BACK AWAY from the microwave?


| 5 Comments
If I am making something in the microwave, you will usually find me standing right in front of it. Especially if it is for a short period of time (30 second nachos) or if it is popcorn. I like watching the food cook so fast, also, I am usually hungry when I am making food so I am literally counting down and following the microwave clock to when I can eat it. 

Despite this, it still was no surprise to me one day at work when someone told me to not stand so close to the microwave. It makes sense - the way microwaves work is they use electromagnetic waves (microwaves) to shake up the water molecules in food, heating it up and therefore speeding the process of cooking it. 

I know this, and it's in the back of my head every time I stand in front of a microwave because I wouldn't be surprised if microwaves were bad for you, just like how we know uv rays are bad for you and other types of radiation. 

Thinking this yet still standing in front of a microwave to watch my popcorn pop, I decided to find out once and for all if we should watch our popcorn pop ... from across the room. 

Turns out, we're safe and we can stand in front of a microwave. A NY Times article was written about this same topic. 

The Food and Drug Administration regulates microwave oven safety. Microwaves are only allowed to emit "five milliwatts per square centimeter at roughly two inches away from the oven" in their entire lifetimes (O'Connor, NY Times). This amount is "far below the levels of radiation that have been shown to harm humans (O'Connor, NY Times). The article compares this amount to cellphones - "most common cellphones operate at a peak power of about 1.6 watts or less". 

We have yet to hear about damage caused by cellphones, and because the radiation from a microwave is a lot less than even that, I think we can say if you like to watch your popcorn pop, watch away. 

5 Comments

You usually don't think of the microwave as so dangerous but in reality it's really dangerous and emits micro waves that are harmful. A couple of years ago, a study came out that talking on a cell phone with the phone up to your ear is also dangerous! After thinking about microwaves and how amazing they are since they cook your food ridiculously fast and show you the delicious food inside this article makes a lot of sense!

http://www.mercola.com/article/microwave/hazards2.htm

Oh thank goodness I can now watch my deliciously awesome microwavable food heat away! My parents once told me not to stare at my food from so close to the microwave even though I was so darn hungry. As long as the microwave is more modern then it shouldn't exceed too many milliwatts. I mean I certainly wouldn't want cancer just from trying to feed myself.. But I also trust the people over at Yahoo Answers with all my life decisions.. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080110033942AAcmKQw

I also stand in front of the microwave! Ever since I was young, I enjoyed watching food cook, just like you. As I got older, and came to college, the microwave became my guilty pleasure, as I would use it every time the dining commons were serving something unappetizing. While I found it interesting that microwaves are safe to stand in front of,I still take a few steps back just in case. Better safe than sorry!Here's an article that talks more about your subject, I think you'll find it interesting!
http://hps.org/hpspublications/articles/microwaveoven.html

Although it may not seem harmful to stand in front of a microwave, it is harmful to use them if not done so properly. It is a known fact (hopefully people are aware) that the best thing to do is cook your food from scratch instead of having precooked microwaveable foods. Not only would you avoid the high fat, cholesterol, and calorie levels but also the harmful toxins that are emitted from the plastic when heated. Another issue cooking with a microwave is that your food may not be evenly heated which can be very harmful (mainly regarding meats). If meats are not properly heated, there will be uneven hot and cold spots which leaves harmful bacteria. If anyone needs anymore information on the effects of microwaves and how to safely use them, the FDA can provide more details. Happy Microwaving! :)

I liked this article because it actually had facts, I've heard a lot of BS saying 'how dangerous microwaves' are for us. I appreciate this article, because microwaves are an appliance we use almost daily. It would be pretty scary if the rumors were actually true. This website did actually inform me of 5 household appliances that could be dangerous.

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