The Listener recently ran a piece titled “5G cell towers are provoking opposition, despite lack of evidence”.[1] 

In this article, the author quoted some text from an email he had received from a teacher who said he had become sensitive to EMR “due to living and working near cellphone towers and high-voltage power lines for years”. (Chronic exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from sources such as these appears to be a common feature in the case histories of people who have developed this condition – see

The author further quotes the teacher as having challenged him “try standing one foot away from a smart meter for two minutes” to see if he noticed the effects.

The author of the article in The Listener reports.

“I tried that. I have a smart electricity meter in my basement. I didn’t feel anything other than boredom.”

That’s not surprising, actually, because only a minority of people appear to be able to perceive smart meter emissions.  Plus, there are quite a few different makes and models of smart meters on the NZ market and formal and in-use testing of smart meters in NZ show that smart meter transmission profiles can vary; smart meters here have been reported to produce pulses of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) as often as every 8 seconds to as infrequently as once every eight hours.  [2]

If a meter is not transmitting at the time that someone is standing close to it, you would not expect that person to feel anything – unless they have become so sensitised to EMR that they can perceive the low frequency fields associated with the household wiring and/or any “dirty electricity” [7] that could be generated by a smart meter if its switch mode power supply has not been carefully engineered. 

Please note that I would NOT recommend that anyone stand close to a smart meter given the report at this link: and the evidence of damage to red blood cells following exposure to smart meter emissions as illustrated below:

The image above shows blood samples from three volunteers who stood close to smart meters. The top image for each person shows healthy looking red blood cells. The bottom image shows how the red blood cells have been damaged by the EMR. As reported in the documentary on the smart meter issue called “Take Back Your Power” (which is the original source for these images) the volunteer whose blood sample is shown on the far right developed a headache while standing in front of the smart meter and moved away prior to the end of the two minute experiment. The other two volunteers did not experience any symptoms. “Take Back Your Power” may be viewed on youtube via the following link:

The Listener’s author goes on to quote Keith Petrie as saying: “Studies show that such people do experience symptoms, but only when they know they are being exposed,”

This statement is complete rubbish as this report illustrates:

Regardless, the author uses his column inches in The Listener to promulgate the nonsense that the very real physiological condition known as electrohypersensitivity or electrosensitivity ( is a nocebo response, writing patronisingly that the teacher who wrote to him “should have his mind put to rest. If he believes the radio waves around him are harmless, there’s a good chance he’ll feel nothing.”

He tackles the issue of the carcinogenicity of radiofrequency radiation (RFR), admitting that it is currently classified as a possible carcinogen (Group 2B). (The International Agency for Research in Cancer (IARC) made this determination in 2011 – see He then neglects to mention subsequent research that suggests that this form of radiation should be reclassified as a probable or even proven carcinogen. (See: and

He continues:

“More recent studies confirm the scientific consensus that there are no adverse health effects within the radiation exposure limits the mobile industry has to comply with.”

Look at how carefully that sentence was written and think about what it means:  The author is NOT claiming that “there are no adverse health effects within the radiation exposure limits the mobile industry has to comply with” because he is probably sufficiently well informed and smart enough to know that such a claim would be frankly false.  This is because there is considerable evidence of adverse effects occurring at the levels of RFR which NZ law allows telcos to irradiate the surrounding area and its inhabitants. (For a few examples, please see this link: )

So, the author refers to a “scientific consensus” in support of what would otherwise be an untenable claim.

The fact of the matter though, is that there is NO scientific consensus about the safety of “radiation exposure limits”.  If there were such a consensus, there would not have been so many scientists signing petitions asking for a moratorium on the introduction of 5G ( or more generally for action to be taken to protect the public from their health being damaged by electromagnetic radiation – such as And thousands of scientists have signed this appeal, too:  

In relation to the levels of EMR that could be expected from 5G the The Listener then quotes Martin Gledhill who runs EMF Services, a company that tests emissions from cellular phone towers for Vodafone and Spark [4] (and has also tested a particularly noxious brand of smart meter) [5]. Despite his industry connections, Martin Gledhill is also a key member of the committee that is providing advice about the effects of non ionising radiation to the Minister of Health –

However, Martin Gledhill’s links to the telecommunications industry are not disclosed by The Listener.

Instead, Mr. Gledhill is described as “the former director of the National Radiation Laboratory and a leading expert on radio emission levels”.

Gledhill is quoted as saying:

“5G is just a new application of radio technology, and the knowledge gained from some 60 years of research is as applicable to 5G as any other form of radio technology.”

OK.  Think about that statement.  It’s presented in the context of the article as though it means there is nothing to worry about.  But given that RFR has already been classified as a possible human carcinogen (Group 2B) – and will probably be reclassified as a proven or probable carcinogen – the statement is cause for concern rather than reassuring.

Editor’s note: Useful information about electrosensitivity may be found at the following links:



[2] Information on the intensity of smart meter pulses may be found at the following link: and In-use testing data supplied as personal communications. 

[3]  “Dirty electricity” is an industry term for high frequency spikes and harmonics that are essentially a form of electrical pollution. A good book that covers the history of how dirty electricity was discovered to be contributing to health problems is the one by Samuel Milham, MD. See:

[4] and


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