You are on page 1of 40

TERM PAPER

MICROWAVE OVENS
BY
PALAK MEHRA
11002346

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
HISTORY
WORKING PRINCIPLE
USE IN TODAYS WORLD
ADVANTAGES
DISADVANTAGES
FUTURE OF MICROWAVE OVENS

INTRODUCTION
Microwave oven is an electromagnetic wave with a wavelength in the range 0.001
0.3 m, shorter than that of a normal radio wave but longer than those of infrared

radiation. Microwaves are used in radar, in communications, and for heating in


microwave ovens and in various industrial processes.
When people think of microwave ovens, they think about the fact that they are
everywhere. They think about the fact that most of the things that they cook and
heat will come out of the microwave and use the technology. Microwave ovens are
one of the most popular ways to cook and heat food. While there are multiple types
of microwaves, and different ways to use a microwave oven, all of them do nearly
the same thing. While microwave ovens will all do the same thing, there are
different types of microwaves to choose from.
Some of the microwaves simply look different, as they have been given a sharper
and cleaner design to fit in a more upscale type of kitchen, while others will tweak
how the microwave works, especially with how fast it can work. These tweaks and
changes aim to help those who are actually purchasing the microwave. The over-the
range microwave was one of the most important changes that the microwave has
ever seen. Putting the microwave over the range actually helped to bring the
microwave into the kitchen in a way that did not take up counter or shelf space. This
was important, as it solidified the microwave's stance as a major kitchen appliance,
despite its size.
One of the other major changes to the small appliances is the strength of the
microwave. While certain microwaves will have different strengths of their own,
some microwaves will simply have higher strengths than others. This turns some
microwaves into major appliances, as some microwaves can heat things in a faster
and more efficient way .There are a few important things that you should take into
consideration before you actually purchase a new microwave oven. While the
microwave is partially about the look (and the overall feel of the entire kitchen
itself), there are many more aspects that many people will not even consider, but
could actually affect how happy you are with your microwave purchase.
Microwaves are low on the electromagnetic spectrum. The electromagnetic
spectrum is a range of all the possible electric radiation. Frequency of a wave is the
number of waves per second and the frequency of a m. Microwave is between 300
MHz and 300 GHz. The wavelength of a wave is the distance from one peak of a
wave to the peak of a following wave and a wavelength of a microwave varies from
one millimeter to thirty centimeters. The frequencies range from ultra high
frequency to super high frequency to extremely high frequency. The microwave was
discovered by Heinrich Hertz and predicted by James Clerk Maxwell. In 1864, James
Clerk Maxwell theorized about microwaves until he predicted equations that would
prove the existence of microwaves. In 1888, Heinrich Hertz took these equations
and used them in an experiment. He made an apparatus that produced waves and
detected these waves. The experiment displayed the different wavelengths of
certain waves, such as the short wavelength of microwaves. The discovery of
microwaves permitted it to be used for commercial purposes.

Microwave ovens are the best example of a commercial usage of microwaves.


Microwave ovens use microwaves at a frequency of 2450 MHz. The Microwaves
travel cause the water, fat, and sugars to vibrate resulting in the foods temperature
rising. This type of energy is called Dielectric energy. This benefits the food making
process and anyone who buys TV dinners. Another instance of microwaves is cell
phones. Cell phones use an antenna and a little transmitter to connect to the
microwaves emitted in the air. To make cell phones more attractive for buyers, they
minimized the transmitters and antennas. The microwaves used in phones make it
possible for a person to receive calls from any location, this is especially important
in emergencies. Broadcasting transmissions, such as cable TV and the Internet, use
microwaves to transmit the signal in order to broadcast. These two sources that use
microwaves permit faster communication between all areas of the world. These two
sources that use microwaves are the most popular ways of entertainment for most
of the United States. The commercial industry benefits from these products that use
microwaves.
Current studies prove indecisive about the effects of microwaves. Microwave ovens
can cause damage to the eyes. If a person were to press their face on the
microwave oven, it can cause cataracts in the eyes. The best advice to protect
against this effect is to stay a couple feet away according to Dr. Joseph Mercola. The
most controversial issue about microwaves is if they have a hazardous effect on the
brain through cell phone usage. Some people believe that having a mobile phone
near the ear for a prolonged period of time will cause cancer, or a brain tumor due
to the microwaves that are transmitted. According to the article MIRROR, MIRROR,
Fearing Rads, Cell Addicts Sprout Wires in The New York Times, No studies directly
link cell phone use to brain cancer A piece of advice that most doctors would
give to patients concerned with the microwaves form their cell phones is to only use
it when necessary. However, studies have not proven anything that is accurate at
this point in time, they are still in the process of being conducted.
Microwaves allow the world to progress. They help people communicate faster and
more effectively. Experiments are still continuing to figure out the real dangers of
these waves. Microwaves are one of the most used waves for commercial uses.
Microwaves surround our everyday activities.
Radio Waves
Radio waves are the oscillations of magnetic waves by varying the modulation to
generate different signals which can be converted into information such as sound,
video, or digital communication. As these waves pass through a conductor, an
alternating current is generated and this can be converted into usable information.
As one could see from the picture above, radio waves are the electromagnetic
waves with wave lengths between 1mm and 10 Mm. This converts to a frequency
range of 300 GHz to 30GHz, respectively.

