FCC standards in the era of digital, pulsing radiation environment.
The FCC Standard for Maximum Allowable Radiation Exposure applies mainly to analog, modulated signals whose strength can be interpolated and averaged to be presented in units of power density (Watts/m²).
Those standards do not apply to pulsing, digital radiation generated by Smart Meters unless the Meter's duty cycle is close to 100%. Please see "Our Exposure" page for an expanded explanation of the "Duty Cycle" concept.
The FCC standards are very dated. The agency still employs the 1991 standards, which have been modified only slightly since their implementation, and do not include any studies conducted after 1986. One can ask why, despite of all the talk about RF radiation,
is the FCC still using standards created 20 years ago, established before the dawn of digital communication?
Because of the FCC inaction or, as some suspect, delaying tactics it is up to individuals to ensure that our exposure to RF radiation is as short as possible and radiation is as low as possible.
Installing the Smart Meter Shielding could be a simple, yet effective, step in the right direction.
Here are major omissions in current FCC standards.
1. The short bursts of RF radiation, typical for digital transmission, are not considered to be harmful per FCC standards.
How powerful are these bursts? In the case of Smart Meter radiation, per PG&E testimony, 2500 milliWatts of electrical shock zaps our nervous system for up to 6,000 times a second. This pulsing radiation was measured from the distance of about 2 feet from the meter.
You have to remember, the closer to the meter, the higher the radiation exposure.
2. The FCC standards take under consideration only the thermal effects of RF exposure.
In the nutshell, according to the US standards, if exposure to radiation does not increase your body temperature above a temperature level where the heat can be dissipated trough perspiration, there is no danger posed by radiation.
3. The biological and neurological effects of RF radiation are totally disregarded.
It is proven that RF radiation negatively affects our brain and immune systems. In spite of many findings in the last 20 years, the FCC has dragged its feet with ordering a review of those studies.
4. The standards for public exposure apply only as the Time Weighted Average (TWA) of 30 min.
In other words you can be irradiated with 3000 milliWatts for 5 minutes and still average only 500 milliWatts of exposure in TWA format.
Measuring Radio Frequency radiation generated by Smart Meters.
The only valid measurement of pulsing, digital radiation generated by Smart Meters is the measurement of its strength also called peak, amplitude or instantaneous value. It measures the instantaneous, jolts of radiation we are subjected to during meter's transmission in units of volts per meter (V/m).
It is a common misconception that the average value or density of radiation which is displayed on the meter in units of milliWatts per square meter (mW/m²) or similar, represents the level of exposure to radiation emitted by Smart Meter. The processing rate (speed) of RF meters trying to measure Smart Meter’s digital, pulsing radiation is just too slow to capture all of the very short pulses of radiation so calculation of the average or density of radiation is grossly underreported. Anyway, the radiation density is a measurement of thermal exposure and has not much to do with biological effects of exposure to short spikes of digital radiation.
Smart Meter's pulsing, digital radiation is different than Amplitude (AM) or Frequency (FM) Modulated radio station's signals and other continues wave sources of signals.
Smart Meters are wireless devices that use a digital system of communication to transmit data between themselves and to the repeater units. The signals generated by a Smart Meter’s transmitter turn on and off at very high speed to send gathered data. These bursts of radiation are separated by time gaps to distinguish the individual packets of information. This process produces a non-continuous radiation, which is known as pulsing or digital. The typical length of the radiation pulse (size of the info pocket) is between 0.000001 sec and 0.01 sec.
There are two most popular transmission protocols used by Smart Meters. The time slotted pocket communication and the frequency hopping spread spectrum. Meters using the spread spectrum protocol are the worst to evaluate radiation level. The frequency hopping makes it extremely difficult if not impossible to measure the strength of pulses at changing frequencies.
The extremely short duration of radiation pulses creates problems with measuring their strength and density. Radio Frequency meters of high sensitivity and very fast sampling rates are needed to have any chance of capturing these short pulses (radiation spikes). Instruments also have to have the Hold function to lock the measured pulse at its highest amplitude which is the strength of digital radiation.
The best, affordable instrument on the market has a sampling rate of 0.35 sec (3 times per second) and processing rate of detection signal of 0.005 sec. It means that every 0.35 seconds the instrument measures the strength/amplitude of the pulse and if the pulse is shorter in duration than 0.005 second instrument will not recognize it or calculate it for the average. Furthermore, when the pulse occurs during the time between samplings, it will not be seen. Only if the sampling period and transmission of the pulse coincide in time the pulse will be recorded.
Summarizing, any pulse shorter than 0.005 of a second and any pulse that occurs in the gap between meter's sampling (sampling is conducted every 0.35 second) will be ignored.
As we mentioned before, it is a common misconception that the average value also known as power density of radiation, displayed on the meter in units of milliWatts per square meter (mW/m²) or similar, represents the level of exposure to Radio Frequency radiation generated by Smart Meter.
We have to remember that the average or density of radiation is a true mathematical time-averaged reading of a few hundred samples. In case of Smart Meter, when the RF meter misses a pulse or the pulse is too short to be detected, RF meter will not count it, drastically lowering the average. The low instrument’s reading of power density in units of (mW/m²) will give a false sense of security in the surveyed areas.
On the other hand, the strenght or amplitude of digital radiation, the highest sampled value, is regarded as the measurement of critical “biological effects” that affect the organism. The strenght in v/m represents the momentary energy spike generated by a radiation source; this energy is absorbed by the human body in the form of very short electrical jolts.
Once again, Smart Meter's pulsing, digital radiation is different than a modulated radiation generated by radio station's transmitters and other continues wave signals emitters. Smart Meter’s radiation is characterized by extremely short in duration radiation pulses.
- Any measurement of RF radiation should be conducted from the distance of at least 3-wavelengths of a specific frequency. Measurements are not reliable when conducted from a distance closer than 3 wavelengths from the radiation source (the “near-field” effect). In the case of smart meter radiation, where the frequency is between 902MHz and 928MHz, the wavelength is about 1 foot, so the measurement should be taken from the distance of no less than 3 feet.
- There is always a question of the RF meter’s accuracy. A meter’s accuracy is usually indicated in units of dB (decibels). Unit of decibels is a logarithmic scale with the base of 10. When the instrument has an accuracy of +/- 3 dB it means that the true measurement of radiation could be up to 100% higher or 50% lower. For 6dB accuracy, true radiation value could be up to 400% higher.
- For digital, pulsing radiation there is no conversion between the peak/ instantaneous value of the pulse or their strength in “v/m” and the average value or power density in “mW/m²” . This conversion loosely applies only to continues, modulated analog signal like AM or FM or other similar.
By Mobile EMF Survey and Mitigation; www.SmartMeterBlock.com
Based on the above, when considering the effectiveness of shielding applied to Smart Meters,
the attenuation level of shielding material should take a priority over field measurements.
Any shielding material used for protection against Smart Meter's radiation has to be manufactured and tested according to industry standards. Factory certification for attenuation level should be provided.