The microwave oven is a practical kitchen helper that saves a lot of time. But how dangerous is the radiation from it for our health, and can it really lead to the development of cancer?
Microwave radiation: artificial creation of panic or real danger?
Almost two-thirds of European families have a microwave – and no one plans to part with it, although the dangers of microwave heating of food are discussed every now and then. However, many microwave ovens combine various cooking functions and can serve as air fryers, steamers, grills… all this makes them versatile and convenient devices for the kitchen.
Microwave ovens are subject to technical safety regulations, as are many other electrical appliances. According to the Russian standard, the level of microwave radiation should not exceed 5.0 mW * cm² at a distance of half a meter from the oven.
First of all, during production, the effect of radiation on what is in the immediate vicinity of the microwave oven is measured. Particular attention is paid to the gap between the closed oven door and its body: it is in this place that radiation can penetrate outside.
We tested several office and home microwaves. During the tests (it does not matter whether the device was old or new), no more than 1% of the maximum allowable radiation was recorded at a distance of five centimeters from the microwave oven. And the farther from the microwave, the less radiation!
However, be careful and try to keep some distance from the oven while it is in operation. Defects are not always immediately noticeable, but their appearance (as with any electrical device) can lead to radiation leakage. As for serviceable and not damaged devices, they are completely safe.
How does a microwave oven heat food?
The basis of the microwave oven is the so-called magnetron. Under its influence, the water molecules contained in our food begin to oscillate. These vibrations create heat and the food becomes hot.
Be careful with certain foods
Some foods change their chemical composition when reheated. Be especially careful with protein-rich foods. Also, products with a short shelf life can quickly develop harmful bacteria. Exposure to a microwave oven does not kill them, so you have a chance to eat a portion of bacteria along with a heated product.
Microwave Buying Tips
Check with the seller or manufacturer for the efficiency of the oven. It is he who affects its energy efficiency: the higher, the faster and more evenly the food will heat up. By the way, ovens with turntables distribute heat better and allow microwaves to evenly affect the entire dish.
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