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Can Microwave Ovens Cause Cancer?

Cooking in a microwave oven is so much faster than using a conventional gas or electric oven. On top of this there’s the convenience of an easy clean! But are they safe? This article will provide you with some facts:

Microwave oven workings

Radiofrequency or RF radiation is at the low end of the electromagnetic spectrum and is the non-ionising radiation used in your microwave. It works by using very high levels of a certain frequency to heat foods. When the microwaves are absorbed by food containing water it causes the molecules to vibrate, which produces the heat.

These waves are reflected off the metal interior of the oven and absorbed by the water molecules in the food. The walls and are not directly heated as they don’t absorb microwave energy. However the inside of the oven fells warm due to the hot food and the electrical circuits.

Your health and microwave ovens

There is actually no established proof that they cause any health issues if they’re maintained in good working order and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. However recent research has shown:

  • 1. Microwaved foods can lose up to 90% of their nutritional value and significant portions of essential minerals and Vitamins B, C, and E
  • 2. Microwaving may create carcinogenic toxins within milk and cereals
  • 3. It’s a good idea to keep away from your microwave when it’s working to reduce the risk of radio frequency radiation
  • 4. Short exposure of raw, cooked, or frozen vegetables in the microwave was found to change plant alkaloids into chemical substances
  • 5. Microwaves don’t use x-rays or gamma rays and don’t make food radioactive
  • 6. Swiss clinical trials have shown that microwaving food can increase cholesterol levels

Potential risks

Microwave ovens are designed so that the microwaves are contained within the oven itself. Ovens that are damaged or modified may allow microwaves to leak out, and that could potentially cause burns. Most often injuries from microwave ovens tend to be from contact with steam or extremely hot food.

A few studies have shown evidence of biological effects that could be possibly linked to cancer, but this is still in area of research, and it’s not clear how RF radiation may be able to cause cancer. Researchers will continue to study both lab-based and human studies to support any claims.

White kitchen with a modern microwave oven

Microwave Oven Precautions

Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operating procedures and:

  • 1. Don’t use plastic containers or films unless specifically designated
  • 2. Avoid putting food in containers with metallic glazes, fast foil, or aluminium foil if not recommended
  • 3. Never operate it empty
  • 4. Take frozen meals out of freezer sooner to avoid speed-defrosting
  • 5. Make sure enough cooking time is allowed for food to be heated evenly
  • 6. Be careful when removing liquids for the oven as they can become extremely hot
  • 7. Don’t rest heavy items on the door whilst it’s open
  • 8. Always supervise children using it
  • 9. Don’t try DIY repairs – call in the experts

Microwave Oven Maintenance

Inspect your microwave oven on a regular basis and:

  • 1. Clean the interior with water and a mild detergent, and wipe the door and seals often
  • 2. Inspect the door to ensure secure fitting and smooth opening and closing
  • 3. Make sure the door hinges are in good condition
  • 4. Remove any burnt on food residues from the interior and surrounds
  • 5. Look out for corrosion on the door, hinges, or oven interior

When You Need Professional Repairs

Something wrong with your microwave oven? You’ll need to find an expert trained in oven repairs with all the tools needed to get the job done quickly. Trustworthy repair specialists will provide you with a comprehensive service that offers a six-month guarantee for all repairs.

You’ll be sent experienced technicians with full insurance cover and qualifications so you know your work will be completed to the highest standard. Get a free quote before your service begins so you know just how much you’ll pay! And without any call out charges or deposits needed your oven can be fixed quickly in an emergency.