Utilities around the country are installing millions of "smart meters," devices which use wireless technology to send information back to the companies about power usage by their customers.
But there's a growing body of scientists deeply concerned about bathing the public in low-level, non-thermal radiation, and they say the smart meters pose the greatest danger of all.
For years, some have warned about everything from cell phone towers and microwave ovens to baby monitors and televisions.
But the amount of radiation emitted by smart meters has ramped up the rhetoric, and calls for governmental investigation and oversight.
Jerry Flynn retired from the Canadian Armed Forces after a 26-year career, much of which was spent as a specialist in electronic warfare.
"There's no such thing as a safe level of radiation," he told KRMG Thursday in a phone interview conducted from his home in British Columbia.
He said there's evidence going back decades that non-thermal radiation is carcinogenic.
Many European countries limit the amount of such radiation allowed in homes and businesses, while the U.S. and his native Canada allow levels thousands of times higher.
And that situation is getting much worse, he says.
"There's nothing more dangerous than a smart meter on your house," he told KRMG, and he's not the only one who thinks so.
Consider this statement on the Bioinitiative.org website:
The wireless meters produce spikes of pulsed radiofrequency radiation 24/7, and in typical operation, will saturate living space at levels that can be much higher than already reported to cause bioeffects and adverse health effects (utilities can only say they are compliant with outdated federal safety standards, which may or may not always be true – see <a href="http://sagereports.com/smart-meter-rf/" target="_blank" title="Sage Reports on Smart Meter Radio Frequency">http://sagereports.com/smart-meter-rf</a>). These meters, depending on where they are placed relative to occupied space in the home or classroom, can produce RFR exposure levels similar to that within the first 100 feet to 600 feet of a mobile phone base station (cell tower).
As an expert in electronic warfare, Flynn sees another danger. Specifically, he believes they make our nation highly vulnerable to attack.
"They couldn't be more irresponsible, they couldn't expose the country to more risk than by using wireless technology to control the power grid," Flynn said.
A single electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon, he said, could potentially knock the entire nation offline.
Stan Whiteford, a spokesman for PSO, has denied that the meters are dangerous, and also denies claims that they can transmit data about what devices in the home are being used, and how (see related story).