Is your Wi-Fi murdering your plants?

When electricity was first introduced many people were afraid of the “vapours” they believed it gave off. Over a century later, these fears seem somewhat unfounded, but new technologies have taken up the mantle of silent terror.

Mobile phones have had a chequered history, being linked to cancer, migraines and exploding petrol stations, and now it’s time for Wi-Fi networks to be in the spotlight. 

Found in virtually every home, office and coffee shop worldwide, Wi-Fi networks have revolutionised the way we access the internet. But is there a hidden cost to this convenience? 

Read: French study shows no health impact from mobile phone use

Five students at a Danish high school think there might be, and they’ve got evidence to prove it. The girls all reported having trouble concentrating the next day when they slept with their phones by their bedside. Their interest piqued, they decided to investigate further.  Unfortunately, most regional high schools in northern Denmark don’t come with brain activity measurement facilities.

Unperturbed, the girls decided to test out their theory by placing trays of watercress seeds next to their home Wi-Fi routers, which pump out approximately the same amount of radiation as a mobile phone. As a control group, trays were placed in other rooms that had similar conditions but were without the presence of substantial Wi-Fi radiation.

Read: Radiation and you

After twelve days, the seeds in the radiation-free room had turned into green, leafy sprouts and showed every sign of good health. Conversely, the seeds located near the routers had died a horrible death, they were brown, shrivelled and, in some cases, mutated. The students repeated the experiment and received the same results.

So what does this mean? Are we being fried by our internet connections? Well, it’s too early to judge. Everybody knows that radiation isn’t great (See Chernobyl), but many, many studies have been done to show that the risk of adverse health effects from cellphones and wireless networks is very low.

The experimental results of five Scandinavian schoolgirls might not be enough to bring about the demise of Wi-Fi, but it has attracted the attention of a number of respected institutions which, if repeated, could give the results more credibility. We wait with bated breath, and lead underwear.

Image credit: Wifi signal from Shutterstock

Read more:
Drugs tested for radiation treatment
Tea vs radiation damage
How much radiation is dangerous?

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