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Microwave Oven Safety Information

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Microwave: Microwave ovens cook food by friction of the molecules of food induced by the microwave energy - specifically at 2450 MHz produced by a magnetron. As a corollary, the energy produced at 2450 MHz or 2.4 GHz frequency, (which can be as high as 500 W typically or more) can result in hash noise for some sensitive equipment like cordless phones or Video/Camera senders which operate at 2.4 GHz. So if your 2.4 GHz phone conversation breaks into a cacophony, look no further than your microwave oven for the source of interference.

Microwave Oven Safety Microwave Oven Safety: As microwave oven cooks the food by the molecular friction, there is a high possibility that the cooked food will have very hot spots and cold spots depending on the water content. Equally, as the food is internally cooked, outside portions can remain marginally cooler. Many of the food containers and plastic wrapping unless specifically designed for microwave use, can disintegrate or cause harmful chemicals to be leached into the food. Make sure that all the wrappings and containers are specifically designed for the microwave use. Many take away food packages may not be designed for microwave use.

Microwave like the light wave is not part of the ionizing radiation. In other words it will not leave your food 'radio active'. Microwave energy is measured in units of milliwatts per square centimeter. In other words the power is measured as the rate of energy flow per unit area. As long as the microwave ovens are operated as per the manufacturer's directions and common sense, there is little possibility of a microwave leak outside the oven. There are interlocking switches to prevent the operation of the magnetron when the door is opened. If you do not break the glass door or use metallic scouring implements to scratch the surface, the leakage will be less than 0.2 mW per square centimeter.
If the safety devices are deliberately disabled, you can get a nasty burn when you are near the oven. Some cases of cataracts have been reported due to undue exposure to microwave energy.

Operating a microwave oven with metal strips inside can cause induction of high energy pulses which manifest as sparking. This can result in damage to the magnetron or the control circuitry. Even operating microwave ovens without adequate load, can also result in high energy standing wave with similar results - damage to the magnetron.

Repairing a Microwave Oven can be lethal if you are not careful. The energy stored in the voltage doubler capacitor can be high enough to cause serious physical damage. Remember "It is the mills (milliampere) which kills and Volts that jolts " ! It has been estimated that as low as 8 mA is enough to cause a fatal cardiac arrest under certain conditions. The large transformer can supply several hundred milliampere current at a couple of kilovolts. So it would be prudent to send a faulty microwave oven to a qualified technician for repairing - even if you happen to be the best handy man around.

All are equal but some are more equal than others. At least the plastic wraps used for packaging food comes under this category. Plastic containers, sealable bags and plastic wraps provide a convenient and inexpensive way to keep food fresh. From the shelves of your freezer, some might go straight to the dining table after a brief sojourn inside the microwave oven. But some plastic containers and wraps can have harmful effects on the food contained in them when subjected to extreme localized heat if not specifically designed.

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