You must be concerned about harmful microwave radiation or you wouldn’t be reading this. Modern kitchen appliances are convenient and efficient to use as they speed up food preparation and cleaning. Some common appliances you may already be using at home include a dishwasher, trash compactor, refrigerator, stove, and a microwave. Some families can’t live without a microwave as it helps save leftovers instead of going to waste.
When it comes to preparing food, you can just toss it into the microwave, set the timer, and wait for it to cook. It’s very useful, especially when you don’t have enough time to cook in the morning or for lunch at work. However, this convenience comes with a price. Using a microwave everyday can cost your health due to radiation. This complete guide will show you how harmful microwave radiation can be to humans.
How Microwaves Work
A microwave uses a magnetron, a vacuum that produces waves in microwave frequency which is usually at 2.45GHz. It works by exposing the food to microwave waves and then dielectric heating begins. Meaning, the molecules in the food start to heat up while the food is cooking. When it comes to speed, microwaves cook food faster than conventional ovens.
Now that you know how microwaves work, it’s time to learn how they produce radiation. This is important to know because EMF radiation can cause cellular damage when exposed to higher quantities. Not only that, you may also develop some major health conditions with constant exposure to radiation at home such as male infertility and cancer.
Microwave and EMF Radiation
Microwaves produce waves that are considered electromagnetic radiation. They emit RF-EMF radiation while heating the food and at the same time, they also generate dirty electricity which is considered a form of ELF-EMF radiation. Theoretically, the radiation is contained by the microwave through its seals, hence reducing your EMF radiation exposure. However, a microwave emits a huge amount of radiation regardless of such safety measures.
Microwaves are generally designed to keep you safe from injuries such as physical burns and radiation exposure according to government regulations. While your microwave doesn’t produce enough radiation to cause physical burns, it can still lead to cellular damage. Therefore, you need to take some safety precautions to avoid exposure to EMF radiation when using your oven.
Since there’s not enough studies about harmful microwave radiation, Beijing Institute of Research Medicine mentioned that more studies are needed to back up the current studies’ methodology. This topic requires further research in order to provide more information regarding the potential threat of using microwave due to their proximity to the food.
How the Government Regulates Microwave Radiation
In the United States, the amount of radiation that microwaves produce don’t exceed 5mW per square meter at two inches distance. These government regulations, however, don’t consider the potential of developing cellular damage due to microwave exposure. The primary intention is to reduce any physical injuries that may occur while using a microwave.
The World Health Organization’s International Association for Research on Cancer acknowledges the potential and harmful microwave radiation to cause cancer. In fact, RF-EMF radiation is classified as possibly carcinogenic according to a study wherein radio frequencies are said to cause brain and heart tumors in rats.
Moreover, the study also focused on cellular radiation which has the same effect as microwaves. The thing about this research is that it’s far from being conclusive when it comes to the actual effects of microwave radiation on humans.
Measuring EMF Levels Produced by Microwaves
If you’re concerned about the potential health risk of harmful microwave radiation, it’s important to know how much radiation your microwave produces. You can use an EMF meter to test your appliance and see how much they emit. There are EMF meters that can measure all types of EMF radiation, making them an excellent option and worth an investment.
With your chosen EMF meter, measure your microwave at various distances. Take two measurements or readings at a given distance, one with the appliance operating and another while it’s off. It will serve as your comparison so that you can have a better idea of how much EMF your microwave is emitting while it’s on and off.
Make sure to take your measurements closely with the microwave, then at least three feet away, and at 10 feet distance. If the readings are still high, repeat these steps until you get a lower radiation level so that you can determine the safe distance to maintain while the oven is on. If the microwave is positioned near a shared wall, take another measurement from the other side.
Arranging your appliances
When arranging your appliances or pieces of furniture in your home, don’t place your couch or bed near the shared wall where the microwave is located. In addition, avoid placing your microwave in a high-traffic area. It’s important to know how to position your appliances in such a way that you can reduce your exposure to EMF.
