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Montpelier — A new state report concludes that smart meters that utilities give customers to measure power consumption and save energy emit far less potentially harmful material than considered safe by the Federal Communications Commission.
Some environmental groups have raised concerns about the long-term health effects of being exposed to the radio frequency radiation emitted by the meters. And the group Vermonters for a Clean Environment doesn’t trust the study’s findings.
The highest level of exposure the study found in its tests was 3.9 percent of the FCC’s top exposure limit, said the Department of Public Service, which hired the company that prepared the report. The study found that other commonly used devices, including cordless phones, cellphones and microwave ovens, all emit higher levels of radio frequency.
“It is concluded that any potential exposure to the investigated smart meters will comply with the FCC exposure rules by a wide margin,” said the report, which was released yesterday.
The conclusions of the report were based on results of lab testing and field measurements from smart meters being used by Green Mountain Power and the Burlington Electric Department.
On a recent visit to Japan, I was struck by the remarkable success of smallholder farming. I left the country convinced that subsistence farming can eradicate Africa's hunger crisis. I wade into the paddy fields, nestled in the gentle mountains, hugged by the forests, along with Seiji Sugeno-san and his family. Rice occupies a historical place in Japanese history, society, and political economy. But for me it was my first experience of planting. The earth feels warm and the soft clay soils wrap around the feet in a tender clasp.
Sugeno-san is the president of the Fukushima Organic Farmers' network. His rugged frame advertises his dedication, hard work and love of the land. He embraces me like an old friend. I am from the country of Mandela, who is an icon in his community, admired for his integrity, sacrifice and compassion for the oppressed of the world.
We are barely 50 kilometers from the epicentre of the Fukushima meltdown. I am here to pay my respects to a community that has suffered the traumatic hardships of nuclear conflagration. Across the region, farmers dumped millions of gallons of milk and tons of ripe vegetables, unable to sell their products legally on the open market. Fukushima's 70,000 commercial farmers lost billions of dollars in income.
But Sugeno-san does not dwell on the past. He talks matter-of-factly about how the community is pulling itself up.
Yet all around us is the evidence of the radiation threat. A Geiger meter to measure radioactive levels is an ever-present companion. He waves it around ceaselessly. The levels fluctuate wildly as we encounter 'hotspots' higher up in the mountains and forests that surround this region, where they are more concentrated.
Sugeno-san is a philosopher. His love affair with the land is poetry. "These trees are planted by our ancestors. These 'tambos' -- the orderly descending terraces of rice paddy fields -- are blessings from our communal mountains and forests. We smallholder farmers are the guardians of this Earth. It is our ancestral connection with their spirits. We pay our respects by respecting the land." I realise that this deep and profound link between our planet and our humanity is being shattered by our human greed and ever-rising consumption.
Here, even in these mountainous areas, his fields are organized and more productive than any agro-industrial farm I have seen. His four hectares gives the highest yields, and all of it is based on a sustainable organic farming model. A motley bunch of urban students and activists have arrived to help him. I am not sure whether we are a hindrance or help, but his humour is infectious. I think he knows that he is educating us on what is important in life. He is a born teacher.
It feels so good to connect back to nature. The waters are abuzz with life, insects and sparkling green fluorescent frogs. The government has recommended that farming be suspended. But Sugeno-san is a farmer, the land is his canvas and planting his paintbrush that brings life. I sense he would die if he did not touch the earth with his hands each day. "The farmer is the bridge between humankind and nature. Disrupt that bond and the balance of our world is destroyed," he reflects quietly, almost to himself.
As we spread through the paddy fields I see a box with technical measurement devices connected to the ground. "What is this?" I ask.
"It is a university experiment that measures the levels of radioactivity in the water and eventually in the food. We can be contaminated through the air or the food we eat or water we drink. But we must fix our soils: only working it will help it to heal," he says.
I see why smallholder farmers like him are the true guardians of our planet. They breathe and feel the land. They are the extension of nature. But they have perfected productivity. A simple, inexpensive mechanical machine plants a hectare of rice seedlings in a few hours. He teaches me to use it in a few minutes. I wonder why we have not prioritised linking farmers with his expertise to farmers in Africa. Unlike a consultant or expert, he has learnt his skills in the fields, not a classroom.
Seeing my interest, he herds us into his farm truck and we go to the local organic composting facility.
"We do not use chemical fertilisers here. We have aggregated cattle-rearing in our community and use the cow dung as the base of our organic fertilisers. Linking to local businesses, they collect natural vegetable waste and produce several tons a day. It helps the soils recover their strength, and we build social solidarity as the foundation of our community."
