Thursday, December 2, 2010

Is Wi-Fi Killing Trees?

The Daily Mail have a story that Wi-Fi might be killing trees in Holland. Wow, that's....... pretty cool, though I can confidently tell you it’s probably nonsense.

An experiment was conducted where 20 trees were exposed to different forms of electromagnetic radiation, and those exposed to Wi-Fi at very close range developed damaged bark and a "lead-like" sheen on their leaves caused by cell death.

And, as the story reports, it "will raise fears that Wi-Fi radiation may also be having an effect on the human body and will lend weight to parents and teachers who have campaigned to stop wireless routers being installed in schools."

Bad idea.

Electromagnetic radiation... sounds disturbing isn't it? You probably watched or heard from somewhere that mutation begins with electromagnetic RADIATION.

Mutation? That's my cup of tea! Image:
Well, no. We should be glad that it exist; internet, radio, television, satellite communication, they all depend on it, and we have no reason to fear at all.

Firstly, even the scientists who did this research say there’s nothing to worry about. As the Mail reports in the 14th paragraph, the Dutch health agency said: “The researcher from Wageningen University indicates that these are initial results and that they have not been confirmed in a repeat survey.

“He warns strongly that there are no far-reaching conclusions from its results. Based on the information now available it cannot be concluded that the WiFi radio signals leads to damage to trees or other plants.”

Secondly, there have been numerous studies made on the effect of Wi-Fi on humans, and they all seem to suffer from a condition known as “electrosensitivity”, which exhibits symptoms including fatigue, tiredness, headaches, concentration difficulties, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitations and digestive disturbances, and which they believe is caused by electromagnetic fields-well I'd say it probably caused by excessive stress, knowing that you're exposed to electromagnetic radiation.

In order to check whether this was true, scientists did no fewer than 37 studies, called "provocation studies", to see if sufferers’ symptoms really were caused by electromagnetism, or by some other factor. Ben Goldacre, the scientist who examined the evidence shows that "30 of the studies showed no link, while the other seven’s results could not be repeated, were statistical artefacts, or were inconsistent."

Thirdly, nonsense like these come out all the time. Last year myriad news agencies proposed that the mysterious “Colony Collapse Disorder” that was killing bees may have been caused by Wi-Fi. It busted-it's currently believed to be caused by a combination of a virus and a fungus.

Fourthly, only certain electromagnetic radiations are dangerous; x-ray, gamma ray, UV ray.. and radiations weaker than UV ray are considered to be safe, for example microwave, radio wave, infrared, and of course our visible ray which lights up our day. However, when I mean safe please don't go and expose yourself to ample of those "safe" rays.. too much of everything will still kill you. =P

These stories seem to cause unrest every time they appear, and they turn up rather regularly. Wi-Fi technology utilizes radio wave, which is duly harmless.

Come on people... electromagnetic radiation? As in.... visible light? :-p

Showered by electromagnetic radiation in the form of visible light for 12 hours a day, death is inevitable for this poor tree outside my house.


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