Wireless radiation affects plants

September 9, 2023

It’s known that wireless radiation has harmful effects on plants exposed in laboratories for short periods of time, but what happens when they’re exposed in the natural environment for much longer?

To answer that question, researchers from Europe exposed ten species - herbaceous grasses, forbs and legumes – over a four-month period, from seed germination to maturation. The frequencies they chose for this were 866 – 868 MHz because they were close to the frequencies used by both GMS (900 MHz) and LTD (800 MHz) technologies.

The plants were exposed to radiation levels that were ‘a few hundred times lower’ than radiation levels allowed in many countries around the world. ‘This scenario resembled conditions in places of peak radiation around cellular base stations (on or near the axis of the main radiation beam from a cellular antenna),’ the authors wrote.

The authors observed, ‘RF-EMF [radiofrequency electromagnetic fields] effects in plants exposed to natural environmental stresses (not growing in optimum laboratory conditions) and these effects were permanent and irreversible. Furthermore, for some plant species the response to RF-EMF was clear, whereas for the others it was weak and difficult to detect, or showed no response at all.’

One species was more affected than the others - Trifolium arvense, often known as hare's-foot clover, which is a flowering plant in the bean family. In the first month, exposed plants grew higher, had larger leaves and changed leaf orientation.

However, after that they began to deteriorate more quickly than normal. ‘This was manifested through the reduction of green leaf area, the concomitant increase of discolored leaf area, and smaller total leaf area developed over the growing season.’ Some of them also died prematurely.

These results show that different species of plants appear to have different sensitivity to wireless radiation and that observing exposed plants for short periods of time may not reveal the full picture of how they respond.

‘Our findings also suggest that Trifolium arvense can be considered a candidate for the indicator of ecological effects of man-made EMFs in the environment,’ the authors said.

Previous short-term laboratory studies have shown that wireless radiation had harmful effects on plants. The authors pointed said, ‘Numerous studies on plants have shown that wireless communication microwave radiation can affect their growth and development, gene expression and various metabolic activities. These effects occur at exposure levels equivalent or less than those often recorded under environmental conditions. Moreover, they were recorded for RF-EMFs differing in wavelength and polarization, continuous or modulated waves, and for different signal modulation types.’

Marek Czerwiński et al, ‘Do electromagnetic fields used in telecommunications affect wild plant species? A control impact study conducted in the field,’ Ecological Indicators, Volume 150, 2023, 110267, ISSN 1470-160X

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