Next-generation meters are safe and pose no health hazard.
Hydro-Québec is aware that some people have health concerns and has been following the issue of radiofrequency emissions closely for a number of years.
The selected next-generation meters are fully compliant with the guidelines issued by Health Canada, the recognized authority in the matter, respecting safe levels of exposure to radiofrequency emissions, as determined on the basis of studies carried out in Canada and around the world in recent decades.
RF exposure levels measured 1 m away from a next-generation meter are approximately 55,000 times lower than the threshold recommended by Health Canada. The Royal Society of Canada also felt that the limits set by Health Canada were appropriate, given the state of scientific knowledge to date (link to report).
The emission rates of next-generation meters are far lower than those of most home electronics (cell phones, microwave ovens, etc.). See table, Comparison of RF Emission Levels.
Next-generation meters also comply with Industry Canada standards, which require that RF products be designed and installed so as to ensure safe exposure levels.
In December 2011, after a technical survey of next-generation meters, Health Canada issued a specific notice stating: “Based on this information, Health Canada has concluded that exposure to RF energy from smart meters does not pose a public health risk.”
In March 2012, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux filed an opinion stating that next-generation meters are not a health risk. The department reiterated its opinion in fall 2013.
A study published jointly by Protégez-vous magazine and Polytechnique Montréal (whose “electro-urban” brigade toured 23 homes and 34 public places in several regions of Québec) concluded that the next-generation meters are standards-compliant and that their RF emissions are well below the threshold established for Canada.
The RF emission level measured 1 m away from a next-generation meter is approximately 55,000 times less than Health Canada limits. No matter how close you are to the meter, it’s safe.
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425 mW (milliwatts), or 0.425 W, which is equivalent to that of an LED holiday bulb.