Nearly everyone uses radio waves in some form day after day. The technologies that
depend on them is vast and ever-growing. These technologies range from cordless
phones and garage door openers to radar and microwave ovens. Radio is not a dead
technology either. It is constantly having research devoted to it and new
technologies and innovations are coming about from this research. The trend
towards wireless internet and more versatile cellular phones are just some
examples. Ironically, the fundamentals of radio waves are relatively simple (at least
when compared to the vast array of technologies that now implement it).
Cordless phones use radio waves to allow individuals to walk around freely in their
home without the need to be bound by a cord while talking over their land-based
phone line.
Cell phones are a miracle to modern day living. Unlike previous eras where
communication was done strictly across a hard-wired telephone line, cell phones
now give the freedom to those that can afford them a radio-based uplink to the rest
of the world. Not only are they for voice communication, but they also allow for
transmission of virtually any kind of digital data.
Microwave ovens are another great invention from the 20th century. They use radio
waves in a specific frequency range in which water, fat, and sugar molecules
happen to absorb and convert directly into heat. This frequency range also happens
to move right through glass and most plastics. Unfortunately, metal reflects radio
waves thus causing issues while trying to use a metal pan or bowl .
There are numerous more technologies that are also either based off of or
incorporate radio waves in their design, far too many to list.
The microwave oven recently celebrated its golden anniversary. As familiar an
appliance as it is to many people, few really know how it works. This article will
provide some insight into the history of the microwave ovens discovery and
development, as well as elaborate on the internal workings and mechanisms that
provide the "magic" behind the function of this seemingly mysterious box.
History
In today's technology-driven world, almost everyone, at some point in their lives,
has either used or had some sort of contact with a microwave oven (see Fig. 1).
Popular opinion was not always so overwhelmingly supportive of this breakthrough
technology, as the microwave oven initially struggled to gain acceptance since its
inception over fifty years ago.
Like many of the great inventions of our past, the idea behind the microwave oven
was accidentally stumbled upon in 1946. Dr. Percy Spencer was working as an
engineer with the Raytheon Corporation at the time, when he discovered something
very unusual one day while working on a radar-related research project. While

testing a new vacuum tube known as a magnetron, he discovered that a candy bar
in his pocket had melted. Intrigued as he was, Spencer decided upon further
experimentation. Later on, having pointed the tube at such objects as a bag of
popcorn kernels and an egg, with similar results in both experiments (the popcorn
popped and the egg exploded), he correctly concluded that the observed effects in
each case were all attributed to exposure to low-density microwave energy [2].
Shortly after the accidental discovery, engineers at Raytheon went to work on
Spencer's new idea, developing and refining it to be of practical use.
In late 1946, this resulted in the Raytheon Company's first patent proposing that
microwaves be used to cook food. The following year, the first commercial
microwave oven, dubbed the "Radarange," hit the market with a cost between
$2,000 and $3,000. Finally in 1965, Raytheon introduced the first countertop
domestic oven, much improved in the area of size, safety and reliability than older
models with a cost of $500. As fears and myths of these mysterious new "radar
ranges" began to fade during the 1970's, public demand began to swell with
acceptance until the sales of microwave ovens eventually surpassed those of gas
ranges in 1975. Furthermore, in 1976 the microwave became a more common
household appliance than the dishwasher as it found its home in nearly fifty-two
million U.S. households, or 60% of U.S. homes [2].

Christian Rasmussen/Wikimedia Commons


Figure 1: Modern microwave ovens have come a long way from their original
counterparts.

Early theories
It was an invention that related to heating systems for dielectric materials and the
object of the invention was to heat such materials uniformly and substantially
simultaneously throughout their mass. It has been proposed therefore to heat such
materials simultaneously throughout their mass by means of the dielectric loss
produced in them when they are subjected to a high voltage, high frequency field.
However, lower-frequency dielectric heating, as described in the aforementioned
patent, is (like induction heating) an electromagnetic heating effect, which itself is
the result of the so-called near-field effects that exist in an electromagnetic cavity
that is small compared with the wavelength of the electromagnetic field. This patent
proposed radiofrequency heating, at 10 to 20 megahertz (wavelength 15 to 30
meters).[2] Heating from microwaves that have a wavelength that is small in
relation to the cavity (as in a modern microwave oven) is due to "far-field" effects
that are due to classical electromagnetic radiation that describes freely propagating

light and microwaves suitably far from their source. Nevertheless, the primary
heating effect of all types of electromagnetic fields at both radio and microwave
frequencies occurs via the dielectric heating effect, as polarized molecules are
affected by a rapidly alternating electric field.
Accidental discovery

The specific heating effect of a beam of high-power microwaves was discovered


accidentally in 1945, shortly after high-powered microwave radar transmitters were
developed and widely disseminated by the Allies of World War II, using the British
magnetron technology that was shared with the United States company Raytheon in
order to secure production facilities to produce the magnetron. Percy Spencer, an
American self-taught engineer from Howland, Maine, worked at the time with
Raytheon. He was working on an active radar set when he noticed that a Mr.
Goodbar he had in his pocket started to melt - the radar had melted his chocolate
bar with microwaves. The first food to be deliberately cooked with Spencer's
microwave was popcorn, and the second was an egg, which exploded in the face of
one of the experimenters.[3][4] To verify his finding, Spencer created a high density
electromagnetic field by feeding microwave power from a magnetron into a metal
box from which it had no way to escape. When food was placed in the box with the
microwave energy, the temperature of the food rose rapidly.