I visit a local co-operative centre the community has established, and witness the social solidarity they have built at a grassroots level. I recognise the human values that Nelson Mandela represents in their actions. I wonder why we have not done more to build human dignity. No-one is left behind. I reflect on the influence Mandela had on my life, when he powerfully said, "Fighting poverty is not an act of charity. It is an act of justice."
Why have our leaders forgotten this most profound wisdom? Why have we not planted the seeds of social solidarity, human dignity and compassion that are the legacy of Nelson Mandela?
That evening we gather to hear the tales of a village elder recounting cultural stories of the ancestors. It reminds me of my time spent with Mandela - the simplicity of village life in India and Africa. The stories are expressive and traditional, but with the underlying morality we have forgotten.
As we share a supper, I understand how deeply entrenched nutrition is in Japan. I did not see a single obese person around the table or in my journey here. The meal has an astonishing variety of delicious vegetable dishes that have been planted locally, with the appropriate carbohydrate mix, usually rice, and fish or animal protein. Culture has developed a tradition of balanced nutritious diets that has ensured that Japan has largely resisted the western junk food invasion.
I think about what we need back home. We need farmers like Sugeno-san to connect to farmers in Africa. He demonstrates that organic farming can be done at scale and be productive. Smallholder farmers, especially women, who produce 80 percent of our food, do not need charity. They need legal land ownership, the support to build their own seed banks and finance for power, irrigation and water in the first few years. Smallholder farmers are the most valuable part of the market, of the entrepreneurial value chain.
Yet they are largely excluded. They are the unrecognized foundation of the market system. Many have said to me, "Help us improve their productivity through provision of extension support, and ensure that we are able to connect to the market and keep the major part of the value -- then we will feed Africa and the world."
The next day in a GAIN-hosted workshop on agriculture and nutrition, President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania says in his keynote speech:
I know that my ancestors who lie in the ground will not allow me to take the land that belongs to my people and give it away. We need smart partnerships that ensure that value goes to the smallholder farmer also. We also need to change our eating habits, even if it goes against what our tradition teaches us. Science has shown us that it is not just the amount of food we eat but the quality of the food that is important. Our mothers and children must get the right nutrients to be healthy and productive.
Professor Ruth Obiang, speaking on a panel, remarks,
You look good, Mr. President, because your mother and your wife feed you. Talk to your counterparts in Africa that nutrition and food security are two sides of one coin. Make them understand that women smallholder farmers are the centre of the agriculture value chain. If they go on strike, Africa will starve.
I return from Japan convinced that we can make malnutrition history. As Obiang said, "I hate to see an African child starving on our TV screens. African children are beautiful when they have the right nutrition. Let us work together to eradicate stunting as the poster child of Africa."
Dr. Salford called the potential implications of some of his research "terrifying."
Some of the most concerning conclusions result from the fact that the weakest exposure levels to wireless radiation caused the greatest effect in causing the blood brain barrier to leak.
Salford, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at his institution, called the potential implications "terrifying." "We have good reason to believe," he said, "that what happens in rats' brains also happens in humans." Referring to today's teenagers, the study's authors wrote that "a whole generation of users may suffer negative effects, perhaps as early as in middle age."
Since it is the weakest levels of radiation that show the most pronounced effect, it isn't the microwaves as such, but the ELF (extremely low frequency) modulation of the microwaves that is felt by cells and organs.
I know researchers are not onto that (yet), but when they start looking into secondary frequencies of microwave modulation, such as the 210 Hertz "packet" frequency used by cell phones, a way to prevent or at least limit the damage will all of a sudden jump into view.
Environment News Service Japan's Government Plans Ice Wall to Control Fukushima Radiation Environment News Service Engineers plan to drive steel pipes 30 meters (98 feet) deep into the soil near the Number 4 reactor building, one of those that...
Vernier Software and Technology has launched five new sensors, including thee designed to provide high school and college science instructors and their students with tools to conduct investigations across many disciplines.
The Goniometer lets users measure the angle of a human joint, such as the knee or elbow. The sensor can analyze the range of motion of a limb during different types of physical activity.
The Vernier Optical DO Probe--with plug-and-play functionality--measures the dissolved oxygen concentration in water. This probe is designed for use in the field or in biology, ecology, or environmental science labs and requires no calibration, no filling solution, no warm-up time, and no stirring. .
The Vernier Radiation Monitor detects alpha, beta, gamma, and X-ray radiation. The monitor can be used to explore radiation statistics, measure the rate of nuclear decay, and monitor radon progeny.
The Ethanol Sensor is used to measure the concentration of ethanol in air above an aqueous sample.
The Pyranometer measures the power of electromagnetic radiation in watts-per-square-meter and is sensitive to near infrared, visible, and UV radiation, where 90% of solar energy is concentrated.
