Wi-Fi Routers Can Kill Plants, Suggests Danish Experiment

Wi-Fi Routers Can Kill Plants, Suggests Danish Experiment

If your router can kill your plants, what is it doing to you?
A Danish high school science fair project has suggested that the radiation emitted by a wireless router is powerful enough to kill a plant. Five students from Hjallerup School in North Jutland, Denmark used plant seeds to test the effects of radiation on organic matter. Shockingly, they found that plants located adjacent to routers dried up and died, while seeds placed away from them did not.

For the experiment, the students placed trays of garden cress seeds in two rooms, one with wireless routers and one without. Both groups were regularly watered, had access to sunlight and kept in rooms with stable temperatures. After 12 days, the seeds in the control group had started to grow. Meanwhile, the ones placed near routers had turned brown.

And that's not the scary part. The five girls developed the experiment as a more doable means of testing the effects of microwaves from cell phones on people. They were inspired after discovering they had trouble sleeping when their phones next to their beds. Obviously the connection is still a loose one, but it's there. They specifically used routers that emitted a comparable type of radiation.

Given that the experiment was performed by high school students, the experiment has already come under fire from skeptics. While Kim Horsevad, the group's teacher, openly admits that the experiment wasn't performed under professional conditions, she refutes suggestions that the results were caused by poor planning or execution.

"The pupils were painstakingly careful in keeping the conditions for both groups similar," Horsevad told The Daily Dot. "The cress seeds in both groups were kept sufficiently moist during the whole experiment, and the temperature were controlled thermostatically. The computers were placed so that the heat would not affect the seeds, which was verified by temperature measurements. Still, there may be confounders which neither the pupils or I have been aware of, but I cannot imagine what they would be."

Regardless, the experiment has raised a lot of eyebrow in the scientific community. Olle Johanssen, a neuroscience professor at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, says he'd like attempt to replicate the experiment in a laboratory setting. That doesn't mean Johanson is skeptical of the results, though, and commended the students on putting together an "elegant" and well thought-out experiment.

For now, the students have received an award for their work at the Danish national science fair.

Sources: The Daily Dot and DR.dk

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Good work. Definitely warrants further study. Grant plz? :)

I used to carry my cell phone in my front right pocket. After a while, I'd notice my right leg would ache constantly. After I stopped carrying the phone on my person, the aches went away. Subjective, yes, but electromagnetic fields can't not have an effect on a bioelectric field.

Sounds interesting but ultimately futile.

Given the mass of plant seeds and plant cell are structurally somewhat different the "cause of death" needs to be clarified before any assumption can be made. Even then, how does one compare a plant seed to a human brain puzzles me the most.

Microwave/infra red radiation burns from day-to-day electrical devices is well documented and rare if not almost never, the majority of the radiation will be absorbed by the skin. We are essentially more concerned the effects it may have on the brain but even then there are many factors such as diet and lifestyles which are essentially wildcards and have yet to be answered for themselves.

As a professional scientist, I assure you, we've been secretly hiding all the data about how electromagnetic radiation causes super-ultra-death-cancer-lupus. And we would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those pesky danes and their routers.

My plant next to my router tells me otherwise.

My other plant a few meters away is still very healthy, while it should have withered a few months ago.

Oh, I get it. The radiation causes mutation in the plant, making it a super plant!

thiosk:
As a professional scientist, I assure you, we've been secretly hiding all the data about how electromagnetic radiation causes super-ultra-death-cancer-lupus. And we would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those pesky danes and their routers.

ye, ye very funny.

but as an electrical engineer the fact is that electromagnetic radiation does cause abnormal cell division.

before they came up with selling certain devices as consumer products practically every year the "safe exposure level" was incrementally reduced...then for some reason it all started moving in the opposite direction and being flippantly dismissed as a concern...while lots of money changed hands...

imo the truth is they only thing that has changed over time is that people wanting to make money have told the general population such things are "safe"...

that and said general population also think said things they are "cool" and "don't want to hear it"...

but i spent 6 years of my life studying advanced electrical theory.

and i don't own a mobile phone, or a microwave, or anything "wireless".

i don't own these things because of the learning, investigations and experiments i personally undertook during my training/education.

but hey why listen to someone who might actually know ?....i must be wrong right ? just because they are everywhere...and it's not like cancer is killing one in three of us or something....right ?...

