Hello friends and Happy Mother’s Day! Welcome to my very first blog post which I’ve decided to publish today of all days because becoming a Mum has made me a researcher!
Have you ever had an inkling that wifi radiation isn’t good for our health? Some part of me has felt this is true for quite a while. Before becoming a Mum, I mostly ignored this suspicion, in fact until quite recently I slept with a Wifi router under my bed (which I’ve since learnt is a huge no-no!). Back in January, a Facebook friend shared this post that really grabbed my attention.
The results of this Year 9 Danish high school experiment went viral in 2013. Media attention was a mix of praise and scepticism as the results showed cress seeds grown next to Wifi routers stunted and mutating while the control seeds without Wifi flourished.
This made me wonder how high-frequency radiation from the technology I use might affect my growing toddler. Afterall, mainstream high-frequency wireless and mobile phone technology didn’t exist when I was growing up. I was inspired to try this experiment for myself. In the back of my mind I suspected I might be putting the conveniences of my wireless lifestyle in jeopardy, could I be opening Pandora’s box?
Does Wifi radiation in my home affect the growth of cress? It would seem Yes! In this video, I compare two batches of cress seeds grown at home in cotton wool.
- Step 1 – WITH WIFI. The container of seeds on the left was placed next to my router with Wifi ON for 10 days.
- Step 2 – WITHOUT. I turned Wifi OFF, moved the router and placed the second batch of seeds in the same position for a further 10 days.
- Both batches were grown in the same position, exposed to the same conditions and daily water. Press play to watch the video.
The first 10 days of this experiment WITH Wifi had me worried by day five. I had to wonder if my green thumb was failing me! These seedlings were not looking good and they were never going to get to the point where they were tall or strong enough to harvest.
For the second batch, it became clear very quickly that the new WITHOUT Wifi seeds were going to fair a lot better. They were taller, greener and stronger,
Take another look at the day 5 comparison.
What do these results suggest to me?
It’s all about cells and the environmental factors that affect the way they reproduce. Plant and animal cells share some of the same characteristics which I imagine goes some way to making plants a worthwhile test subject.
Cells are what makes up our tissue, muscles, and organs and they reproducing all the time, even faster for children as they are growing and changing so rapidly. What we eat, drink, breathe, and absorb through our skin into our bloodstream feeds our cells and radiation is a factor that influences their environment. We want to keep our cells healthy so they reproduce nicely because glitches can propagate.
The nucleus of both plant and animal cells is home to DNA. It’s well known that ionising radiation (like UV rays from the sun and Xrays), can create errors in our DNA causing disease like cancer. There is great debate about whether long-term exposure to non-ionising radiation (our wifi, phones, devices etc) does the same thing, but hey this is the conversation I’m having and as I’m discovering the deeper lying purpose for my investigation.
At this point, I have kept the wireless turned off on my router, but not just on the back of my modest home experiment. Intuition plays a part here as I feel I’m hitting on some truth. I’ve also discovered there is preventative action being taken in other parts of the world which strengthens my resolve. Here are few cases that stand out for me;
- 2015 France, a law passed to ban Wifi and all Wifi enabled devices in nursery schools (child care).
- 2015 Israel, Government issued guidelines to ban wifi in classrooms from preschool to grade 2 and grade 3 & 4 Wifi is limted to 3 hrs per week.
- 2013 Australia, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) released fact sheet that recommends reducing the risk from Wifi devices by “keeping them at a distance, for example placing the wireless router away from where people spend time”, and “reducing the amount of time you use them”.
- 2011, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), classified RF Radiation as a Group 2B possible human carcinogen.
Wrap Up & Handy Hints
If seeing the difference in the two batches of cress rings some bells of truth are you’re inspired to take some action, here are some simple ideas to experiment with at home.
The affected seeds we placed directly next to the WiFi router and were exposed 24/7, so treat distance as your friend!
- Move the router away from areas where you spend lots of time, especially if you have a home office with a router on your desk.
- Don’t be a Wally like I was and have your Wifi router in your bedroom and keep it well away from the kid’s rooms and play areas.
- Turn the Wifi off at night. Timer switches are a good set and forget solution.
- Go old school and plug in ethernet where possible.
- Keep devices well away from where you are sleeping.
- Reduce the time your kids spend on wireless-enabled devices.
- Any device with Wifi or Bluetooth enabled emits just as much high-frequency radiation as a wireless router, so same goes for all of our gadgets (more on devices in future posts).
I hope you have enjoyed this tip of the radiation conversation iceberg! Try this cress experiment at home for yourselves, it’s a great activity to get the kids involved and shows anyone can be a researcher!
Next week I get my hands on a high-frequency radiation meter and pose the question,
“My laptop detects 19 Wifi networks at home. Will turning off my Wifi lower my levels of high-frequency radiation?”
Until next time!
Resources to explore
- Link to the cress experiment article Danny shared on FB Awareness Act article
- A larger list of countries taking action Worldwide Wifi precautionary action
- RF Radio Radiation is classified as 2B possible human carcinogen International Journal of Oncology Review
- Published chemical biology study, partially replicating the cress experiment Effects of Wifi radiation on germination
- Learn to grow cress from the best 🙂 Grow Cress with Epic Izzy!