Smart meter support group dismissed in wireless-waves fight
Bad Science Watch argues smart meter waves do no harm. "It’s essentially saying a birthday candle at the other end of the gymnasium is having an effect on your health." — Dr. Robert Tarzwell (FILE PHOTO)
A group dedicated to debunking scientific myth has had their intervener application to support BC Hydro’s smart meter position rejected by the province’s human rights adjudicators.
Dr. Robert Tarzwell said Thursday he still intends to find out whether he could appear as an expert witness on behalf of Hydro, as he knows there’s plenty of research dismissing claims that electrical frequencies have ill effects.
The Crown corporation had supported the position of his group, Bad Science Watch, which argues smart meter waves do no harm.
But anti-wireless signal group Citizens for Safe Technology argued Tarzwell’s people have financial interests in the case.
At issue is whether “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” is a real disability caused by wireless signals emanating from Hydro’s new digital meters.
Sharon Noble, a director with CST, said on Sunday they objected to BSW as an intervener since the organization opposes anything to do with anti-WiFi activism, adding there are "thousands" of studies that show the electric waves are harmful.
"The people have a right not to be exposed to wireless radiation," she said. "Their doctors are telling them they should not be exposed and BC Hydro is ignoring it."
Noble called Hydro's opt-out fees akin to "extortion" as customers have to pay more to ensure they're not affected by the waves.
She said there are about 70 potential witnesses CST would present to the tribunal, all of whom have doctors' notes detailing their disabilities.
"This is a new area — until about 20 years ago people weren't exposed to this level of radiation."
Tarzwell, whose background is in psychiatry and nuclear medicine, said BSW is a non-profit organization.
He said people often confuse “ionizing radiation,” which can cause tissue damage, to the kind of radiation from smart meters. The latter’s radiation, he noted, can generate heat but would need to be at microwave-levels before anything is felt.
Tarzwell also hoped to include as evidence results of “blind” tests done on patients that concluded they couldn’t tell if electric waves were present in a room.
“If (CST’s argument) gets enshrined in policy, then it’s irrational policy and that’s simply a drag on social and financial progress,” Tarzwell reasoned, pointing to examples where schools have eliminated WiFi Internet access due to concerns.
He added there’s little doubt those who claim electric waves negatively affect them are suffering from something — it’s just not the electric waves that are causing it.