On October 8, 1945,[5] Raytheon filed a US patent for Spencer's microwave


cooking-process, and an oven that heated food using microwave energy from a
magnetron was soon placed in a Boston restaurant for testing. The first time the
public was able to use a microwave oven was in January 1947, when the Speedy
Weeny vending machine was placed in Grand Central Terminal to dispense "sizzling
delicious" hot dogs. Among those on the development team was robotics pioneer
George Devol, who had spent the last part of the war developing radar
countermeasures.
Commercial availabilityIn 1947, Raytheon built the "Radarange", the first
commercially available microwave oven.[6] It was almost 1.8 metres (5 ft 11 in) tall,
weighed 340 kilograms (750 lb) and cost about US$5,000 ($52,273 in today's
dollars) each. It consumed 3 kilowatts, about three times as much as today's
microwave ovens, and was water-cooled. An early Radarange was installed (and
remains) in the galley of the nuclear-powered passenger/cargo ship NS Savannah.
An early commercial model introduced in 1954 consumed 1.6 kilowatts and sold for
US$2,000 to US$3,000 ($17,000 to $26,000 in today's dollars). Raytheon licensed
its technology to the Tappan Stove company of Mansfield, Ohio in 1952.[7] They
tried to market a large, 220 volt, wall unit as a home microwave oven in 1955 for a
price of US$1,295 ($11,285 in today's dollars), but it did not sell well. In 1965,

Raytheon acquired Amana. In 1967, they introduced the first popular home model,
the countertop Radarange, at a price of US$495 ($3,465 in today's dollars).

In the 1960s, Litton bought Studebaker's Franklin Manufacturing assets, which had
been manufacturing magnetrons and building and selling microwave ovens similar
to the Radarange. Litton then developed a new configuration of the microwave: the
short, wide shape that is now common. The magnetron feed was also unique. This
resulted in an oven that could survive a no-load condition, or an empty microwave
oven where there is nothing to absorb the microwaves. The new oven was shown at
a trade show in Chicago,[citation needed] and helped begin a rapid growth of the
market for home microwave ovens. Sales volume of 40,000 units for the US industry
in 1970 grew to one million by 1975. Market penetration was faster in Japan, due to
a re-engineered magnetron allowing for less expensive units. Several other
companies joined in the market, and for a time most systems were built by defense
contractors, who were most familiar with the magnetron. Litton was particularly well
known in the restaurant business.

By the late 1970s, the technology had improved to the point where prices were
falling rapidly. Often called "electronic ovens" in the 1960s, the name "microwave
ovens" later became standardized, often now referred to informally as simply
"microwaves".

Formerly found only in large industrial applications, microwave ovens increasingly


became a standard fixture of residential kitchens. The rapidly falling price of
microprocessors also helped by adding electronic controls to make the ovens easier
to use.[citation needed] By 1986, roughly 25% of households in the U.S. owned a
microwave oven, up from only about 1% in 1971.[8] The U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported that over 90% of American households owned a microwave oven
in 1997.[8][9]

Working principle

Why does our food go in cold and come out hot? The answer to this question is a
multi-faceted one, involving both physics and engineering. In discovering how a
microwave oven works, we must first understand the basic physical concept of
electromagnetic waves. All electromagnetic (EM) waves are characterized by both a
wavelength and a frequency. To help in visualizing this concept, envision yourself
standing on a curb somewhere, watching an oscillating EM wave pass before you.
The wavelength (in meters) can be found by measuring the length of one complete
cycle of the wave, while the frequency (in seconds-1) can be determined by keeping
track of how often those cycles pass in front of you.
The relationship that forms results in the creation of an electromagnetic spectrum,
composed of a wide variety of different wavelengths and corresponding frequency
values. However, while each electromagnetic wave has a different corresponding
wavelength and frequency, the product of these two components always equals the
speed of light (roughly, 3.0 x 108 meters/second) [3]. Microwaves correspond to a
region in the EM spectrum defined by having wavelengths between approximately 1
meter and 1 millimeter, corresponding to frequencies between 300 MHz (Mega =
106 Hz = 106 sec-1) and 300 GHz (Giga = 109).
A microwave oven works by passing non-ionizing microwave radiation through the
food. Microwave radiation is between common radio and infrared frequencies, being
usually at 2.45 gigahertz (GHz)a wavelength of 122 millimetres (4.80 in)or, in
large industrial/commercial ovens, at 915 megahertz (MHz)328 millimetres (12.9
in).[10] Water, fat, and other substances in the food absorb energy from the
microwaves in a process called dielectric heating. Many molecules (such as those of
water) are electric dipoles, meaning that they have a partial positive charge at one
end and a partial negative charge at the other, and therefore rotate as they try to
align themselves with the alternating electric field of the microwaves. Rotating
molecules hit other molecules and put them into motion, thus dispersing energy.
This energy, when dispersed as molecular vibration in solids and liquids (i.e., as
both potential energy and kinetic energy of atoms), is heat. Sometimes, microwave
heating is explained as a resonance of water molecules, but this is incorrect;[11]
such resonances occur only at above 1 terahertz (THz).[12]

