Ex-minister demands halt to Linky meter rollout

Former environment minister calls for investigation into possible health risks

A former minister has called on the government to halt the roll-out of Linky electricity meters amid claims they are dangerous for people's health.

Lawyer Corinne Lepage, who was environment minister between 1995 and 1997 has called on current incumbent of her government post, Nicolas Hulot, and health minister Agnès Buzyn to suspend the deployment of Linky meters as a precaution, after many users claimed electromagnetic radiation was affecting their health.

She has called for scientific studies "to assess the health effects of these meters".

"If the government does not react within two months, we will launch a class action against the State in the tribunal administratif on behalf of the mayors and citizens opposed to Linky," Ms Lepage told Le Parisien.

The threat of legal action comes on top of another court case. A lawyer is due to file a summary judgment on June 5 with 11 regional courts on behalf of 3,000 householders who want the meter withdrawn or who refuse to have one fitted at their homes.

Meanwhile, an email calling for the suspension of the Linky programme, signed by 92 associations, was sent to MPs.

Enerdis has insisted that the meters "present no danger", adding "This has been demonstrated twice by reports from the Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire (Anses) which conclude that the emission level is very low and the same as an induction hob, hair dryer or refrigerator."

In December 2016, an Anses survey concluded that "exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted by meters is unlikely to cause short- or long-term health effects".

However, Anses qualified its position by pointing out that its judgment is based on "data available to date".

Ms Lepage said. "Twenty years ago, the same health authorities explained that mobile phone waves were not serious. Since then, we have realized that this can have effects on health and on some people more than others."

Some 10million Linky meters have already been installed at a rate of 30,000 a day. Some cities, such as Lyon, Nice or Amiens, are already fully equipped and the objective is to reach 35 million meters by the end of 2021.

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