Does WiFi Make Trees Sick?

from the why-wifi? dept

We’ve heard claims for years that WiFi makes some people sick. Unfortunately, the evidence shows that in double-blind studies people can’t tell if there’s WiFi (even if they do appear to really feel sick when they think WiFi is present). However, a new report is claiming that WiFi is making trees sick, and that the impact is pretty widespread. Having just had to take down a (rather large) tree in our yard that suddenly died, this made me pay attention — but it seems quite unlikely it had anything to do with WiFi. In this study, it seems like the findings are extremely preliminary and involve a very small scale test, which appeared to show that WiFi radios had more of an impact than other sources of electromagnetic radiation. It could be quite interesting to see further testing in this area, but it seems a bit early to conclude anything specific about WiFi.

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Comments on “Does WiFi Make Trees Sick?”

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29 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

There are several kinds of radiation. Ionizing radiation is much more dangerous than non-ionizing radiation (wifi is, of course, non-ionizing). The specific frequency also makes a difference; some frequencies might be absorbed more than others.

And, of course, there is the amount of radiation. The amount of radiation on the visible light frequencies (non-ionizing) received from the sun is much higher than the less than 100mW you would receive if you were standing right next to a domestic access point.

For non-ionizing radiation, the highest known risk is from heating. Above a certain level of absorbed power, it heats faster than our natural cooling mechanisms can remove the heat, which can lead to a nasty RF burn. Higher power transmitting antennas also have high voltages on some parts.

Jay says:

Re: Re: Re:

Having read the article, I’m not entirely convinced there’s some other explanation around the trees. For example, they neglect any Asian trees whatsoever.

Things such as Bamboo or even sakura (cherry blossoms) to act as a control group would have made this more believable.

But if all it’s saying is that ONLY wifi is around when people also have cell phones that have radiation, I’m not buying it.

Ryan Diederich says:

I dont know...

I guess this could be true, but there would have to be pretty powerful evidence.

The thing with people might be true, but the effect must be so small that placebo is many times more powerful. I know many people who live their entire lives “sick” and thats the focus of their life.

I just got over this cold, Im not feeling well, blah blah blah, its for attention, it might even be subliminal.

The frequencies are so close together (so many devices run within the 2.4 to 2.5 range) that it doesnt make sense for just Wifi to be more damaging than other things, such as wireless telephones.

Then again, wireless phones dont typically have up to a mile range (such as some Belkin routers do) and they arent capable of transmitting hundreds of megabytes of data a second.

Anonymous Coward says:

Even though people may not be able to determine if they are in a WiFi zone (even when they say they get sick from it) doesn’t mean that that the WiFi isn’t actually causing harm.

I am not saying they do or don’t get sick or injured, just that the study referred to in the article just showed that participants studied (by govt. and industry group, so now Techdirt trusts industry sponsored studies?) couldn’t tell if they were in a WiFi zone or not.

Anonymous Coward says:

I have a wifi box in my house and had two identical Ornamental Pear Trees in my front yard. One died last year the other is still alive. I thought it was bugs but maybe it was my wifi. I’ll bet it was that wep encoding.

Do you think if I name my WIFI hot spot with a positive message to the trees they won’t die?

Anonymous Coward says:

The elephant in the room

My 20 to 200 year old trees are dying because of the increased salt being applied unnecessarily to the roadways that drain onto my property, because the adjacent trees were clear cut to build houses, and because the community put curbs on the roads, which made the previously constant creeks flood then go dry.
Wifi seems to be the least of their stressors.

darryl says:

This is Science ??

20 whole trees, for an ENTIRE 3 months,, wow, that is some ‘study’, and they applied ‘various’ wifi signals.

No double blind test, no control, and 20 trees in the same location would yeild zero usable information.

And to say that the tree’s did not grow as well as the same trees 10 years ago, ignors millions of other contributing factors, (like the weather, the pollution etc).

I really hope that no one is trying to call this “science”.

Maybe these great minds could actually set their efforts on doing something usefull.

If that is what passes for science, that science is a joke at that place.. its a wonder the university would even allow them to publicise such tripe…

dean says:

All untrue coz it has too be

Naturally the answer is No. Just like the first cell phones did not cause brain cancer, children born near nuclear power stations do not suffer much higher rates of leukemia, people living near powerlines or broadcasting stations do not have a significantly higher rate of dying of cancer and ofcourse global warming does not exist.

All not true because if it was, lots of companies and governments would be sued into bankrupcy. Enough evidence out there, we’re just not supposed to believe it. 🙂

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