The convenience of microwave ovens is undeniable, particularly with newer under-counter and over-range configurations that leave plenty of counter space available. These microwave ovens may be the most handy, but also the least safe. They expose sensitive body parts to radiation, albeit in very small amounts. The Food and Drug Administration and many experts agree the radiation emitted from microwave ovens is safe. However, the FDA also admits there are few conclusive long-term studies on the matter.
On the other hand, there are other proven health threats and risks associated with microwave ovens.
Minimize radiation exposure
As long as your microwave carries an FDA safety label, it is guaranteed to emit less than five milliwatts of radiation per square centimeter at two inches from the oven. This is far below the level that is proven to be harmful to human health, and the radiation levels drop off quickly with distance. Still, it is worth taking precautions.
Avoid spending time cooking directly in front of a combination range hood and microwave. High levels of microwave radiation can cause cataracts and damage the lens of the eye. Likewise, working on the counter standing in front of under-counter microwaves is a bad idea. High levels of microwave energy can damage testicles and produce temporary sterility.
Also make sure your microwave is in reliable working condition. Follow all directions in the instruction manual, and donít use a microwave if the door or casing are bent or damaged. Also stop using a microwave immediately if it continues operating with an open door. The FDA requires locks and monitors that ensure the unit stops immediately if the door is opened.
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