Microwave heating is more efficient on liquid water than on frozen water, where the
movement of molecules is more restricted. Dielectric heating of liquid water is also
temperature-dependent: At 0 C, dielectric loss is greatest at a field frequency of
about 10 GHz, and for higher water temperatures at higher field frequencies.[13]

Compared to liquid water, microwave heating is less efficient on fats and sugars
(which have a smaller molecular dipole moment).[14] Sugars and triglycerides (fats
and oils) absorb microwaves due to the dipole moments of their hydroxyl groups or

ester groups. However, due to the lower specific heat capacity of fats and oils and
their higher vaporization temperature, they often attain much higher temperatures
inside microwave ovens.[13] This can induce temperatures in oil or very fatty foods
like bacon far above the boiling point of water, and high enough to induce some
browning reactions, much in the manner of conventional broiling (UK: grilling) or
deep fat frying. Foods high in water content and with little oil rarely exceed the
boiling temperature of water.
Used extensively in communications due to their relatively short wavelengths,
microwaves are often used to transmit data from satellites in space to satellite
dishes on Earth. A satellite dish reflects microwaves because it is made of metal. A
tighter grasp of how this "reflection" works lies in understanding the interactions
that occur between the two mediums. As an EM wave hits the surface of the metal,
mobile charges inherent within the metal itself are accelerated by the EM wave's
electric field, thereby preventing the wave from entering the surface and reflecting
it instead [3]. As we will see, this concept, among others, readily contributes to the
design of the microwave oven.
Now that we understand the essence of microwaves, we can focus our attention
specifically on how a microwave oven heats food. The underlying principle behind
the technology that makes microwave ovens a reality depends heavily on the fact
that water molecules are electrically polar in nature-they have both positively and
negatively charged ends. These polar characteristics stem from the quantum
mechanical structure of water as well as the tendency for oxygen to pull electrons
away from the hydrogen atoms. Having a "bent" geometry, the water molecule
looks similar to Mickey Mouse's head with its two hydrogens sticking out from the
lone oxygen. As the oxygen pulls electrons away from the hydrogens a partial
negative charge begins to form on the oxygen end of the molecule, while the
hydrogen ends change to accommodate a partial positive charge. Thus water can
be considered a polar molecule. In ice, the movement of water molecules is very
constrained due to the organization of the molecules into rigid structures and
orientations. But in its liquid phase, the molecules move around much more freely,
with orientations being much more random in nature.
When water is placed in the presence of a strong electric field, the water molecules
tend to rotate themselves into alignment with their positive ends in the direction of
the field. Consequently, in their rotation they often "bump" into other water
molecules, which in turn transfers some of the molecule's electrostatic potential
energy into thermal energy. An analogy would be a very crowded room, when
everyone is told to turn and face the stage. In doing so, people brush up against one
another as they turn and friction causes the conversion of some of their energy into
thermal energy. If this action were to happen over and over, people would get
extremely warm. The same idea is true for water. By reversing the direction of the
electric field many times, water molecules spin backwards and forward, getting
hotter and hotter each time. It is this thermal energy that cooks the food. Microwave

ovens use 2.45 GHz microwaves to flip water molecules back and forth at a rate of
over a billion times per second. This particular frequency was chosen because it was
not in use for communications and because it provided just enough time to allow a
water molecule to flip, before the field reverses its direction [3].
In its most basic form, the microwave oven comprises of several key components,
each playing an important role in the overall functionality of the unit. To create the
specific EM waves needed, with an exact frequency of 2.45 GHz, microwave ovens
utilize a special vacuum tube called a magnetron. In short, a magnetron allows for
streams of electrons to make charges (positive and negative) "slosh" in several
microwave "tank" circuits that have the necessary resonant frequency, 2.45 GHz, to
produce the target microwaves. Enlisting the help of a short antenna, the
magnetron emits the microwaves that cook the food. Arranged in a circle, the
microwave tank circuits, comprising of both an inductor and a capacitor, form the
outer edge of the magnetron. Each C-shaped circuit is oriented in such a way as to
resemble several people spaced evenly (yet close together, to stay warm!) around a
blazing campfire on a cold night.
The capacitor section of the circuit consists of the two "arms" where separated
charges initially reside (positive and negative charges, respectively on each arm),
while the curved part of the circuit plays the role of the inductor, which resists
changes in the circuit's current. To illustrate the process by which this "circle of C's"
operates, let us simply envision one tank circuit by itself (picture a giant "C"). Under
initial conditions, charge separation is in place with positive charges residing on the
top arm, while negative charges occupy the bottom one. The charge begins to flow
producing current from the positive end to the negative end. This current produces
a magnetic field that flows in an upward, perpendicular direction in reference to the
movement of electrons. For our purposes, in relation to our "C," the orientation of
the field would be upward and out of the plane of our paper, as if threatening to
poke us in the nose. The strength of the field then grows until the separated charge
at the capacitor side is eventually all gone. At this point, harnessing the potential
energy stored within the magnetic field and wanting to keep the current constant,
the inductor begins to propel charges through the strip even after the initial charge
separation found on the capacitor end has completely dissipated. Eventually the
magnetic field dies away, but not before the initial conditions of charge separation
are once again realized, only this time-upside-down (our "C" would now have a
negatively charge top arm, instead of a positive one, etc.). Thus the process is
allowed to repeat while reversing direction [3].
This oscillation of currents at a resonant frequency of 2.45 GHz creates an
environment of alternating electric and magnetic fields within the magnetron. Due
to this characteristic, the microwave tank circuit is known as a resonant cavity or
resonator [3]. In a typical microwave oven, the magnetron contains eight
resonators, assembled in a ring, with each of their tips touching the tips of their
neighbor's (remember the campfire analogy). Another important factor arises in the