Hmm I have a plant next to my router, let me just check it is not being irradiated....

.... oh dear.

Michael Epstein:
"Still, there may be confounders which neither the pupils or I have been aware of, but I cannot imagine what they would be."

And this is why you should not be worried - yet. This certainly deserves a professional follow-up by people more educated and familiar with the subject matter, and they find similar results that can't be explained by those conducting the experiment or the peer reviewers, then you should be worried. Until then, just chalk it up to most likely being human error .

Decent high-school science experiment, but I would ask if this sort of thing has been done professionally before. And if not, I really have to ask... why the hell not?

The only thing I want to know is how many routers they used for their experiments, how strong they were and what kind "modifications" they used.
Here in Germany you'd be breaking the law if you went above a certain amount of radiation (something that can already be done by simply using a directional antenna/turning router into a directional antenna,which isn't even difficult) I've seen tutorials that allow you to turn the antenna into something similar to an improvised parabolic antenna (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parabolic_antenna) within half an hour.
So basically, unless you live in a country with unsafe regulations or don't have regulated (possibly modded) devices, it's shouldn't be too much of a concern.
All this is something we should be aware of, and if we are using a router where we can easily go over safe levels by having some slight modification, for example walls that happen to reflect electromagnetic radiation, then it's not the technology itself that is at fault, but the manufacturers that don't tell us how to use that technology safely.
Oh and there's also the fact that the strength/intensity of electromagnetic point radiation (not strengthened/directed in any particular direction) decreases according to 1/r² instead of 1/r, meaning that two times the distance (2r) already means 1/4 the intensity : 1/(2r)²=1/4r²
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse-square_law#Light_and_other_electromagnetic_radiation
This means that something doesn't even need to be far away to receive safe levels radiation, so even if your router is not safe to live right next to, you'll be good if you keep it ~5 meters away, this would already be 1/25th of the intensity at 1 m.

cripes it is like people don't understand what radiation is. Seriously now I'm going to see this posted all over facebook by my crazy relatives insisting that technology is the cause of all modern ailments and that we must destroy all of it because science is evil and we must get back to a more biblical life style and jesus stuff.

Please read this rebuttal, Danish school experiment with Wifi routers a good example of bad science.

JarinArenos:
Decent high-school science experiment, but I would ask if this sort of thing has been done professionally before. And if not, I really have to ask... why the hell not?

Well, there have been thousands of experiments on the effects of electromagnetic radiation on humans, animals, and plants. Tons of them. It is the kind of thing biologists do just for the hell of it and grad students do to prove they are not idiots. Not to mention that there have been tons of sponsored studies from many sources, including various government organizations from various governments.

But, as far as I am aware, this is the first time anyone has stuck a bowl of seeds next to a router to see if it would kill them. And a result this dramatic, as in router in the same room = dead plants, leads me to believe this was a botched experiment.

In any case, I am very skeptical of any "experiment" performed by a high school student, especially in a high school. Far too much can go wrong in such an uncontrolled environment. Seriously, the only variables they said they controlled in the experiment were moisture, temperature, and sunlight. What about everything else? And did they really control these factors adequately? And how many times did they perform the experiment? Did they change the room where the router sat and see if the same thing happened in the opposite room? I doubt this experiment would hold up to the most basic of scrutiny. And this is not the girls fault.

Even highly funded high schools are barely adequate for bare bones learning about science, let alone performing actual experiments.

