Petition Tag - headaches

1. Allow Washington, DC PEPCO Customers to opt-out of having a wireless "smart" meter as Maryland PEPCO Customers can

On August 10th, 2012, Councilmember Alexander released the following Press release:

Councilmember Alexander Requests PSC to Investigate
Pepco’s Smart Meters, Opt-out Policy

After receiving numerous complaints from Pepco customers, Councilmember Yvette M. Alexander and the members of the Public Services and Consumer Affairs Committee are requesting that the Public Service Commission (PSC) investigate any health, safety and privacy issues related to the installation of the smart meter.

Since the smart meters were deployed in September 2010, Pepco customers have expressed their unease with the new device and have inquired about an opt-out policy that will prevent the installation or the transmission of data from already installed meters. Throughout the United States, opt-out provisions have been approved by state commissions and legislatures and several were adopted after the deployment of the smart meter. Councilmember Alexander as well as the members of the Public Services and Consumer Affairs Committee believe that this investigation will provide much needed answers to the inquiring public.

“It is essential for the PSC to take a long, hard look at the concerns raised by the residents and to determine if there is anything that Pepco can do differently to better serve its customers,” said Councilmember Alexander. “As legislatures, it is our duty to not only listen to our residents, but to show them that we have done everything in our power to help alleviate their concerns.

On August 16, 2012, PECO (The Philadelphia Electric Company) suspended installation of their "smart" meters due to fires and over-heating.

See: (Illinois , GE Meter - Note: PEPCO is using GE and Landis & Gyr brand meters) (Georgia) (Texas) - Note: The meters mentioned in this article are Landis & Gyr meters. One of the brands of meters PEPCO is using. Note: They were found to malfunction when they get too hot.

On February 8, 2013 West Monroe Partners was hired by the Commission to start the study. The cost of the study is $108,000 and is for one year. Details can be found here: and concerns here:

Note: The Santa Cruz County, California, Health Agency issued a report, in January of 2012, on the "Health Risks Associated with Smart" Meters" at the request of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors. The DC Public Service Commission does not have to reinvent the wheel and can take notice of this report:

and, The Commission twice rejected requests of the Office of Peoples Counsel to have an "opt-out" provision studied arguing that the Council required "all" to have a participate in the "smart" grid. The Council law authorizing the "smart" grid stressed two way communicating devices and did not order that they be "wireless." PEPCO decided to use "wireless" meters as opposed to fiber optic or cable/ethernet (Note: ANC 4B supported the second request of the OPC)

With the growing reports of "smart" meters being connected to fires, health problems (such as headaches, heart palpitations and interference with pace makers and other implanted medical devices) the Commission should to grant an immediate right to "opt-out" for all PEPCO customers while the issue is studied.

2. Ban Smoking in Ontario Apartments

Second hand smoke has been proven to be highly toxic and has been banned from most public locations yet it has not been banned from community residences where toxins can leak into other tenants homes.

There needs to be a ban put on smoking in apartments/condo's or legislation to force landlords to provide proper building ventilation to ensure that smoking tenants' toxins do not leak into other units.

3. Protect migraineurs from CFL bulbs

Saving energy and putting less waste into landfills is a worthwhile and noble goal. However, the decision of the U.S. Congress to mandate phasing out of incandescent light bulbs is of grave concern to citizens whose health is adversely affected by compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).

The Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007, which was signed into law in December 2007, mandates phasing out incandescent light bulbs in favor of energy efficient bulbs starting in 2012. While CFL use is not required by this legislation, CFLs will undoubtedly become more common. They are more affordable than other options, such as light emitting diode (LED) lighting. Additionally, many people are simply unaware of the potential harm they hold for people with certain health conditions and do not know to avoid their use.

For some people with migraine disease, CFLs trigger debilitating migraine attacks. Migraines impact more than 32 million Americans and have a devastatingly negative impact on the economy and the lives of those who are plagued by them. According to the Irlen Institute, research at the University of Birmingham in England showed that many migraine sufferers are sensitive to the flickering from fluorescent lighting, TV screens, and computer monitors.

Proponents of switching to CFLs often claim newer CFLs do not have the visible flicker of older CFLs and regular fluorescent light bulbs. However, just because the flicker is imperceptible to the eye does not render it imperceptible to the brain. The brains of migraineurs are extremely sensitive and tend to overreact to stimuli that would not bother the ordinary person. In fact, most migraineurs experience photophobia, extreme sensitivity to light, during an attack.

CFLs are thought to negatively affect some people with other health conditions, too, such as lupus, epilepsy, and autism. People whose health is impacted by CFLs will become increasingly shut out of public life as businesses and institutions switch to CFLs. They will be rendered unable to do even the most basic tasks, such as banking, grocery shopping and other daily errands.

Migraine Disease and CFLs - Myths:

(1) Claim: CFLs cause migraines. FALSE

CFLs do not cause migraines. Rather, CFLs have been identified as a trigger that brings on an attack for some people with the genetic tendency to experience migraines.

(2) Claim: There is no evidence establishing CFLs as a migraine trigger. FALSE

There is anecdotal evidence but currently no scientific evidence supporting the notion that CFLs are a migraine trigger for some people. However, the issue has not been studied. Until the issue is studied scientifically under appropriate conditions and parameters, the reports of some migraineurs that CFLs are a trigger for them is all we have to go on. This does not diminish their experiences. Rather, it reminds us that this is an area in which more research is desperately needed.

(3) Claim: People who claim CFLs are a migraine trigger are secretly hostile to ecologically friendly laws. FALSE

The concern about CFLs triggering migraines is in no way based on a hostility toward protecting the environment. In fact, we acknowledge there are alternatives to CFLs that meet the same ecological objectives without putting the health of millions of citizens at risk, such as LED light sources. Rather, this is a public accommodation issue. Spaces open to the public should be strongly encouraged to use LED lighting so that everyone can safely participate in life outside the confines of their homes.