Radiation from Wi-Fi networks is harmful to trees, causing significant variations in growth, as well as bleeding and fissures in the bark, according to a recent study in the Netherlands.
All deciduous trees in the Western world are affected, according to the study by Wageningen University. The city of Alphen aan den Rijn ordered the study five years ago after officials found unexplained abnormalities on trees that couldn't be ascribed to a virus or bacterial infection.
An early warning radar station was due to be decommissioned at Skrunda, Latvia after the end of the Cold War. Before it was shut down, a coordinated effort was made to determine whether the station had had any environmental effects. Teams of researchers found such effects wherever they looked, even at extremely low levels of exposure: smaller growth rings in trees, premature ageing in pine needles, chromosome damage in cows, decreased memory, attention, learning, and pulmonary function in school children, increased white blood cells in adults, and an altered sex ratio (more girls) in children born during the years of the radar's operation.
This experiment with Aspen seedlings in Colorado pinpoints why the trees in the region have been showing steady death and decline since 2004.
They put these seedlings inside a Faraday Cage – to shield them from RF radiation and they looked like healthy, well-formed leaves, with plenty of leaves per branch.
The seedlings that were not shielded from the radiation were damaged and stunted.
K. Haggerty stated that "Currently a strong human-generated RF background exists at every point on the earth’s surface, although radio field strength is relatively greater in the most populous and urbanized areas. Globally, the highest field strengths occur in central Europe, the eastern United States, and in China (Figure 9). Forest decline was first recognized and defined based on observed events in central Europe and the eastern US, and China, at this time, is experiencing rapid desertification. [...] More recently, it has been shown that mortality rates of all dominant tree species in the western United States have been doubling every 17–29 years in old growth forests, and that recruitment of new trees is now occurring at a lower rate than mortality . Since aspen decline and other tree decline incidents worldwide have similar symptoms, and since no definitive explanation has been found for those events, it seems plausible that their decline may be related to RF exposure.”
Additional testing found the disease to occur throughout the Western world. In the Netherlands, about 70 percent of all trees in urban areas show the same symptoms, compared with only 10 percent five years ago. Trees in densely forested areas are hardly affected.
Besides the electromagnetic fields created by mobile-phone networks and wireless LANs, ultrafine particles emitted by cars and trucks may also be to blame. These particles are so small they are able to enter the organisms.
The study exposed 20 ash trees to various radiation sources for a period of three months. Trees placed closest to the Wi-Fi radio demonstrated a "lead-like shine" on their leaves that was caused by the dying of the upper and lower epidermis of the leaves. This would eventually result in the death of parts of the leaves. The study also found that Wi-Fi radiation could inhibit the growth of corn cobs.
The researchers urged that further studies were needed to confirm the current results and determine long-term effects of wireless radiation on trees.