It is widely recognized that radiation exposures such as X-rays and gamma radiation can increase the risk of cancer in humans and animals. These types of radiation are referred to as ionizing radiation (Ionization energy is defined as the minimum amount of energy required to remove an electron from an atom or molecule in the gaseous state). This is different from nonionizing radiation, which includes ultraviolet (UV), visible light, extremely low frequency radiation (ELF), and radiofrequency or microwave (RF) radiation. Conventionally, researchers believed that nonionizing radiation is not harmful or carcinogenic, despite evidence surfacing regarding the relationship between UV radiation and skin cancer.
Research evaluating the exposure to RF radiation was conducted primarily by military agencies. Due to the advent and use of cellular telephone systems, which involve widespread public exposures, reevaluation of exposure risk has become urgent.
Four types of physiological effects has been observed by researched in multiple studies:
These findings suggest that exposure to RF radiation, including from devices such as microwave ovens, are potentially carcinogenic and have other health effects. An important point to consider is that low dose radiation exposure over time has damaging effects, rather than one large exposure to radiation.
Alternatives to Microwaves
Rather than using a microwave, consider using a stove or convection oven. These methods take a bit more time, but it is well worth it! Consider using headphones to talk on cell phones rather than placing the device directly to your head. If possible, request to avoid airport scanners by opting for a pat-down. Lastly, try to reduce overall radiation exposure over time.
Goldsmith, J. (1997). Epidemiologic Evidence Relevant to Radar (Microwave) Effects. Environmental Health Perspectives, 105, 1579. https://doi.org/10.2307/3433674
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