That is not to say that there is not effect. But I wouldn't start worrying because of this.

I think more people need to look up the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.

Cell phones, routers, radios, etc are all non-ionizing (wavelengths below visible light). Radiation that causes cancer is in the ionizing part of the spectrum (wavelengths above visible light)

Non-ionizing radiation can cause heat, which is how microwave ovens work. But that's just plain heat. If you aren't physically feeling the heat, the radiation is doing nothing to you.

Cell phones and routers aren't causing cancer, unless some evil corporation has secretly made a cell phone that emits X-rays or gamma rays.

DrOswald:

JarinArenos:
Decent high-school science experiment, but I would ask if this sort of thing has been done professionally before. And if not, I really have to ask... why the hell not?

Well, there have been thousands of experiments on the effects of electromagnetic radiation on humans, animals, and plants. Tons of them. It is the kind of thing biologists do just for the hell of it and grad students do to prove they are not idiots. Not to mention that there have been tons of sponsored studies from many sources, including various government organizations from various governments.

But, as far as I am aware, this is the first time anyone has stuck a bowl of seeds next to a router to see if it would kill them. And a result this dramatic, as in router in the same room = dead plants, leads me to believe this was a botched experiment.

In any case, I am very skeptical of any "experiment" performed by a high school student, especially in a high school. Far too much can go wrong in such an uncontrolled environment. Seriously, the only variables they said they controlled in the experiment were moisture, temperature, and sunlight. What about everything else? And did they really control these factors adequately? And how many times did they perform the experiment? Did they change the room where the router sat and see if the same thing happened in the opposite room? I doubt this experiment would hold up to the most basic of scrutiny. And this is not the girls fault.

Even highly funded high schools are barely adequate for bare bones learning about science, let alone performing actual experiments.

That is not to say that there is not effect. But I wouldn't start worrying because of this.

Yeah, that's kinda what I was saying, but didn't communicate it well. I can't imagine that this sort of research isn't done all the damn time. Also, let's not forget the most important part of any scientific experiment: repeatability. If this can't be replicated by someone else, the results are meaningless. See: Cold Fusion.

Am I the only one who had a brief mental image of high school students smashing wi-fi routers into potted plants?

Sleekit:

thiosk:
As a professional scientist, I assure you, we've been secretly hiding all the data about how electromagnetic radiation causes super-ultra-death-cancer-lupus. And we would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those pesky danes and their routers.

ye, ye very funny.

but as an electrical engineer the fact is that electromagnetic radiation does cause abnormal cell division.

Thats just what OBAMA wants you to believe

SOMETHING SOMETHING SHEEPLE SOMETHING SOMETHING Koolaid

HA bullshit!

The air is already filled with about 5 million different kinds of radiation, fuck as we speak we are being hit by SPACE BEAMS from space! Not to mention that the waves emitted by your phone don't travel in one direction. In essence you are bathing in the background radiation of several million phones at the same time and nothing seems to happen, but when you come close to a device it somehow has a larger effect on you?

This is kind of like saying that it's okay to stand 5 feet away from an X-ray machine because the bad rays can't get you from that distance. In short if radiation did anything bad to you, you'd already be fucked because right now you are being blasted with radio, tv, cellphone and cheap satellite TV waves.

I actually have an even better experiment than this. I have had a plant next to my router for 8 years now and it's actually surprisingly healthy... as in it should not have lived this long if the router had any effect on it. I have never moved it since I put it there and from the day it sat there it has been exposed to the harmful waves of my router... which can penetrate concrete seeing as it has to reach my PC which is on the second floor... meaning that it basically irradiates everything around it no matter what. That's also how your phone works btw, so moving it away from your bed should have exactly 0 effect on you. Placebo much?

A commendable effort for high school, they got a nice amount of prize money for it and I hope they pursue the sciences further. Now let's see what comes from the reproduced experiments.