discussion of the importance of materials used in microwave construction that


contribute to its efficiency and functionality. As is such in any case of design or
creation, the selection of materials must be carefully considered in light of the
various advantages and disadvantages that are inherent within each substance.
Due to the limitations of copper as an electrical conductor, a portion of the
generated energy is lost during the "microwave wave-making" process in the form
of heat. To make up for this loss, as well as adjust for the energy expended in
cooking the food, power is supplied to the resonators in the form of a stream of
electrons [3]. At the center of the ring of resonators lies the source of that stream in
the form of a cathode, a negatively charged filament that is connected to a high
voltage power supply. The power supply electrically "pumps" the filament with
negative charges, inducing a strong electric field that originates from four
surrounding, positive resonator tips. The direction of the field is established by
convention to point towards the direction that positively charged particles flow
when subjected to the field.
There also exists within the magnetron a strong magnetic field, generated by a
nearby large permanent magnet. Much like our earlier example, the field would
extend upward, and out of the plane of a piece of paper if we were looking at the
magnetron from above. If left to operate by itself, the magnetic field would
undoubtedly accelerate the many electrons contained on the "hot" cathode in a
counter-clockwise direction, never approaching the resonators. In real life, both the
electric field and the magnetic field are present at the same time.
Since both of these fields apply forces to the moving electrons, the ensuing stream
of charges is rather complicated in nature. Merging the two initial forces, outward
and circular, the resultant force takes the form of something resembling a spinning
bicycle wheel, with four outwardly bent electron beams rotating in a counterclockwise motion [3]. The main difference is that the electron beams now reach the
resonators, not at their positively charged tips (which would be the case without the
magnetic field), but at their negatively charged tips. Therefore, the net effect is one
of addition to the charge separation in the resonators [3].
With each oscillation of charge that takes place on the resonators, the electron
beams rotate with perfect synchronization, such that they always land on a
negatively charged tip. By helping to increase the charge separation, they in turn
boost the power needed for oscillations in the resonators and allow the transfer of
energy to the food to continue The power of the oscillating charges are harnessed
by a small wire coil placed within the cavity of the magnetron, from which a 2.45
GHz alternating current is induced due to the changing magnetic field. This current
is then translated to a small antenna, which emits microwaves into a metal pipe
attached to the cooking chamber. The waves then reflect along until they reach the
chamber where they proceed to cook the food.
Conclusion

The microwave oven has taken its time in establishing a place for itself among the
many other appliances that adorn the kitchen countertops of today. Yet while its
usefulness and capabilities are often well known, the intricacies of its design and
inner workings are not. Hopefully in the future, this "imbalance" of understanding
will shift more towards enlightenment as more and more people come to realize that
the only real "magic" within a microwave oven is the engineering behind it.

References

[1] B. Anslow. "Melted Chocolate to Microwave." Tech Review, vol. 120(1),


1999.
[2] C.J. Gallawa The Complete Microwave Oven Service Handbook., 2000.
[3] L.A. Bloomfield. How Things Work: The Physics of Everyday Life. New York:
John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 1997

Radiation Ovens

The Proven Dangers of Microwaves

Is it possible that millions of people are ignorantly sacrificing their health in


exchange for the convenience of microwave ovens? Why did the Soviet Union ban
the use of microwave ovens in 1976? Who invented microwave ovens, and why?
The answers to these questions may shock you into throwing your microwave oven
in the trash.

Over 90% of American homes have microwave ovens used for meal preparation.
Because microwave ovens are so convenient and energy efficient, as compared to
conventional ovens, very few homes or restaurants are without them. In general,
people believe that whatever a microwave oven does to foods cooked in it doesn't
have any negative effect on either the food or them. Of course, if microwave ovens
were really harmful, our government would never allow them on the market, would
they? Would they? Regardless of what has been "officially" released concerning
microwave ovens, we have personally stopped using ours based on the research
facts outlined in this article.

The purpose of this report is to show proof - evidence - that microwave cooking is
not natural, nor healthy, and is far more dangerous to the human body than anyone
could imagine. However, the microwave oven manufacturers, Washington City
politics, and plain old human nature are suppressing the facts and evidence.
Because of this, people are continuing to microwave their food - in blissful ignorance
- without knowing the effects and danger of doing so.

How do microwave ovens work?

Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic energy, like light waves or radio waves,
and occupy a part of the electromagnetic spectrum of power, or energy. Microwaves
are very short waves of electromagnetic energy that travel at the speed of light
(186,282 miles per second). In our modern technological age, microwaves are used
to relay long distance telephone signals, television programs, and computer
information across the earth or to a satellite in space. But the microwave is most
familiar to us as an energy source for cooking food.

