway, but both experience and research in other countries indicate that a significant number of people with “diffuse” health problems have got them after the AMS meter was installed. The basic documents on which Norwegian radiation protection is based (eg NIPH report 2012: 3 ) do not deny such effect to be possible, and such reactions to exposure below current Norwegian and Western standards ​​are generally recognized in many countries and solidly proven for a long time. Still, The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, claims  health problems from such “dirty electricity” cannot occur, or are, in case they do, not to be considered health issues …

Some more details

As to written sources on dirty electricity and its biological effects, sources of various quality abound, however most from a purely technical interference perspective, and under the technical term EMC (electromagnetic compatibility).

For our collection of references in Scandinavian and English relevant as to electricity (utility) smart meters and put together for the court case mentioned, you may look up the references (with links) found in our Norwegian only book “Smartmålerne, skitten strøm, pulser og helsa” (“Smart meters, dirty electricity, pulses and health”, 2021, 285 pages). You may download the book for free. See references no.s 142 to 183 and graphs found from page 115. (If wished, use Google Translate or similar to get a rough translation of text.)

Among possible mechanisms, the opening of cell walls’ calcium channels, causing increased oxidant production, is well known as a cause of many very different medical symptoms, both acute and over time, minor and more severe. Several different environmental stressors can trigger these channels (VGCCs) to open. That the pulsation from an AMS meter’s radio signals (brand Aidon) can open cell walls’ calcium channels, has recently been demonstrated in a simple note with calculations that we asked the German physicist Klaus Scheler to make, based on current radio-physical and biophysical knowledge. Scheler based the calculus on transmitter logs provided by us, and model work done by Panagopoulos et al .. Scheler explains the model and its practical application in a comprehensive academic paper where he puts together many “puzzle pieces” from practical and theoretical research. In spring 2021, he translated this paper into English and sent it to us for free use and distribution. We have put the two texts, the German and English versions, together into one document. We are not aware of any tests or calculations as to whether dirty electricity can have such impact, but see no reasons why it should not.

From the sources referred to in this introduction to the technical test report, it seems difficult to avoid drawing the conclusion that the widespread use of new smart meters, even when without transmission, imposes on humans, as well as other biological systems, an environmental stressor with often “diffuse”, but still significant impacts on public health – and that possible mechanisms behind, with adverse endpoints, are at least in part known and established in biophysics and medicine, but still denied by radiation authorities.

Below you find EMF Consult’s report in full.

Click to Download 

PDF for free re-publication. This text is Version 1.2 and can be downloaded together with EMF Consult’s report from https://einarflydal.com/?smd_process_download=1&download_id=73602

or, in short: https://bit.ly/3Dhtzp5

(Previous versions of this text were posted at http://einarflydal.com
in Norwegian 19.102022, and
in English 28.03.2022.)

*     cand. polit. (political science) and Master of Telecom Strategy, retired from R&D and strategy at Telenor ASA, and from university teaching (NTNU). Corresponding author. Email: einar.flydal@gmail.com

[†]     dr.scient (informatics), retired from R&D and ICT development at Telenor ASA, and from university teaching (UiO)