Are Microwaves Ionising?

Last Updated On August 29th, 2019

People who use microwaves frequently might all have the same question: are microwaves ionising? The answer is that microwaves will release low levels of electromagnetic radiation when they’re in use. Concerns about microwave radiation have been ongoing almost ever since microwaves were introduced. It’s important to remember that radiation is everywhere. It takes particular levels of radiation exposure to actually increase a person’s risk of getting cancer. People will never be able to avoid radiation exposure entirely. This might not even be desirable. However, people can choose to skip microwaves, so it’s useful to analyze them in detail.

Microwave Safety

It should be noted that a lot of older microwave ovens were less safe than some of the newer ones. People who own microwaves that are several decades old might want to get them replaced. These were microwaves that were more likely to leak. However, even then, microwaves were nowhere near as dangerous as some people feared. Throughout the late twentieth century, certain environmental pollutants in the air probably contributed to more cases of cancer than most of the older technology of the day.

It should be noted that the waves are only emitted when the microwave is actually on and that the machine will no longer emit the waves when it’s turned off at any point. People who are worried that the waves will somehow stay in the food are wrong. The waves will not even stay in the oven. People who are strongly concerned about the effects of the waves should stay out of the room when the microwave is actually in the process of heating food or beverages in the first place. If there are any risks associated with the tiny quantities of electromagnetic radiation emitted by microwaves, just leaving the room when they’re in operation might be enough to mitigate those risks.

Risks and Benefits of a Microwave

The hard scientific evidence that microwaves are dangerous is very slight. People who believe that microwave ovens are dangerous are more or less relying on the precautionary principle. It might make sense to avoid microwave ovens for the people who are deeply concerned about the possibility of getting cancer over time. People with a family history of cancer might be more concerned about the electromagnetic radiation that microwave ovens emit.

There’s no doubt about the fact that microwave ovens are convenient. Using standard ovens also has its own risks, and that’s something that people should take into account as well. Indoor air pollution is a huge problem, and cooking food in standard ovens contributes to it. People who use traditional wood stoves will have significant problems with indoor air pollution. There are people who are more worried about microwaves than old wood stoves. Using an old wood stove is almost as bad as smoking cigarettes. Microwave ovens are clearly safer than a good portion of the alternatives.

People who leave the room when they use their microwave ovens will avoid most of the potential problems. It’s hard to cook anything and avoid all pollutants in the process.

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