In what started with a simple question to find out why sleeping next to their cell phones gave them trouble concentrating, five ninth-grade girls in Denmark discovered that radiation from their Wi-Fi router can fry and mutate plants.
Earlier this year in an article by the Daily Dot, five students from Hjallerup School in North Jutland, Denmark decided to test out how radiation from phones might affect the brain when they noticed it was harder to concentrate after sleeping with their mobile phones next to them. Without access to cool brain wave measuring technology to conduct the test, they used the next best thing- plants. Wi-Fi routers emit about the same amount of microwave radiation as cell phones, so they placed six trays of garden cress seeds next to a Wi-Fi router in one room and six trays of the seeds in another room without a router. This experiment wasn’t conducted in a lab, but the girls controlled both environments to have the same temperature, sunlight and water. 12 days later, the garden cress seeds near the Wi-Fi router failed to germinate and were brown, shriveled, and mutated. The seeds in the control room had bloomed perfectly and with the added fact that these students did this test twice with the same results, it seems hard to believe that electronic radiation has no effect on us. Now two scientists, neuroscience professor Olle Johanssen at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy at the Imperial College in London are going to look deeper and recreate the test in a real lab.
What does this mean for entrepreneurs, business people, and tech geeks alike who spend countless hours near electronics to stay connected for work? Studies done on whether radiation from electronic devices like microwaves, cell phones, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi damage the brain still conclude that the amount of exposure is still safe and that it can cause cancer just as easily as drinking coffee. Perhaps this story changes nothing, but maybe our devices are making us more tired than we already are. For you health conscious entrepreneurs (and you all should be), try it out for yourself and keep all of your devices as far as possible from you when you sleep. Notice a difference?