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Effects of electromagnetic radiation on the health of plants

 
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I stumbled across this website with quite the interesting article regarding the effects of electromagnetic frequencies on plant development.  It sparked an interest and as I did more research I found a lot of articles with a similar theme.  They seem to show that all sorts of frequencies we use on a day to day basis (cellphones, Wi-Fi, grid, etc.)  have some sort of effect, generally a negative one.  Here is the abstract from the link above:

Background: This is a partial replication study of work conducted by high school students in Denmark as part of their science fair project. Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine whether radiation from a Wi-Fi router affects germination and growth of garden cress (Lepidium sativum), broccoli (Brassica oleracea), red clover (Trifolium pratense) and pea (Pisum sativum). Method: One set of seeds was placed in Petri plates in a germination chamber kept under controlled conditions and was exposed to microwave radiation generated by a Wi-Fi router (mean and maximum exposures 20–40 and 96 mW/m2 respectively). The other set of seeds was kept under identical conditions with no Wi-Fi router (reference) and with much lower microwave exposure (0.0001 mW/m2). Seedlings were harvested after one month and biomass (dry weight) was recorded. Results: The radiation from the Wi-Fi router did not affect germination of any of the species tested. However, there was a significant reduction in dry weight of the broccoli (86% of control) and peas (43% of control) exposed to Wi-Fi radiation at the end of the experiment (p<0.01). Wi-Fi exposure inhibited root growth of several species. It also caused root tips to turn brown and reduced root hairs of cress compared with the reference treatment. Broccoli seedlings closest to the Wi-Fi router grew away from the router; cress seedlings had larger leaves and were chlorotic compared with controls. Several small plants began to die and mould developed in those Petri plates. Conclusions: Radiation from Wi-Fi reduces root and shoot growth, contributes to chlorosis, alters size of leaves, and reduces fine root hairs in several on the species tested. Radiation generated by a Wi-Fi router, at levels well below international guidelines for microwave radiation, adversely affects plant growth and may interfere with a plant’s ability to protect itself from opportunistic mould.


A couple questions:

1.  Has anybody noticed anecdotal evidence of the above?

2.  Has anybody taken measures to mitigate this, if so, how?
 
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Check out Martin Blanks research, well written in 'Overpowered'
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1609806204/

(no affiliation to the link above, simply a pointer at the book in mention)

I'm trying to remember if it's this book specifically or one of the others I was reading on the subject at the time but I'm pretty sure its this one,

It mentions a study I think in Russia, but definitely in Eastern europe (apologies for my shoddy memory here) in which a new Radar installation was put in,

and they were measuring the frequencies and amplitude of the signal, and found that trees and plants in the area were clearly responding in some way.

Wish I could give you a bit more information.
 
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Ken - this is a question that I have long found interesting. I actually did experiments back in high school involving the reaction of plant growth patterns to the presence of static (non-time variant) electric fields where I was able to show a significant response. Plant growth seemed to be slightly stimulated in the presence of low-level fields (vs. the control group with no field present), but began to be negatively affected if the field was too high. I never did anything with modulated electromagnetic fields, but have suspected ever since then that they would have quite measurable effects. Research such as you and Noah are referencing seems to support this idea.

If fact, there is now a large body of research that indicates a wide range of effects on humans from exposure to ELF, VLF, and RF fields. A study I ran across just a few weeks ago found a correlation between exposure to microwave frequency EMFs and neuropsychiatric effects such as depression (ScienceDirect Article).

Having been in the engineering field (as an electrical engineer and systems architect) for almost 30 years, it is my sense that the evidence is piling up to the degree that it is becoming harder to ignore, but that nobody really wants to put together the big picture being painted by all these various studies because the economic impact of responding to what they are telling us it so high.

Both plants and animals have physiology that is basically electrochemical and therefore responsive to electromagnetic fields. In fact, another bit of recent research just seems to have confirmed something that neurologists have long thought to not be possible: that various parts of the brain may coordinate with each other via electromagnetic coupling (Physiological Society Article).

