Wi-Fi Kills Plants, Could Harm Kids—But Can Be Harnessed for Energy
Wi-Fi Kills Plants, Could Harm Kids—But Can Be Harnessed for Energy

Wi-Fi can now be harnessed and converted into energy; the health effects of the ubiquitous signals are still a cause for concern among many. 

A high school project threw oil on the burning international debate about the adverse health and environmental effects of Wi-Fi radiation.

After 12 days of Wi-Fi radiation from two routers, garden cress seeds turned out stunted, dead, or mutated (showing genetic defects not present before the trial). By contrast, a control group of 200 seeds with the same conditions but no Wi-Fi radiation flourished. The study was conducted by students at Hjallerup high school in Denmark and made headlines in May.

Cress on left was exposed to Wi-Fi radiation from two routers. Cress on right was not exposed to Wi-Fi. (Courtesy of Kim Horsevad, Hjallerup)

As the experiment was conducted by high school students and not professional scientists, it cannot be considered scientific proof, noted Hjallerup biology teacher Kim Horsevad in an email to the Epoch Times.

Horsevad said, “The results do, however, demonstrate a great deal of internal consistency.” He also said, “The pupils have, to the fullest extent possible with the resources available at this educational level, designed the experiment to study only one variable.”

A top European expert on the subject, neuroscience professor Olle Johanssen at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, will likely soon repeat the experiment, Horsevad said. 

In 2009, Austrian Health insurance company AUVA released a study linking Wi-Fi to adverse health effects, including cancer, reduced fertility, decreased ability to concentrate, and disturbed sleep. AUVA showed radiation levels well below the standard limits could impact the central nervous system, immune system, and protein synthesis.

The effects mostly occur in metabolically active cells (growing cells), which means children are at a higher risk.


The body uses electromagnetic signals to communicate between cells, organs and tissues. The radiation overlaps and interferes with the body’s internal communication, hence the havoc.

Many schools worldwide have adopted anti-Wi-Fi policies, and many countries—France, Canada, and India, for example—and have adopted anti-Wi-Fi measures and laws. The European Union passed an anti-WIFI resolution in May 2011.

WiFi was not tested before its release in 1997, because it uses an unlicensed part of the radio spectrum. Back then, radiation safety regulations focused only on thermal radiation effects, according to electromagnetic-pollution.com. So Wi-Fi was deemed safe since it did not exceeded radiation levels that result in thermal heating.

In the United States, the highest level of radiation allowed for cellular phones is 1.6 watts per kilogram. The AUVA report showed, however, that damage can occur at a level of 0.1 watts per kilogram.

If you want to limit your child’s exposure to Wi-Fi, you can use the WIFI auto turn off app (Apple users only), or switch off Wi-Fi altogether.

Harvesting Wi-Fi for Energy

Wi-Fi energy harvester. (Courtesy of Duke University)

On Nov. 7, Duke University released its five-cell meta-material array, a device that collects Wi-Fi radiation and converts it into electricity.

It works sort of like a solar cell and can be used to recharge cell phone batteries or other small electronic devices. The array is built from inexpensive materials—fiberglass and copper energy conductors on a circuit board. It can also be used to harness energy from satellite signals and sound signals.

The ability to harness these waves could be built into cell phones to help them charge wirelessly; it could be built into the ceiling of a room to capture Wi-Fi waves and convert them into energy.


*Image representing Wi-Fi via Shutterstock

  • Defiant

    My house is set up with wifi. Plants are thriving. My gonads are fine. NO sign of cancer. Thanks for the warning. You must find it difficult to decide between running around screaming about wifi, and running around screaming about global warming…right?

    • MaybeYes

      There are thousands of studies that show adverse biological effects of RF microwave radiation. There are billions of dollars from telecom industry. Who is going to win?

      Here is just one study on the effects of cell phones on the thyroid. There are many many more… http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3243874/?tool=pubmed

  • shanti

    This article sounds a little two-face. On the one hand, a real cause of cancern, that was ignored by almost everyone in the mad rush of technological progress.
    On the other, the effect of notifying the public of this health cancern is again diminished by advocating a technology for collecting wireless signals.
    I recommend choosing an ideology or belief and sticking with it.

    • Le Cochon Bleu

      Admirable, maybe. Though, news isn’t the ideology. News is news. Ideology is ideology. This is a news article. It is not an environmental memorandum, manifesto, nor project.

  • Perry Pierce

    some people believe that smoking is bad for your health. i smoke cigarettes and i feel fine.

  • MaybeYes

    Excellent article. People are starting to wake up to the dangers of non-stop exposure to low-level microwave radiation.

    WiFi operates at 2.45 Ghz the same as your microwave oven. It’s only a difference of power and time.

    Many doctors are warning parents and schools about the dangers of using wireless technology around children. Take a look at just one of them at http://doctorsforsaferschools.org/

    FCC exposure limits are NOT safety standards. The FCC says that too much exposure to RF microwave radiation begins when a 200 pound, 6 foot tall man starts to cook. The FCC does not address biological effects that occur before heating. The FCC does not address children***, the elderly, the sick or fetuses. Where are the SAFETY limits? There are none by the FCC but independent scientists have set levels thousands of times lower that what we are exposed to each day.

    ***Remember, children have thinner skulls, their cells divide more rapidly and there is more fluid in their brains (microwaves heat fluid).

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