Sleekit:

thiosk:
As a professional scientist, I assure you, we've been secretly hiding all the data about how electromagnetic radiation causes super-ultra-death-cancer-lupus. And we would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those pesky danes and their routers.

ye, ye very funny.

but as an electrical engineer the fact is that electromagnetic radiation does cause abnormal cell division.

before they came up with selling certain devices as consumer products practically every year the "safe exposure level" was incrementally reduced...then for some reason it all started moving in the opposite direction and being flippantly dismissed as a concern...while lots of money changed hands...

imo the truth is they only thing that has changed over time is that people wanting to make money have told the general population such things are "safe"...

that and said general population also think said things they are "cool" and "don't want to hear it"...

but i spent 6 years of my life studying advanced electrical theory.

and i don't own a mobile phone, or a microwave, or anything "wireless".

i don't own these things because of the learning, investigations and experiments i personally undertook during my training/education.

but hey why listen to someone who might actually know ?....i must be wrong right ? just because they are everywhere...and it's not like cancer is killing one in three of us or something....right ?...

Breathing air causes abnormal cell division and no I am not jesting. What even is abnormal cell division. Do you mean DNA mutation? Do you mean literal abnormal cell division as in the cells don't divide correctly? Or do you mean it in the way the people that get headaches from the placebo effect of having a radio tower built near them?

Those third of us dead by cancer... yeah most of that is genetic, from the sun or from bad habits. Also no cancer doesn't kill 1 in three of us. That would be heart disease. Cancer really only ranks in about an 3rd or even a 5th if you take into account undeveloped countries where cancer gets it's ass kicked by the shits.

So pardon me if I am a bit sceptical after your vague post full of uncapitalised I's, might you want to share with us several of those papers you no doubt had to write during your education to understand electricity and how it works? Because they usually include a course of advanced cell-biology along with a course rooted firmly in physics and which is largely a theoretical science. I think if you reread them that you will realize it's essentially pointless to not own anything wireless because everything wireless around you is still emitting waves that will hit you regardless.

Can anyone tell me why junk science doing the rounds months ago has been reheated and posted here? Slow news day?

1337mokro:
So pardon me if I am a bit sceptical after your vague post full of uncapitalised I's, might you want to share with us several of those papers you no doubt had to write during your education to understand electricity and how it works? Because they usually include a course of advanced cell-biology along with a course rooted firmly in physics and which is largely a theoretical science. I think if you reread them that you will realize it's essentially pointless to not own anything wireless because everything wireless around you is still emitting waves that will hit you regardless.

not where i live actually...not exactly at any rate...

and no i didn't study "advanced cell-biology"...because i'm not a biologist...i'm a engineer...i studied "advanced electrical theory distribution and supply", including real world practice and what you might refer to as practical real world "health and safety"...because my (extremely highly paid) job was joining live mains electrical cables together...a job so dangerous its apparently been made illegal within the EU...hence the need for such high levels of training and in the end a qualification level that was only one operational authorisation level below the most qualified electrical distribution engineers in the country...

indeed i could have done just 11 more college modules and been "a full engineer" officially but i got paid more than them...and they never did the level of additional experimental or practical training i did.

my final authorisation exams were actually a series of verbal cross-examinations lasting several days and were not written.

this was not a job that people with "theoretical" qualifications "on paper" got anywhere near.

i've worn a faraday suits and i know exactly what it's for in context...and no i don't just mean stopping you being electrocuted...

i've personally tested electromagnetic wave emissions (including from various mains cables and consumer goods) as part of my training in order to introduce me to the real world realities of my intended working environment because ultimately i had to literally "sign my life away" every time i undertook a job and in order to legally be allowed to do that i had to know and understand EVERYTHING when it came to the "risk factors" involved.

i have studies everything from the subatomic particles and the nature of their movement, to the maths of 3 phase electrical AC theory, to how they relate, to how they interaction with materials, to how exactly something under electrical stress is likely to "blow up" at any given moment because of all of that "theory" and because without learning it all "from beginning to end" i wasn't legally allowed to "sign off on" anything.

