Since their invention in the 1940s, microwave ovens have been the source of numerous debates concerning health and safety.
Do they cause cancer or expose you to unsafe levels of radiation and microwaves? Do they rob the food you cook of its nutrition? Are microwaves safe?
If you’ve wondered where the hype ends and the truth begins, this is your guide. Read on to learn all about how microwaves work, if they’re safe, and more!
Table of Contents
How Do Microwaves Work?
Microwave ovens use an electron tube to produce microwaves. The microwaves are then reflected in oven’s the metal interior and absorbed by the food inside.
Microwave penetration makes the water molecules in your food vibrate, producing heat and cooking whatever is inside. That’s why foods containing high water content like vegetables cook so quickly.
This is also why some foods with sealed exteriors like hot dogs, potatoes, and whole eggs are prone to splitting open and exploding in the microwave.
You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using your microwave. Use only microwave-safe containers and dishes inside, and avoid anything made with metal or soft plastic.
The FDA also recommends that you use caution when microwaving pure water and suggests that you never use a microwave that functions with the door open or shows signs of damage that could allow it to leak.
Lastly, avoid microwaving completely sealed containers. Steam can build up inside, causing painful scalding and burns when the lid is removed.
Are Microwaves Dangerous?
When used properly, can microwaves hurt you? The truth is that we just aren’t sure.
Microwaves do not emit the type of radiation that causes cancer. But, it can cause damage to skin tissues if you are exposed.
And while there is no evidence that microwaves make your food less nutritious, we know very little about whether or not it may be altered, otherwise.
There is also a good deal of uncertainty surrounding the EMFs or electromagnetic fields that appliances like your microwave emit. Though, some studies indicate that it could be harmful. For more information, visit emf-protection.com.
Lastly, using the wrong kind of plastic in your microwave can cause it to leak toxic chemicals into your food. Look for BPA and phthalate-free cookware to avoid contamination.
To avoid unnecessary exposure to microwaves, you should avoid standing just in front of or next to your oven while it’s in use. You should also get out of the habit of peering at the food inside.
If you are concerned that a microwave’s door is compromised or that it is leaking, you should leave the room while it is operating. Replace this appliance immediately to reduce your risk of injury.
Are Microwaves Safe?
So, are microwaves safe? Mostly – but only if you are using them properly and taking extra steps to protect yourself.
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