Every microwave oven contains a magnetron, a tube in which electrons are affected
by magnetic and electric fields in such a way as to produce micro wavelength
radiation at about 2450 Mega Hertz (MHz) or 2.45 Giga Hertz (GHz). This microwave
radiation interacts with the molecules in food. All wave energy changes polarity
from positive to negative with each cycle of the wave. In microwaves, these polarity
changes happen millions of times every second. Food molecules - especially the
molecules of water - have a positive and negative end in the same way a magnet
has a north and a south polarity.

In commercial models, the oven has a power input of about 1000 watts of
alternating current. As these microwaves generated from the magnetron bombard
the food, they cause the polar molecules to rotate at the same frequency millions of
times a second. All this agitation creates molecular friction, which heats up the
food. The friction also causes substantial damage to the surrounding molecules,
often tearing them apart or forcefully deforming them. The scientific name for this
deformation is "structural isomerism".

By comparison, microwaves from the sun are based on principles of pulsed direct
current (DC) that don't create frictional heat; microwave ovens use alternating
current (AC) creating frictional heat. A microwave oven produces a spiked
wavelength of energy with all the power going into only one narrow frequency of the
energy spectrum. Energy from the sun operates in a wide frequency spectrum.

Many terms are used in describing electromagnetic waves, such as wavelength,


amplitude, cycle and frequency:

Wavelength determines the type of radiation, i.e. radio, X-ray, ultraviolet, visible,
infrared, etc.
Amplitude determines the extent of movement measured from the starting point.
Cycle determines the unit of frequency, such as cycles per second, Hertz, Hz, or
cycles/second.
Frequency determines the number of occurrences within a given time period
(usually 1 second); The number of occurrences of a recurring process per unit of
time, i.e. the number of repetitions of cycles per second.

Radiation = spreading energy with electromagnetic waves

Radiation, as defined by physics terminology, is "the electromagnetic waves emitted


by the atoms and molecules of a radioactive substance as a result of nuclear
decay." Radiation causes ionization, which is what occurs when a neutral atom gains
or loses electrons. In simpler terms, a microwave oven decays and changes the
molecular structure of the food by the process of radiation. Had the manufacturers
accurately called them "radiation ovens", it's doubtful they would have ever sold
one, but that's exactly what a microwave oven is.

We've all been told that microwaving food is not the same as irradiating it (radiation
"treatment"). The two processes are supposed to use completely different waves of
energy and at different intensities. No FDA or officially released government studies
have proven current microwaving usage to be harmful, but we all know that the
validity of studies can be - and are sometimes deliberately - limiting. Many of these
studies are later proven to be inaccurate. As consumers, we're supposed to have a
certain degree of common sense to use in judgment.

Take the example of eggs and how they were "proven" to be so harmful to our
health in the late 1960's. This brought about imitation egg products and big profits
for the manufacturers, while egg farms went broke. Now, recent government
sponsored studies are saying that eggs are not bad for us after all. So, whom should
we believe and what criteria should we use to decide matters concerning our
health? Since it's currently published that microwaves - purportedly - don't leak into
the environment, when properly used and with approved design, the decision lies
with each consumer as to whether or not you choose to eat food heated by a
microwave oven or even purchase one in the first place.

Motherly instincts are right

On a more humorous side, the "sixth sense" every mother has is impossible to
argue with. Have you ever tried it? Children will never win against a mother's
intuition. It's like trying to argue with the arm - appearing out of nowhere - that
pinned you to the back of the seat when your mother slammed on the brakes.

Many of us come from a generation where mothers and grandmothers have


distrusted the modern "inside out" cooking they claimed was "not suitable" for most
foods. My mother refused to even try baking anything in a microwave. She also
didn't like the way a cup of coffee tasted when heated in a microwave oven. I have
to fully agree and can't argue either fact.

Her own common sense and instincts told her that there was no way microwave
cooking could be natural nor make foods "taste they way they're supposed to".
Reluctantly, even my mother succumbed to re-heating leftovers in a microwave due
to her work schedule before she retired.

Many others feel the same way, but they're considered an "old fashioned" minority
dating back to before the 1970's when microwaves first overwhelmed the market.
Like most young adults at the time, as microwave ovens became commonplace, I
chose to ignore my mother's intuitive wisdom and joined the majority who believed
microwave cooking was far too convenient to ever believe anything could be wrong
with it. Chalk one up for mom's perception, because even though she didn't know
the scientific, technical, or health reasons why, she just knew that microwave ovens
were not good based on how foods tasted when they were cooked in them. She
didn't like the way the texture of the microwaved food changed either.

Microwaves unsafe for baby's milk

A number of warnings have been made public, but have been barely noticed. For
example, Young Families, the Minnesota Extension Service of the university of
Minnesota, published the following in 1989:

"Although microwaves heat food quickly, they are not recommended for heating a
baby's bottle. The bottle may seem cool to the touch, but the liquid inside may
become extremely hot and could burn the baby's mouth and throat. Also, the
buildup of steam in a closed container, such as a baby bottle, could cause it to
explode. Heating the bottle in a microwave can cause slight changes in the milk. In
infant formulas, there may be a loss of some vitamins. In expressed breast milk,
some protective properties may be destroyed. Warming a bottle by holding it under
tap water, or by setting it in a bowl of warm water, then testing it on your wrist
before feeding may take a few minutes longer, but it is much safer."

