Last week, around 8:30 a.m., more than 5,000 utility meters exploded in Stockton, California, after a dump truck crashed into a utility pole, causing a power surge.
One man said his meter blasting open was enough to shake his house.
How on Earth did this happen?
Turns out these weren’t any ordinary utility meters. They were “smart meters.”
Smart meters are part of the next generation of creepy electronic devices to help the government spy on your energy consumption.
Exactly six months ago, our own Spy Briefing Today’s Chris Campbell wrote an excellent article on how the government is trying to force smart meters on us to gouge us on heating and cooling bills even more.
But random explosion chain reactions aside, there’s a more insidious danger to these devices: They emit EMF (electromagnetic) waves.
Chances are you’ve at least heard rumors about EMF waves and their potential harm. So are they a legit health concern or just another paranoid theory proclaimed by the tinfoil hat brigade?
First, a clarification: There are both natural sources of EMFs and unnatural ones. Electric fields are created by atmospheric charges associated with thunderstorms. And the Earth’s own magnetic field has been essential for humans to flourish: We are able to use compasses as a result.
But as with any advances we make in harnessing the power of the planet we live on… there are unintended consequences…
Like artificial EMFs created by electronic devices. In these cases, the electric field is created whenever the appliance is plugged in. The magnetic field is created whenever the device is actually running.
Scientists are finding more and more evidence unnatural EMFs are damaging our bodies, and especially our brains.
A 2014 study on humans found EMF exposure near the person’s skull “modulated the spontaneous low frequency fluctuations in some brain regions.” In other words, their brain activity changed. This is solid proof these EMF waves are doing something to our brains.
I’m sure it’s all good stuff, though, right? Maybe an ingenious way to increase IQ? I could see a new comic book hero now… EMF Man! Duhn-duhn-duhnnn…
Except testing has also found Wi-Fi signals damage everything from kidney function, fertility, and sperm… to heart rate.
Especially sperm! EMF exposure screws up everything: sperm count, viability… even motility (how well the little guys swim around)!
(EMF Man: His superpower is consistently disappointing and leaving EMF Woman frustrated… )
Another study out of the UCLA School of Public Health found an association between exposure to cellphones while a mother was pregnant and her child’s “emotional and hyperactivity problems around the age of school entry.”
To be fair, this particular study simply found an association. Maybe the culture of cellphone use simply lends itself to being unhealthier in general. Maybe.
But come on.
How many sperm studies do we need before we admit EMF waves are harming us?
Actually, I’m sure you’re not the type to bury your head in the sand. Which is why I’ll avoid harping on the problem too much. Instead, let’s focus on some solutions:
- Keep your cellphone away from your brain, genitals, or any other part of your body you generally enjoy using to its fullest extent. Do NOT sleep with your phone next to your head!
- Use a Bluetooth device to make calls.
- Put your devices in airplane mode when you can.
- Hardwire your laptop to an Internet connection via an Ethernet cable, rather than using Wi-Fi.
- A study out of La Marsa, Tunisia, found supplementing with something called olive leaf extract might help. Rats exposed to Wi-Fi signals for just one hour per day for 21 days suffered liver and kidney problems, including abnormal growths.
But olive leaf extract prevented the damage in the rats which received it. True, there’s no human study to support this evidence… but I’m not waiting around for one. (Think maybe a cellphone company will sponsor it? Ha!)
This is far from an exhaustive list, but something tells me EMF waves and other environmental hazards are topics we’ll be writing more about.
In addition, there are far more intriguing health benefits to olive leaf extract in particular, and we’re very excited about it here at Living Well. That’s all I’ll say on the subject… for now…
Until then, step away from your electronic gizmos… and stay the heck away from smart meters.