A test of a smart meter modem (Sierra Wireless EWM GRPS 100) carried out in Auckland, New Zealand showed that the level of microwave radiation it produced might exceed the level allowed under NZ’s national standard NS 2772.1:1999.

The test equipment was located 20cm away and the amount of microwave radiation when the modem was operating at its highest power was 4,458.886 microwatts per square metre.  (NS2772.1:1999 is 4,500,000 microwatts per square metre for the 900 MHz frequency band at which the modem was transmitting.)

This suggests that microwave exposure at a distance of less than 20cm might exceed NS 2772.1:1999.  (When the calculations are done which show the microwave radiation exposure at less than 20 cm have been done, I will add the results to this post.)

Website editor’s note:  Since post was published an engineer friend has confirmed to me verbally that the amount of RF at produced by the smart meter would be well in excess of 4.5 million microwatts per square metre at the antenna.  However, he has not yet supplied a graph to illustrate this.

Given that the scientists who compiled the BioInitiative Report (www.bioinitiative.org) consider that  1,000 microwatts per square metre is a suitable upper limit for human exposure, the level of radiation produced by the modem is a serious concern.

The limited test data that is available for smart meters in use in NZ has shown that they transmit intermittently rather than constantly. Also, they may not operate at full power in many situations.  However, a home owner has no way of controlling how much radiation is produced other than having the modem removed or the smart meter replaced.

You can see the test report here:

EMC Report for AMS Sierra Wireless EWM100 GPRS Modem Meter (3)


End Note: Unfortunately, even though this modem would be capable of exceeding 4.5 million microwatts output (the approximate legal limit for a cell phone tower transmitting at 900 MHz) I have been informed that the modem is still compliant with the NZ National Standard, the reason being that time-averaging of smart meter pulses over a six minute (360 seconds) period is allowed.  This means that because under normal operating conditions, the type of modem used in the test would produce radiation intermittently rather than constantly, the times at which it is not producing radiation (a zero level) can be counted in the assessment with its compliance with the standard.


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