Langley resident sick of smart meters

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      Since the installation of smart meters at her subsidized-housing complex, a 57-year-old former realtor says her health has been so compromised that she’s using a wheelchair. As well, her cat is dying.

      “I know for certain now [the additional radio-frequency emissions are responsible], because my cat has gone way downhill in the last six months,” Kathryn Hutchinson told the Straight by phone from her ground-level apartment at Centennial Manor in Langley. “He’s actually gone blind now. It’s really having a big effect on him. I don’t know if I’m going to make it or not. This might kill me. But boy, it [the story] has to get out.”

      Hutchinson confirmed that she was hypersensitive to radio frequencies prior to the meters’ installation but said she has never felt as bad as she currently does.

      “I am the first apartment next to the meter [bank],” Hutchinson, a widow and mother of two grown daughters, added. “There might be a three-foot hallway in between or whatever, but I am as close as you can get. When I’m sitting at my computer, that would be the closest.”

      Jeanette Dagenais, administrator with the Langley Lions Senior Citizens Housing Society, confirmed to the Straight by phone that B.C. Hydro’s private contractor, Corix, installed a meter bank containing 12 smart meters about four metres from the front door of Hutchinson’s suite last November. The rest are on the second floor of the 36-suite building the society administers, Dagenais said.

      Hutchinson said she went on permanent disability in 1997, due to multiple symptoms including sciatica, nerve damage, muscle weakness, and what she believes is a sensitivity to electromagnetic frequencies. Her MLA, B.C. Liberal Mary Polak, told the Straight by phone that she is familiar with Hutchinson’s situation.

      “What concerns me is when we can’t find a resolution for someone,” Polak said. “I understand that she finds this very upsetting and also that, for her, she believes that she’s experiencing physical challenges as a result. I know we haven’t been able to find a resolution that satisfies her.”

      Both Dagenais and her colleague Linda Watson said they would look into transferring Hutchinson to another suite. “We quite often do that with our residents if they do have issues or problems like that,” Watson told the Straight. “This is kind of a new one for us, though.”

      According to Citizens for Safe Technology founder Una St. Clair, if Hutchinson stays put, the parts of the suite closest to the meters should be coated with special paint that blocks radiation.

      St. Clair, who describes herself as electrohypersensitive, said she recognized “the common dizziness, the nausea, the migraines every day, the shaking, the upset digestive system” that Hutchinson described to her.

      When told about Hutchinson’s case, B.C. Hydro’s smart-meter spokesperson, Cindy Verschoor, insisted: “The meters have been confirmed safe by the provincial, the federal, and the international health authorities, and they’ve been independently tested and verified.

      “In fact, we’ve just done another study on a bank of 40 meters in a high-density residential complex in Victoria,” she reported.

      Verschoor said the upcoming report should be available on B.C. Hydro's website this week.

      Comments

      26 Comments

      Realist

      Jun 28, 2012 at 9:06am

      Don't forget that it was provincial, federal and international authorities who deemed thalidomide to be safe.

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      jonny .

      Jun 28, 2012 at 10:01am

      Just because most people wont be affected by radio signals, doesnt mean NO ONE will be affected. Some peoples bodies are highly sensitive to magnetic fields or certain frequencies.

      I am totally against these devices, but for other reasons. Privacy and cost.

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      pippatch

      Jun 28, 2012 at 10:48am

      It is my understanding that the radio transmission part of the meters has not been activated yet, so there should be no emissions, hence no problem.

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      Get Grounded

      Jun 28, 2012 at 11:22am

      I'd suggest trying a grounding pad out if in a condo. Or if you have access to the ground, drive a metal stake in, run a wire to your house and stay in contact with it. A good grounding connection can eliminate this problem, though it's a shame BC hydro forced this on people instead of using a wired fiber optic system or just keeping the old meters.

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      Corban

      Jun 28, 2012 at 2:42pm

      Wow, AND her cat has an issue too? Let's be honest, the probability her cat is affected by an issue that affects a very marginal rate of people is infinitesimal, so if she isn't some sort of quack, they should be looking for the real cause of the issue. Radio waves? My god, she's bombarded by cellular, microwaves, and wireless internet routers all day but this smart meter is obviously the culprit?! I lol'd!