I have been thinking about and investigating various ways to reduce the intensity and frequency of exposure to electromagnetic fields, but given the direction we are driving in communication technologies this seems increasingly challenging.  I have been tracking down some of the suggestions and references in Radiation Nation by Daniel DeBaun. The references list at the end of the book contain a lot of popular interest articles, but also point to a good number of peer-reviewed journal articles as well.
 
Ken Mullan
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Noah Fours wrote:Check out Martin Blanks research, well written in 'Overpowered'
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1609806204/

(no affiliation to the link above, simply a pointer at the book in mention)

I'm trying to remember if it's this book specifically or one of the others I was reading on the subject at the time but I'm pretty sure its this one,

It mentions a study I think in Russia, but definitely in Eastern europe (apologies for my shoddy memory here) in which a new Radar installation was put in,

and they were measuring the frequencies and amplitude of the signal, and found that trees and plants in the area were clearly responding in some way.

Wish I could give you a bit more information.




Woah!  That was quite the interesting read!  It is a bit scary to see that the effect is so substantial.  A "logarithmic" reduction in chlorophyll production is a big deal!
 
Ken Mullan
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Alan Booker wrote:Ken - this is a question that I have long found interesting. I actually did experiments back in high school involving the reaction of plant growth patterns to the presence of static (non-time variant) electric fields where I was able to show a significant response. Plant growth seemed to be slightly stimulated in the presence of low-level fields (vs. the control group with no field present), but began to be negatively affected if the field was too high. I never did anything with modulated electromagnetic fields, but have suspected ever since then that they would have quite measurable effects. Research such as you and Noah are referencing seems to support this idea.

If fact, there is now a large body of research that indicates a wide range of effects on humans from exposure to ELF, VLF, and RF fields. A study I ran across just a few weeks ago found a correlation between exposure to microwave frequency EMFs and neuropsychiatric effects such as depression (ScienceDirect Article).

Having been in the engineering field (as an electrical engineer and systems architect) for almost 30 years, it is my sense that the evidence is piling up to the degree that it is becoming harder to ignore, but that nobody really wants to put together the big picture being painted by all these various studies because the economic impact of responding to what they are telling us it so high.

Both plants and animals have physiology that is basically electrochemical and therefore responsive to electromagnetic fields. In fact, another bit of recent research just seems to have confirmed something that neurologists have long thought to not be possible: that various parts of the brain may coordinate with each other via electromagnetic coupling (Physiological Society Article).

I have been thinking about and investigating various ways to reduce the intensity and frequency of exposure to electromagnetic fields, but given the direction we are driving in communication technologies this seems increasingly challenging.  I have been tracking down some of the suggestions and references in Radiation Nation by Daniel DeBaun. The references list at the end of the book contain a lot of popular interest articles, but also point to a good number of peer-reviewed journal articles as well.




Alan, I believe we have a common interest.  I too have been looking into reducing exposure to electromagnetic fields.  At the moment, my methods only consist of turning the Wi-Fi router and electricity throughout the house off at night, and keeping my phone on airplane mode as often as I am able.  I like to believe that it is having an effect, but I wonder how much since I can detect a dozen of my neighbor's Wi-Fi signals from my room.  I have often entertained the idea of an earth-sheltered house as a possible mitigation for external sources.  Until such a time I may go with this type of paint to help shield me and my family.

It seems obvious with all of the studies mentioned that vegetation is definitely affected, I am curious then if there are any transferred effects in edibles?  For instance, aside from reduced plant health and therefore lower nutrient value, would a tomato plant growing under a power line confer any novel property to a person eating it?  Then again, I'm not sure I want to know...  ;)
 
Noah Fours
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It seems obvious with all of the studies mentioned that vegetation is definitely affected, I am curious then if there are any transferred effects in edibles?  For instance, aside from reduced plant health and therefore lower nutrient value, would a tomato plant growing under a power line confer any novel property to a person eating it?  Then again, I'm not sure I want to know...  ;)




From some research I was doing today regarding plant learning, the answer would seem to be a yes. Plants produce different substances/compounds in response to stress just as humans produce heat shock proteins and others.

