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WiFi Radiation

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Updated on Aug 23, 2013

Researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands have reported that radiation from WiFi networks is harmful to trees. Problems observed included growth variations, and bleeding and fissures in tree bark. The researchers exposed 20 ash trees to various sources of radiation for three months. The tress closest to the WiFi source exhibited a lead-like shine on the leaves. The researchers also found that WiFi radiation is harmful to growing corn.


Is WiFi radiation harmful to the growth of plants.

  • Indoor plants, plant lights, water, WiFi hotspot, wireless device with a signal detector
  • Supermarkets or plant nurseries (plants); WiFi hotspots are available in many homes and commercial establishments. If the student does not have a wireless device that displays WiFi signal strength, an inexpensive standalone wireless signal detector may be purchased on the Internet. Plant lights may be purchased on the Internet and at garden supply stores.

  1. Place several small indoor plants near the WiFi hotspot in your home. The plants should be identical, and all should be healthy.
  2. Using the signal detector on your wireless device, locate a spot in your home where the signal vanishes (or is at a minimum). Place an equal number of the same kind of plants in that location.
  3. Care for the plants for one month, giving them adequate water and supplying light using plant lights.
  4. At the end of the one-month period, evaluate the health of all of the plants.
  5. Propose a hypothesis to explain how the plants’ health is (or is not) affected by WiFi radiation.
  6. Test your hypothesis by making observations of the health of outdoor plants growing within signal range of the WiFi hotspot.
  7. Don’t neglect to consider other factors, such as road pollution, that might affect the health of outdoor plants.
  8. Accept or reject your hypothesis based on your findings. If you reject it, propose another along one with further experiments to test it.
Characteristics initially
Characteristics after 30 days
Plant 1
WiFi hotspot
Plant 2
WiFi hotspot
Plant 3
Bedroom 1
Plant 4
Bedroom 1
Plant 5
Bedroom 2
Plant 6
Bedroom 2

Dr. Frost has been preparing curriculum materials for middle and high school students since 1995. After completing graduate work in materials science at the University of Virginia, he held a postdoctoral fellowship in chemistry at Stanford. He is the author of The Globalization of Trade, an introduction to the economics of globalization for young readers.