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