Appel and Cocroft tested whether these chewing sounds could create more chemical defenses in the plants and whether these feeding recordings primed defenses when played before an actual caterpillar ate part of a leaf.

“We looked at glucosinolates that make mustards spicy and have anticancer properties and anthocyanins that give red wine its color and provide some of the health benefits to chocolate,” Appel said. “When the levels of these are higher, the insects walk away or just don’t start feeding.”

The researchers played 2 hours of silence to some Arabidopsis plants and 2 hours of caterpillar-chewing noises to others. They then chose three leaves around the plant, and allowed caterpillars to eat about a third of each leaf.  After giving the plants 24 to 48 hours to respond to the caterpillar attack, they harvested the leaves for chemical analysis.

When they found higher levels of glucosinolates in the plants that were exposed to chewing vibrations, they knew they were on the right track



https://decodingscience.missouri.edu/2014/07/01/hearing-danger-appel-cocroft/

So, I'm thinking that if plants produce compounds in relation to stressful stimuli, in this case EMF or ELF, it's going to be a noticeable, measureable difference in chemical or nutritional makeup compared to a control.  EMF and ELF have been shown to cause drastic changes in hormonal production in humans; the effect of 60 hz ELF can cause up to a 50% drop in Melatonin levels for one example.  
 
Alan Booker
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I think what Noah is pointing out in response to Ken's question is important.

More recent science has started to figure out the how eating plants or animals that have been stressed can expose us to xenohormone effects and provoke a xenohormesis response in our bodies.

Xenohormones are hormones from another species that we ingest and that end up having hormonal effects in our own bodies. So if plants or animals create stress hormones or hormones that promote obesity (called obesogens), this can trigger a similar response in us when we ingest them as our food.

Xenohormesis is one of the body's responses to the presence of these xenohormones. At low levels, it can actually trigger a strengthening effect where the body reacts to the stress by getting stronger in much the same way that muscles respond to the stress of working out by getting bigger and stronger.

But just as overworking a muscle can result in the muscle being torn down faster than it can regenerate, the presence of a xenohormesis response at too high of a level can result in chronic stresses that are a long-term drain on our bodies.



The problem is that the benefits of a hormesis response are typically seen in response to a stimulus of limited duration and intensity. Chronic, low-level stress is more likely to be uniformly destructive. So if our long-term diets consist of foods that contain bad xenohormones, the outcome is not likely to be very positive.
 
Ken Mullan
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Interesting!  I wonder if the intended effects of the xenohormones translates well across kingdoms?  Do we as animals interpret plant xenohormones produced in response to an EMF stimuli as a similar stressor?  If so, then when exposed to them in the appropriate dose, would we exhibit a hormetic response that is protective against non native EMFs?  Though, if I understand hormesis correctly, it would only be a benefit to us if we ourselves were not already getting bombarded by constant EMFs.  

It dawns on me that the plants mentioned in these studies were likely in pots in a laboratory.  I am curious if plants in nature are protected some by a sort of grounding effect?
 
pollinator
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Fascinating thread.

As bio/chemical toxins have become prevalent, the need to incorporate detox protocols into daily routines has become evident.

It seems that as emf increases, our need for adaptogens (and or cannaboids) may likewise become evident.

Does anyone have actual data on how earth shelters block or mitigate emf?
 
Alan Booker
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J Davis wrote:Fascinating thread.

As bio/chemical toxins have become prevalent, the need to incorporate detox protocols into daily routines has become evident.

It seems that as emf increases, our need for adaptogens (and or cannaboids) may likewise become evident.

Does anyone have actual data on how earth shelters block or mitigate emf?



Because I'm not geeky enough already just being an electrical engineer, I also have my Extra Class Amateur Radio (aka Ham Radio) license. So I think a lot about how RF at different frequencies propagate.

