Letter: Put smart meters in perspective

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The hoopla over the electric smart meters is a little baffling. I don’t question the symptoms people are feeling, but I do question whether they’ve done their homework before making a diagnosis.

If we were talking about toxic pollutants, it would make sense to raise an alarm and not wait for research to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. But in the case of smart meters, raising the alarm seems more like crying wolf – many in the community are sympathetic now, but maybe they won’t be when we have a real environmental problem.

Even if the radiation from smart meters is shown to have an effect, how do we distinguish it from all the other sources of radiation? What about the meters we’ve already had for the past year or two, for water and gas? What about sources that aren’t so convenient to complain about, such as cellphones, wireless routers, TV screens, computer monitors and remote controls? What about magnetic fields from electrical wiring? Or neighborhood wireless routers, and radio waves from police, fire and taxi dispatchers? What about serious radiation sources such as the new 3D dental/orthodontic imaging systems? This is not to mention other environmental concerns in the home, such as diet, stress, carpet vapors, dust and molds.

I’m not trying to add to people’s list of fears, but rather to put them in perspective. Focusing on blocking electric company smart meters for health reasons is a little like insisting on a sugar substitute for the coffee you’re having with your cheesecake.

Edward Pearlman
South Portland