Utility companies in several provinces have installed wireless smart meters in Canadian businesses and residences. Learn about the safety of smart meters.
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About smart meters
Smart meters are wireless devices that transmit information using radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) signals to let utility companies know how much water, gas or electricity a household or business is using.
The radiofrequency EMF given off by smart meters is a type of non-ionizing radiation. The level of radiofrequency EMF that a smart meter device can emit must comply with the standards established for radiocommunication devices.
Health effects of exposure to smart meters
There are no health risks from exposure to radiofrequency EMF from smart meters. These devices must meet standards to ensure they do not exceed radiofrequency EMF exposure limits.
As with any device that emits radiofrequency EMF, you will absorb some of the energy emitted by smart meters if you are nearby. The amount of energy you absorb depends largely on how close your body is to a smart meter.
Your exposure to radiofrequency EMF from smart meters is very low. This is because:
- smart meters emit relatively low power signals
- there is distance between your body and smart meters
- smart meters transmit data in short bursts, not continuously
- when smart meters are not transmitting a signal, they do not emit radiofrequency EMF
Survey measurements of the radiofrequency EMF levels from smart meters during transmission bursts were found to be far below the human exposure limits in Safety Code 6. This was for both indoor and outdoor measurements.
Even if you live or work in a townhouse or high-rise building where multiple smart meters are installed together, your total exposure levels will still be far below Canadian exposure limits due to the infrequent nature of transmissions.
Learn about how Safety Code 6 protects you from radiofrequency EMF.
You do not need to take any precautionary measures to reduce your radiofrequency EMF exposure from smart meters because the exposure levels are far below Canadian safety limits.
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Safety of smart meters (PDF)
About smart meters, health effects of exposure to smart meters
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