The way EMF's interact with soil is determined by several factors, primary of which is the characteristic impedance of the soil and the frequency of the RF field.

The resistivity and permittivity of the soil together create the characteristic impedance and therefore determine the skin depth of the soil at each frequency. The skin depth is the thickness of soil needed to attenuate the signal down to 36.8% of the original. By the time you get to four skin depths, you have pretty much eliminated the field.

The SMeter website is a Ham Radio site that has a free piece of software to help you calculate skin depths for different types of soils and different frequencies. Their page on RF Skin Depth in the Ground has the link for downloading the software.
 
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For anyone interested here's a couple of extensive reference lists of research on the effects of EMF on the health of humans/animals.   Sadly the telecommunications giants wish to have us overlook the accumulating preponderance of data as they push installation of 5G cell towers throughout the US.  
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1V3n0962PtWWB-gzcfF85TglEC4iZAOeq/view

https://europaem.eu/attachments/article/130/2018-04_EU-EMF2018-5US.pdf
 
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Been sensitive since the 90's, when people started to use mobile phones and mats where starting to come up. Nice that finally people start to talk about this, better late then never. Having wifi from neighbours is a big issue for me: imagine the analogy of passive smoking. Smoking for instance. was not seen as dangerous in the 50's, by the establishment.
I have noticed that young plants, or sprouts can sometimes be affected by a lot of high frequency radiation, and not develop properly or die early.
Some trees die from the top: oaks have been seen to have the top branches dried up/dead because of the radiation from high masts, a phenomenon not seen before. Other trees, with roots in or near water/river, can get affected/die/get sick, because water is a conductor for some types of radiation, and some trees have become irradiated.
In Latvia, pines have a much lower germination rate of seeds, and there is an increase of resin production, a sigh of stress.
On the other hand, some plants have become unnaturally big: nettles in some area have been getting unnaturally huge, radiation is suspected to be the culprit.
We know the effect on bees: disorientation, desertion, getting lost, not finding the way home, disappearance.
Horses getting sick and recovering when placed in area far from mast. Same for pigs.
Chicken eggs: only 1/4 of eggs hatched when exposed to radiation.
Birds and insects: a huge decline in numbers in the US and Europe. Birds have thin skulls, their feathers can act as receptors of microwave radiation, many species use magnetic navigation.
Some carrier pigeons not finding their way back home.
Rats: when affected by radiation, show clear signs of sleeping and memory disorders, aggressiveness.
Storks: number of fledglings much lower, if the nest is near the mast. A report in Spain noticed that young birds died from unknown causes, and bird couples often fought when building their nests. Sticks fell to the ground, and the couple didn't manage to continue. Some nests were never finished, and the storks just stayed passively in front of the antennae.
 
Lana Weldon
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Btw, have noticed that if I try to explain that I have issues with wifi/mobile masts etc, many people think my problems are imagined, but if I say that my horse/animal get sick from it, than suddenly they think it is interesting. Taking other fellow humans seriously more difficult than caring for the wellbeing of other animals, for some.
Also I remember a story about a man in the countryside in England who had bought an old house, and there was bees/a nest, he tried all sort of things to get rid of them, nothing worked, then one day he installed wifi, and they all vanished. Sure, it might be difficult to prove this really happened, still there are more than one studies confirming the connection with wifi and the disappearance of insects.
 
pollinator
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I've heard from 2 or more electrical engineers that resinous trees such as pine trees are good at mitigating the effects of the electrical component of EMFs.
Also good at blocking 5G and similar microwaves. But they warn that the Magnetic radiation is very difficult to deal with.

It's my understanding that the trees extend the earth's grounding effect thus pushing away the undesired EMFs.

A wofati or similar earth bermed shelter should take care of some of this concern.

see pic:

Influence of Trees
on the Spread of Electric Fields
beneath Overhead Lines

There's better pics out there but, I can't find them now.
Trees-Influence-on-EMF.gif
[Thumbnail for Trees-Influence-on-EMF.gif]
 
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