Wi-Fi signals are damaging trees, says Netherlands study

Sunday, May 26th, 2013 By

The international symbol for Wi-Fi.

Get your data and damage trees anywhere you find the symbol. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Dana Spiegel/Flickr)

PC World reports that the radiation emitted by Wi-Fi networks is damaging trees. A recent Netherlands study conducted by Wageningen University found that Wi-Fi radiation can alter growth patterns and cause bleeding and fissures in growing tree bark. According to the study, “all deciduous trees in the Western world are affected.”

Wi-Fi study found abnormalities that couldn’t be caused by viruses and bacteria

The five-year Wageningen University Wi-Fi study focused on trees in the Netherlands city of Alphen aan den Rijn. Approximately 70 percent of trees in urban areas currently show similar symptoms from Wi-Fi electromagnetic radiation, whereas only 10 percent of deciduous trees in and around cities showed the growth abnormalities at the beginning of the study.

Ultra-fine particles emitted by Wi-Fi signals were the primary focus of the Wageningen study, but the electromagnetic fields produced by mobile phone networks as well as operating cars and trucks with radio and/or Wi-Fi and satellite equipment also contribute to the overall production of radiation that is harmful to trees. Scientists remark that the ultra-fine particles are so small that they can easily enter organisms like trees. Other plants, animals and human beings are also subject. With the latter in particular, there is much anecdotal evidence regarding the radiation’s negative effect on human cells, although no definitive study has been published as yet.

Wi-Fi is important, but the cost could be deadly

Trees are vitally important to the environment, as the USDA Forest Service is quick to point out. Wi-Fi may be an essential platform for commercial and personal communication, but if trees begin to die in large numbers, here’s what the world will miss:

  • No trees to absorb pollutants from the air.
  • No trees to increase property values.
  • No trees to improve neighborhood and business appeal.
  • No trees to cool cities.
  • No trees to afford the $250 average annual savings U.S. households that depend on tree shade enjoy.
  • No trees to reduce pollutants in the water supply and save the U.S. millions of dollars.
  • No trees for animal habitats in urban areas.

Sources

PC World

USDA Forest Service

BBC special report on Wi-Fi and cellular radiation

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