Microwaves can contain EMF radiation they produce through the seals in the door, so you can safely stand at least 10 feet away from the appliance while heating your food. However, the seals on the door may leak and allow radiation to escape from the unit. You can check if there’s a leak by using the phone method.
To do this trick, you will need two cell phones. Put one phone inside the microwave and then use the other phone to call it. If the cell phone rings, then a signal can pass through the door. On the other hand, if the phone doesn’t ring, that means the seal has no leak. Phone radiation and microwave radiation are both classified as RF-EMF radiation. They may operate at different frequencies, these forms of radiation are on the same spectrum.
Can You Find Low EMF Microwaves
You might be thinking of safer options for a microwave such as models that produce low EMF. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as low EMF microwaves because radiation is an integral part of how microwaves function. With that being said, it’s almost impossible to design a low EMF-emitting microwave.
Since there are no low EMF microwaves you can find in the market, it’s important to consider that there are models that emit more radiation because of the seal. Generally, tighter seals mean less radiation due to the fact that microwaves are designed to contain the radiation they produce.
How to Reduce Harmful Microwave Radiation
Getting rid of your microwave may not be an option to reduce your exposure to EMF radiation. However, there are simple ways you can protect yourself against harmful microwave radiation in your home. The following are some helpful tips to lower your EMF exposure when using your microwave:
Avoid processed foods as much as possible
You can benefit from switching up your diet in a number of ways. Focus on fresh foods that are prepared with whole ingredients rather than microwaved foods. Stop eating canned soup, TV dinners, and other instant foods that is unhealthy. Microwaves are frequently used to prepare these foods, which provide empty calories and high sodium. Avoiding these foods may be challenging, but it’s the best for your body.
Cook using healthier alternatives
Just because you have a microwave oven in your kitchen doesn’t mean you should use it all the time. Use other alternatives to cooking such as your conventional oven or stovetop to heat food up. You can even use your toaster oven to prepare your breakfast or make some French fries and they would definitely taste much better. Reheating your fries using your conventional oven reduces your EMF exposure while giving your crispier fries.
Keep a safe distance from your microwave
When heating food with your microwave, make sure to always maintain a safe distance to lower your exposure. Radiation levels tend to increase when you’re close to the unit. If you stand next to the microwave while it’s on, you are exposed to higher EMF than when you stay a few feet away.
Use a microwave cover or shield
If you can’t help but use your microwave more often, the best option for you is a microwave shield. These protective covers are often made from metal fiber to reduce harmful microwave radiation. However, it’s important that the shield matches the size of your microwave. You can make your own cover by using a premium protective fabric with other materials including silver, copper, nickel, or any EMF-absorbing material.
Purchase a dirty electricity filter
Since microwaves are designed to be more energy-efficient, they also generate more dirty electricity. The best way to reduce dirty electricity is to install a filter on the circuit where the microwave is connected.
Upgrade your microwave
Older models may produce less EMF, but the seals tend to deteriorate over time. This makes them prone to leakage, putting you more at risk of EMF-related illnesses. Sometimes, you won’t suspect leak on the seals as they look fine without any signs of wear and tear. Upgrading to a new unit is the best way to avoid higher exposure.
Wrapping It Up
EMF radiation is inevitable when using a microwave because it’s part of how the unit works. If you don’t want to take the risk, you can completely ditch your microwave. But for most people, it’s impossible to get rid of microwaves because they are so helpful and convenient to use. In that case, you can only do so much to reduce your exposure.
Taking the necessary steps to lower your EMF exposure is important. For instance, you can use a microwave shield, install a dirty electricity filter, or use a conventional oven to heat up foods. More studies are needed to prove the safety and risks of using microwaves. Until then, you should take all the precautions to reduce exposure to EMF radiation.
More importantly, opt for unprocessed foods so that you don’t have to microwave them. Eating healthier alternatives with whole, clean ingredients will change your overall health. Although these steps may not eliminate EMF completely, they can lower your exposure over time. Remember, the goal is to get exposed less to radiation to prevent cancers and other serious health problems in the long run.