Dr. Lita Lee of Hawaii reported in the December 9, 1989 Lancet:

"Microwaving baby formulas converted certain trans-amino acids into their synthetic
cis-isomers. Synthetic isomers, whether cis-amino acids or trans-fatty acids, are not
biologically active. Further, one of the amino acids, L-proline, was converted to its disomer, which is known to be neurotoxic (poisonous to the nervous system) and
nephrotoxic (poisonous to the kidneys). It's bad enough that many babies are not
nursed, but now they are given fake milk (baby formula) made even more toxic via
microwaving."

Microwaved blood kills patient

In 1991, there was a lawsuit in Oklahoma concerning the hospital use of a


microwave oven to warm blood needed in a transfusion. The case involved a hip
surgery patient, Norma Levitt, who died from a simple blood transfusion. It seems
the nurse had warmed the blood in a microwave oven.

This tragedy makes it very apparent that there's much more to "heating" with
microwaves than we've been led to believe. Blood for transfusions is routinely
warmed, but not in microwave ovens. In the case of Mrs. Levitt, the microwaving
altered the blood and it killed her.

It's very obvious that this form of microwave radiation "heating" does something to
the substances it heats. It's also becoming quite apparent that people who process
food in a microwave oven are also ingesting these "unknowns".

Because the body is electrochemical in nature, any force that disrupts or changes
human electrochemical events will affect the physiology of the body. This is further
described in Robert O. Becker's book, The Body Electric, and in Ellen Sugarman's
book, Warning, the Electricity Around You May Be Hazardous to Your Health.

Scientific evidence and facts

In Comparative Study of Food Prepared Conventionally and in the Microwave Oven,


published by Raum & Zelt in 1992, at 3(2): 43, it states

"A basic hypothesis of natural medicine states that the introduction into the human
body of molecules and energies, to which it is not accustomed, is much more likely
to cause harm than good. Microwaved food contains both molecules and energies
not present in food cooked in the way humans have been cooking food since the
discovery of fire. Microwave energy from the sun and other stars is direct current
based. Artificially produced microwaves, including those in ovens, are produced
from alternating current and force a billion or more polarity reversals per second in
every food molecule they hit. Production of unnatural molecules is inevitable.
Naturally occurring amino acids have been observed to undergo isomeric changes
(changes in shape morphing) as well as transformation into toxic forms, under the
impact of microwaves produced in ovens.

One short-term study found significant and disturbing changes in the blood of
individuals consuming microwaved milk and vegetables. Eight volunteers ate
various combinations of the same foods cooked different ways. All foods that were
processed through the microwave ovens caused changes in the blood of the
volunteers. Hemoglobin levels decreased and over all white cell levels and
cholesterol levels increased. Lymphocytes decreased.

Luminescent (light-emitting) bacteria were employed to detect energetic changes in


the blood. Significant increases were found in the luminescence of these bacteria
when exposed to blood serum obtained after the consumption of microwaved food."

The Swiss clinical study

Dr. Hans ulrich Hertel, who is now retired, worked as a food scientist for many years
with one of the major Swiss food companies that do business on a global scale. A
few years ago, he was fired from his job for questioning certain processing
procedures that denatured the food.

In 1991, he and a Lausanne university professor published a research paper


indicating that food cooked in microwave ovens could pose a greater risk to health
than food cooked by conventional means. An article also appeared in issue 19 of the
Journal Franz Weber in which it was stated that the consumption of food cooked in
microwave ovens had cancerous effects on the blood. The research paper itself
followed the article. On the cover of the magazine there was a picture of the Grim
Reaper holding a microwave oven in one of his hands.

Dr. Hertel was the first scientist to conceive and carry out a quality clinical study on
the effects microwaved nutrients have on the blood and physiology of the human
body. His small, but well controlled, study showed the degenerative force produced
in microwave ovens and the food processed in them. The scientific conclusion
showed that microwave cooking changed the nutrients in the food; and, changes
took place in the participants' blood that could cause deterioration in the human
system. Hertel's scientific study was done along with Dr. Bernard H. Blanc of the
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the university Institute for Biochemistry.

In intervals of two to five days, the volunteers in the study received one of the
following food variants on an empty stomach: (1) raw milk; (2) the same milk
conventionally cooked; (3) pasteurized milk; (4) the same raw milks cooked in a
microwave oven; (5) raw vegetables from an organic farm; (6) the same vegetables
cooked conventionally; (7) the same vegetables frozen and defrosted in a
microwave oven; and (8) the same vegetables cooked in the microwave oven. Once
the volunteers were isolated, blood samples were taken from every volunteer
immediately before eating. Then, blood samples were taken at defined intervals
after eating from the above milk or vegetable preparations.

Significant changes were discovered in the blood samples from the intervals
following the foods cooked in the microwave oven. These changes included a
decrease in all hemoglobin and cholesterol values, especially the ratio of HDL (good
cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol) values. Lymphocytes (white blood cells)
showed a more distinct short-term decrease following the intake of microwaved
food than after the intake of all the other variants. Each of these indicators pointed
to degeneration.

Additionally, there was a highly significant association between the amount of


microwave energy in the test foods and the luminous power of luminescent bacteria
exposed to serum from test persons who ate that food.

