We've all heard the controversy over whether cell phones and cell towers are safe to be around and most studies have concluded the risks are minimal to nonexistent (so far no study has shown conclusive proof that there is a serious health risk).
But what about WiFi?
US Cellular Frequency Bands [Wikipedia]
It turns out no research has been done into the effects of WiFi on humans and WiFi operates at much higher frequencies (2.4 to 2.5 GHz and 5.250 to 5.350 GHz and 5.470 to 5.725 GHGHz). But now, thanks to a group of Danish ninth grade students, we have some interesting evidence that garden cress seems to have a big problem with WiFi.
The students had noticed that after sleeping next to their cell phones they had difficulty concentrating the next day so they set up an experiment. According to Danish news site DR:
Six trays of [cress] seeds were placed in a room with no radiation, while six were placed in another room alongside two routers emitting roughly the same type of radiation as an ordinary mobile phone.
The results after 12 days were surprising: "the cress seeds alongside the routers did not grow at all, and some even mutated or died."
The cress seeds exposed to WiFi radiation (yuck)
Also according to DR:
Professor Olle Johanson of Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm is among those to have been impressed. Johanson considers the experiment to be ingenious and now wants to repeat it with a Belgian research colleague, Professor Marie-Claire Cammaert of the Université libre de Bruxelles.
“Within the limitations of their understanding and ability, the girls have carried out and documented a very elegant piece of work. The wealth of detail and precision is exemplary, the choice of the right cress is very intelligent, and I could go on,” said Johanson.
Of course many news services and blogs have picked this story up and run with it shouting "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" but, somewhat obviously, as impressive as this was it was hardly a rigorous experiment and while it's interesting and provocative, serious research is required before anyone can say correlation does reveal causation ... in other words, correlating WiFi with the observed effect on cress doesn't mean that WiFi caused the effect, at least not without a whole heap of serious research.
As the Doubtful News blog observed:
But here's a thing ... EMFs also caused accelerated germination. So ... which is it? Always look for the counterpoint. The actual conclusion is probably way more complicated than X leads directly to Y.