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      Roberta Walker

      Jun 28, 2012 at 3:21pm

      This smartmeter fiasco is criminal !!! Now we are going to have to pay for opting out. As a widowed senior, I can barely afford the bills I've had to pay for the last year never mind what the charges will be after a smartmeter is installed. Whatever happened to democracy,freedom of choice.? The B.C.Gov. certainly took care of that !!!!

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      Benita

      Jun 28, 2012 at 4:12pm

      Perhaps Ms. Verschoor should tell the WHO that BC Hydro's understanding of pulsed radiation is far superior than that of the international, elite group of medical researchers representing the WHO.

      Reality: the pulsed radiation of Smart meters was INCLUDED in the category of 2b carcinogens by the WHO.

      She should also notify the American Academy of Environmental Medicine telling the many doctors and medical researchers, that their understanding of biology is wrong, because only BC Hydro knows best!

      Reality: The American Academy of Environmental Medicine recently re-issued their warnings of smart meter radiation!

      Ms. Verschoor, even the Austrian Medical Association has recently also stepped in with warnings!

      Do we really have to wait around until we are all irradiated against our will, and as a result suffer permanent biological damage, just like Kathryne Hutchinson and her little cat?

      The website of Citizens for Safe Technology gives excellent info regarding these hideous meters and instructions on what to do. Just say NO!

      P.S. I am also electronically sensitive and it is ruining my life. I would love to go back to work but since our world has become so irradiated, I am very limited in what I can do. And yes, I do wear a protective hat.

      Pippatch: The smart meters are radiating NOW, the only thing not working is the grid network that will cover all communities with a blanket of biologically harmful radiation.

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      e.a.f.

      Jun 28, 2012 at 4:15pm

      we have all seen items which governments & companies, etc. said were safe only to find out later they weren't. It might be better to err on the side of caution. Try to rember these meters were built in China, not exactly known for high quality or caring about what their products do.

      The company installing these meters got a lovely contract from their "friend" gordo.

      This insane line about, its enviornmental is "bulltweet". The enviornment was more harmed by the production & use of gas to install them. The old meters were just fine. They also provided 400 jobs which now will be gone. Nice going there liebeals.

      If people were truly interested in their enviornment & their personal impact on it they would stop purchasing new cell phones, t.v., electronic equipment everytime something new hit the market. They would keep their cars for 10 yrs. & mantain them. People would keep their appliances until they were worn out & not keep having granite counter tops installed. they have to take that granite out of the earth & it destroyes a lot of land & wastes a lot of energy getting it.

      Being enviornmental is hard work. it is so much easier to just babble a few words & feel good. In the meantime plse pass me a plastic bag.

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      SLean

      Jun 28, 2012 at 4:59pm

      The meters are dangerous in many ways -- emitting radiation is just one. Even if the meters are not yet fully functional, and not all are (I suspect those in Victoria that Verschoor "measured" are not. We have few activated collectors here yet) there are other issues re. health. There are magnetic fields on electrical wires to which many people are sensitive. Smart meters cause very high bursts of this on home wiring, and many people may be reacting to this before the infrastructure is fully functional. Imagine how many more people will be suffering when this monster grid is running. Take a look at the youtube "The Dark Side of Smart Meters" to see how the smart meter is really working. As for Hydro's report, the testing was probably done as inadequately as all of the others have been sp the report won't be worth the time it took to type it. Hydro is not to be trusted -- they are not telling the truth about anything. And yes, Corban, cats and dogs do suffer. The smaller the bodies, the more they are affected. That's why children are so much more vulnerable than a full grown man.

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      Rationale

      Jun 28, 2012 at 9:30pm

      12 smart meters in front of her firing only a couple seconds a day.

      That means there could be up to 11 wireless networks and cordless phones all running on the same 2.4GHz band in her apartment block running continuously 24 hours a day. Yet it is the smart meters specifically that is causing her illness, not the continual numerous wireless radii around her.

      Cats get cataracts, people get sick, often very quickly. Smart meters aren't going to kill you any more than the WiFi networks and cordless phones, you ninnies.

      This is why RussiaToday is more credible than the Georgia Straight.

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