Does  EMF Radiation from Wi-Fi Routers effect on Plant Growth and Human Health?

Environment Health Missing Context

Fact Checked By G. Rashmitha Diwyanjalee

Concerns about the impact of Electromagnetic Field (EMF) radiation from Wi-Fi routers on both plant growth and human health have gained attention recently. Claims that Wi-Fi radiation can inhibit plant growth and pose health risks to humans need to be scrutinized. This article investigates the validity of these claims by examining scientific studies and expert opinions.

Social Media Posts 

A social media post is circulating that a plant growth is inhibited while it near to the switched on Wi-Fi router. 

Additionally, a video clip in same post  circulating on the internet features a woman explaining how to check the Electromagnetic Field (EMF) levels emitted by mobile phones.

Insta | Archived 

We decided to do a fact check on these.

Fact Check  

Various claims and myths about the dangers of EMF radiation have been circulating, particularly through social media and internet forums. Common assertions include increased risks of cancer, neurological disorders, and other health issues due to prolonged exposure to EMF. 

Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) Radiation

EMF are areas of energy that surround electronic devices. EMFs are categorized into two types: ionizing radiation (such as X-rays and gamma rays) and non-ionizing radiation (such as radiofrequency and microwaves). Mobile phones, Wi-Fi routers, and microwave ovens emit non-ionizing radiation. More details can be read here 

EMFs are invisible areas of energy often referred to as radiation. They are generated by electrically charged objects and are characterized by their wavelength and frequency. The spectrum of EMF ranges from low-frequency non-ionizing radiation to high-frequency ionizing radiation. Non-ionizing radiation, which includes radiofrequency (RF) used by mobile phones and 5G technology, is generally considered less harmful compared to ionizing radiation, which can cause cellular damage and increase cancer risk.

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Source : Vortex Bioshield 

Frequencies Accepted by Authorities

Regulatory authorities around the world, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), have established guidelines for safe EMF exposure. These guidelines are based on extensive scientific research to ensure that the levels of EMF emitted by electronic devices, including 5G, are safe for public health.

For instance, the ICNIRP provides guidelines on limiting exposure to time-varying electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields (up to 300 GHz). More details can be read here. According to these guidelines, the maximum permissible exposure levels are designed to prevent adverse health effects. Similarly, the FCC has set exposure limits for RF energy from mobile phones, ensuring that they operate within safe exposure thresholds.

Claim 1: Wi-Fi Radiation Inhibits Plant Growth

Facts 

A widely discussed experiment by students observed that plants placed near an active Wi-Fi router showed inhibited growth compared to those placed away from it. This experiment suggests that Wi-Fi radiation negatively impacts plant health.

Ganesh Nikalje (2021) – Research conducted at the University of Mumbai, India found that Wi-Fi radiation negatively impacts the growth and biochemical responses of Capsicum annuum (Chilli plants). Seeds germinated near a Wi-Fi router showed reduced growth and chlorophyll content, suggesting that electromagnetic radiation can indeed affect plant physiology.

Image courtesy: Ganesh Nikalje

Turapova Zulaika Baiyshbekovna (2022), investigated the effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation from Wi-Fi routers on cereal and legume grains. The results indicated significant growth deterioration and color changes in plants exposed to Wi-Fi radiation, supporting the claim of adverse effects on plant growth.

 J. Roche and team (2020) – Their research on wheat plants exposed to Wi-Fi radiation revealed initial stimulation followed by suppression of seed germination and growth, decreased chlorophyll content, and impaired chloroplast development. This study further substantiates the potential negative impact of Wi-Fi radiation on plant growth.

Dr. Lochandaka Ranathunga, a faculty member in the Department of Information Technology at the University of Moratuwa, has expressed opinions on the effects of Wi-Fi radiation on biological systems, including plant growth. He highlights the complexity of interactions between EMFs and biological tissues, noting that while some studies have reported adverse effects, the overall scientific consensus is not yet definitive.

Dr. Ranathunga suggests that while some research indicates potential negative impacts from Wi-Fi radiation, the results are not uniform across all studies. He calls for more rigorous and controlled experiments to better understand the specific conditions under which Wi-Fi radiation might affect plant physiology. Dr. Ranathunga also underscores the need for ongoing research to clarify these interactions and to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the potential risks associated with prolonged exposure to EMFs from Wi-Fi routers and other sources.

While these studies indicate a correlation between Wi-Fi radiation and inhibited plant growth, it is important to note that more extensive research with varied conditions is necessary to draw definitive conclusions

Claim 2: Wi-Fi Radiation Poses Health Risks to Humans

Facts 

There are concerns that long-term exposure to EMF radiation from Wi-Fi routers can lead to various health issues, including cancer, sleeps disturbances, fertility problems, and neurological disorders.

Cancer Risk: Some studies suggest a link between long-term exposure to EMFs and an increased risk of cancer, including leukemia and brain tumors. However, these findings are not conclusive, and other studies have not confirmed these associations.

Sleep Disruption: EMF exposure, especially from devices like smartphones and Wi-Fi routers, can interfere with melatonin production, leading to sleep disturbances. This claim has some scientific support.

 Fertility Issues: Research indicates that EMFs can negatively impact fertility, reducing sperm quality and motility. This effect has been observed in studies involving prolonged exposure to devices like laptops and cell phones.

Neurological Effects: There is evidence that EMF exposure may increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, though the data is not definitive.

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS): Some individuals report symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and dizziness when exposed to EMFs. However, EHS is not widely recognized as a medical condition, and its symptoms are often attributed to psychological factors.

Expert Opinions:

Dr. Kapila Bandara Wijayaratne – Senior Lecturer, Department of Physics, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, describes the topic as controversial, with ongoing research yielding no definitive conclusions on the harmful effects of EMFs.

Dr. Lochandaka Ranathunga highlights the complexity of EMF interactions with biological tissues and notes that standards for safe exposure are established by bodies like the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP): The ICNIRP states that Wi-Fi exposure is generally low and unlikely to cause significant health effects. Their research indicates that HF fields, including those from Wi-Fi, can penetrate the body but are typically below the threshold for causing harmful temperature increases in tissues. ICNIRP Guidelines can be reached here

How to shield Wi-Fi radiation?

To shield EMF radiation from Wi-Fi routers, NASAFES offers an EMF protection fabric that provides 55-75 dB shielding and can block up to 99% of the radiation. However, the claims about EMF neutralizing stickers remain scientifically unsupported. More details can be read here

Key Points:

EMFs are categorized into ionizing (harmful) and non-ionizing (generally considered less harmful) radiation. Mobile phones and Wi-Fi routers emit non-ionizing radiation and have complex interactions with biological tissues.

Authorities like the FCC and ICNIRP have established guidelines for safe EMF exposure. These guidelines are based on extensive scientific research to ensure safety.

Read also: The Truth About EMF Shield Products: Do They Really Work

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Conclusion

The evidence suggests that EMF radiation from Wi-Fi routers can have some impact on plant growth, as demonstrated in several studies. However, the extent of this impact varies, and more research is needed to draw definitive conclusions. As for human health, while there are concerns about potential risks, most studies and expert reviews, including those by ICNIRP, indicate that typical exposure levels from Wi-Fi routers are unlikely to cause significant harm.

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Title:Does EMF Radiation from Wi-Fi Routers effect on Plant Growth and Human Health?

Written By: Fact Crescendo Team 

Result: Missing Context


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