MUOS Ground Station in Sicily Raises Protests and Concerns Space safety Magazine The MUOS facilities consist of three 19-meter antennas, two active and one backup, pointed to the GEO satellites to guarantee all-weather and all-terrain mobile...
KQED (blog) New Portable Device Rapidly Measures Radiation Exposure KQED (blog) The Daiichi nuclear reactors were hit by an earthquake of magnitude 9.0, then flooded by the resulting 15-meter deep tsunami which caused a nuclear meltdown and release...
BBC News Fukushima radiation levels '18 times higher' than thought BBC News Radiation levels around Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant are 18 times higher than previously thought, Japanese authorities have warned.
Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt explains that electromagnetic radiation from cell phones, cordless phones, Wi-Fi and smart meters has a devastating effect on our general state of health. Serious health problems can be relieved by removing the radiation emitters and by shielding.
"Based upon a study of 10 autistic cases and 10 normal cases, the pregnant mothers who gave birth to autistic children slept in a location in which microwave radiation was 20.7x HIGHER, on average, than pregnant mothers who gave birth to non-autistic children."
The radiation detection, monitoring and safety equipment is used to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation. The market offers a variety of radiation protection equipment and instruments; they include gas-filled detectors, semiconductor-based detectors, and scintillators, dosimeters, monitoring systems, contamination monitors and safety accessories. The global radiation detection, monitoring and safety market for nuclear power plants, homeland security defense and the manufacturing industry were valued at $312 million, $131.5 million and $83.6 million, respectively, in the year 2012.
Global renaissance in the nuclear energy industry and its applications has led to an increase in the number of nuclear power plants. The incorporation of radioactive compounds in various consumer products has also increased significantly. Increased awareness of the effects of radiation, concern for professionals working in radiation-prone environments, rising demand for radiation safety products, and technological advancements is set to drive the growth of the radiation detection, monitoring and safety market in the nuclear energy industry and manufacturing industry. Increasing nuclear threat or nuclear terrorism, especially in developed countries, and growing focus of governments on developing internal security infrastructure are key factors likely to propel the growth of the radiation detection, monitoring and safety market for homeland security and defense in the coming years.
The global radiation detection, monitoring and safety market for all the three industries was dominated by North America, which will continue to lead in the years to come owing to technological advancements, presence of giant market players, and government support in the form of financial backup and favorable regulatory framework. The key players in the radiation detection, monitoring, and safety market are Canberra Industries, Inc. (U.S.), Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. (U.S.), Landauer, Inc. (U.S.), Mirion Technologies, Inc. (U.S.), and Ametek, Inc. (U.S.)., among others.
This research report encompasses the global radiation detection, monitoring, and safety market for nuclear power plants, manufacturing, and defense and homeland security. Each industry is further sub-segmented on the basis of composition and products. An exhaustive value analysis for all these markets is provided for 2010, 2011, 2012, with forecast till 2017. Each market is comprehensively analyzed at a granular level by geography (North America, Europe, Asia, and Rest of the World) to provide in-depth information on the global scenario. The market was dominated by North America followed by Europe, Asia & RoW in 2012.
Scope of the Report
This research report categorizes the global radiation detection, monitoring and safety market into the following segments and sub-segments:
By Product - Personal Dosimeters, Passive Dosimeters, Active Dosimeters, Area Process Monitors, Environment Radiation Monitors, Surface Contamination Monitors, Radioactive Material Monitors, Radiation Safety Market for Nuclear , Power Plants, Full Body Accessories, Face Safety Accessories, Hand Safety Accessories, Others
Global Radiation Detection, Monitoring and Safety Market for Homeland Security and Defense
By Composition - Gas-filled Detectors, Geiger Mueller Counters, Proportional Counters, Ionization Chambers, Scintillators, Inorganic Scintillators, Organic Scintillators, Semiconductor based Detectors
By Product - Alarming Personal Radiation Detectors/Dosimeters, Survey Meters, Radionuclide Identifiers, Radiation Detection Portal Monitors, Spectroscopic Portal Monitors, Mobile and Transportable Radiation Monitors
Global Radiation Detection, Monitoring and Safety Market for Manufacturing Industry
By Product - Personal Dosimeters, Passive Dosimeters, Active Dosimeters, Area Process Monitors, Environment Radiation Monitors, Surface Contamination Monitors, Radioactive Material Monitors, Safety Accessories
Inflatable antennae could give CubeSats greater reach MIT News Babuscia and her colleagues built two prototype antennae, each a meter wide, out of Mylar; one resembled a cone and the other a cylinder when inflated.
RT (blog) Wrecked Fukushima storage tank leaking highly radioactive water Reuters The latest leak is so contaminated that a person standing half a meter (1 ft 8 inches) away would, within an hour, receive a radiation dose five times the average...
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