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How Dangerous is the Radiation from My Microwave

High doses of microwave radiation can be harmful to your health, which is why knowing about microwave safety is crucial.

Have you heard about microwave radiation, but aren’t sure if this is something you should be concerned about? You’re not alone. Too much radiation exposure can cause serious health problems, which is why limiting it is so important. That’s why knowing if your microwave is putting you at risk is a must.

What Microwave Radiation Is

Microwave radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation or waves of magnetic and electrical energy moving through space. Microwave ovens emit microwave radiation; so do devices used to detect speeding cars (radar guns), telephones, televisions, plywood and rubber manufacturers, and some food manufacturers. Getting too much microwave radiation in your body can cause problems for your health.

Is Microwave Radiation Harmful?

Being exposed to too much microwave radiation may indeed be harmful. One study published in 2015 in Military Medical Research says too much microwave radiation can cause brain dysfunction and structural brain damage — and could cause headaches, fatigue, memory loss, and impaired learning. A 2016 study in Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine says long-term microwave exposure from cell phones may increase your risk of impaired brain function, cancer, and infertility problems — but that more research is needed. Microwave ovens, however, are deemed safe by several reputable organizations.

Are Microwave Ovens Safe?

According to the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, World Health Organization, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), microwave ovens are safe and don’t pose health risks when used as directed. Microwave ovens cook food, but don’t change the molecular or chemical structure of food — and don’t make the food radioactive. The National Cancer Institute says radiation emitted from microwaves is contained within the oven, and doesn’t increase cancer risks. The FDA regulates microwave oven manufacturing, requiring products to meet public health safety standards.

Possible Safety Hazards

Faulty, damaged, or malfunctioning microwaves can be dangerous, so when it doubt throw old microwaves out. The FDA says radiation injuries can happen from radiation leaking through gaps in microwave oven seals. This can occur if your microwave latch, door, hinge, or seal gets damaged, if the door doesn’t close firmly, or if your microwave stays on after opening the door. If you notice malfunctions or damage to your microwave oven, stop using it immediately to prevent possible radiation exposure.

Bottom Line

Microwave oven safety is closely regulated by the FDA, and using microwaves for cooking food is deemed safe as long as your microwave isn’t damaged — and you follow manufacturer instructions.

[Image via Getty]

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