and while i'm not actually trying to convince you, or indeed anyone, of anything any more i base my convictions on this subject for the most part on personally observed empirical evidence and not just an in the zeitgeist inference from some manufacturer of a consumer product who wants you to buy it that they probably did some research at some point that wasn't completely bought and paid for and it's all 100% "safe"...

if you "don't want to hear it" so be it.

i know the rest of this potential tête-à-têtes narrative is pointless.

if "they" came out and irrefutably said "electricity causes cancer!" in banner headlines tomorrow i have no doubt the reaction of the vast majority of modern society on the whole would be "meh...whatcha gonna do".

hell, your apparently already fully prepped to leap into "but...not that many people die..." just at the mere suggestion...

but ye, you sure got my number on account of the non capitalized "I's"...well spotted...

Sleekit:
My final authorisation exams were actually a series of verbal cross-examinations lasting several days and were not written.

I've personally tested electromagnetic wave emissions (including from various mains cables and consumer goods) as part of my training in order to introduce me to the real world realities of my intended working environment because ultimately I had to literally "sign my life away" every time I undertook a job and in order to legally be allowed to do that I had to know and understand EVERYTHING when it came to the "risk factors" involved.

I have studied everything from the subatomic particles and the nature of their movement, to the maths of 3 phase electrical AC theory, to how they relate, to how they interaction with materials, to how exactly something under electrical stress is likely to "blow up" at any given moment.

I base my convictions on this subject for the most part on personally observed empirical evidence

So your final expertise on the effects of electromagnetism on cellular life is based on anecdotal stories and empirical evidence that you never recorded on paper... from all your practical work with electrical theory, which you somehow take offence to me calling it a theoretical field despite the fact that it IS a theoretical field, mainly to do with figuring out the maths behind different currents, materials and other applications of electricity and then applying it in practice so that you know what happens when you connect main power cable A to other main power cable B.

Also you are signing away your life because you are literally working with live wires... the EM fields are capable of shocking you, that is why you had to understand them. You had to sign away your rights so that you don't sue the company that pays you extremely high amount of money to do your job. It's called legally covering your ass. I am happy though to hear that it is an extremely well paying job because that certainly factors into whether or not EM fields produce an effect on cellular division.

I find it funny that you would conclude that I don't want to hear anything about the effects of EM fields on cellular life when I literally asked you to show me your work in the field of microbiology studying the effects of EM fields on cellular division. You see I can hit the internet and get DOZENS of studies about the effects of EM fields on cells and such. However these studies rarely report anything with cellphones or other such devices. It usually is about the effects on EM fields that are WAY below the frequency that cellphones operate at and how it affects differentiation/growth rather than cell division.

I had thought it very interesting to see research into what for many people is a done deal and considered harmless by established science. You see we know full well that the EM fields from the sun and such are dangerous and slowly killing us because of their harmful ionizing effects on cellular life causing abnormal mutation in proteins and DNA because of the ionized nature of these substances. Ion + Ion = Sad Ion. However non-ionized radiation such as cellphones, MRI and other magnets really seems to do no measurable harm.

Does this mean there is none? No, there might be, and we have seen certain types of EM fields affecting different things in models which is why research into it's effect is a worthwhile pursuit. However that does raise a bit of a panic seeing as we literally live inside a giant magnetic field called earth's magnetic field and the entire air is filled with a constant barrage of all kinds of frequencies. Heck you sitting in front of your monitor is exposing you to EM fields emitted by the device. However so far there is no evidence to advice everyone to toss their cellphones out their window, close down their internet and smash their televisions and any other electronic device.

Too bad though that you didn't record the results of those experiments. If you still have a memory of the exact set up I'd be very much interested to hear the methods in case I ever decide to try and reproduce those results.

 

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