This led Dr. Hertel to the conclusion that such technically derived energies may,
indeed, be passed along to man inductively via eating microwaved food. According
to Dr. Hertel, "Leukocytosis, which cannot be accounted for by normal daily
deviations, is taken very seriously by hemotologists. Leukocytes are often signs of
pathogenic effects on the living system, such as poisoning and cell damage. The
increase of leukocytes with the microwaved foods were more pronounced than with
all the other variants. It appears that these marked increases were caused entirely
by ingesting the microwaved substances.

"This process is based on physical principles and has already been confirmed in the
literature. The apparent additional energy exhibited by the luminescent bacteria
was merely an extra confirmation. There is extensive scientific literature concerning
the hazardous effects of direct microwave radiation on living systems. It is
astonishing, therefore, to realize how little effort has been taken to replace this
detrimental technique of microwaves with technology more in accordance with
nature.

Technically produced microwaves are based on the principle of alternating current.


Atoms, molecules, and cells hit by this hard electromagnetic radiation are forced to
reverse polarity 1-100 billion times a second. There are no atoms, molecules or cells
of any organic system able to withstand such a violent, destructive power for any
extended period of time, not even in the low energy range of milliwatts.

Of all the natural substances -- which are polar -- the oxygen of water molecules
reacts most sensitively. This is how microwave cooking heat is generated -- friction

from this violence in water molecules. Structures of molecules are torn apart,
molecules are forcefully deformed, called structural isomerism, and thus become
impaired in quality. This is contrary to conventional heating of food where heat
transfers convectionally from without to within. Cooking by microwaves begins
within the cells and molecules where water is present and where the energy is
transformed into frictional heat.

In addition to the violent frictional heat effects, called thermic effects, there are also
athermic effects which have hardly ever been taken into account. These athermic
effects are not presently measurable, but they can also deform the structures of
molecules and have qualitative consequences. For example the weakening of cell
membranes by microwaves is used in the field of gene altering technology. Because
of the force involved, the cells are actually broken, thereby neutralizing the
electrical potentials, the very life of the cells, between the outer and inner side of
the cell membranes. Impaired cells become easy prey for viruses, fungi and other
microorganisms. The natural repair mechanisms are suppressed and cells are forced
to adapt to a state of energy emergency -- they switch from aerobic to anaerobic
respiration. Instead of water and carbon dioxide, the cell poisons hydrogen peroxide
and carbon monoxide are produced."

The same violent deformations that occur in our bodies, when we are directly
exposed to radar or microwaves, also occur in the molecules of foods cooked in a
microwave oven. This radiation results in the destruction and deformation of food
molecules. Microwaving also creates new compounds, called radiolytic compounds,
which are unknown fusions not found in nature. Radiolytic compounds are created
by molecular decomposition - decay - as a direct result of radiation.

Microwave oven manufacturers insist that microwaved and irradiated foods do not
have any significantly higher radiolytic compounds than do broiled, baked or other
conventionally cooked foods. The scientific clinical evidence presented here has
shown that this is simply a lie. In America, neither universities nor the federal
government have conducted any tests concerning the effects on our bodies from
eating microwaved foods. Isn't that a bit odd? They're more concerned with studies
on what happens if the door on a microwave oven doesn't close properly. Once
again, common sense tells us that their attention should be centered on what
happens to food cooked inside a microwave oven. Since people ingest this altered
food, shouldn't there be concern for how the same decayed molecules will affect our
own human biological cell structure?

Industry's action to hide the truth

As soon as Doctors Hertel and Blanc published their results, the authorities reacted.
A powerful trade organization, the Swiss Association of Dealers for Electroapparatuses for Households and Industry, known as FEA, struck swiftly in 1992.
They forced the President of the Court of Seftigen, Canton of Bern, to issue a "gag
order" against Drs. Hertel and Blanc. In March 1993, Dr. Hertel was convicted for
"interfering with commerce" and prohibited from further publishing his results.
However, Dr. Hertel stood his ground and fought this decision over the years.

Not long ago, this decision was reversed in a judgment delivered in Strasbourg,
Austria, on August 25, 1998. The European Court of Human Rights held that there
had been a violation of Hertel's rights in the 1993 decision. The European Court of
Human Rights also ruled that the "gag order" issued by the Swiss court in 1992
against Dr. Hertel, prohibiting him from declaring that microwave ovens are
dangerous to human health, was contrary to the right to freedom of expression. In
addition, Switzerland was ordered to pay Dr. Hertel compensation.

Who invented microwave ovens?

The Nazis, for use in their mobile support operations, originally developed
microwave "radiomissor" cooking ovens to be used for the invasion of Russia. By
being able to utilize electronic equipment for preparation of meals on a mass scale,
the logistical problem of cooking fuels would have been eliminated, as well as the
convenience of producing edible products in a greatly reduced time-factor.

After the war, the Allies discovered medical research done by the Germans on
microwave ovens. These documents, along with some working microwave ovens,
were transferred to the united States War Department and classified for reference
and "further scientific investigation." The Russians had also retrieved some
microwave ovens and now have thorough research on their biological effects. As a
result, their use was outlawed in the Soviet union. The Soviets issued an
international warning on the health hazards, both biological and environmental, of
microwave ovens and similar frequency electronic devices.

Other Eastern European scientists also reported the harmful effects of microwave
radiation and set up strict environmental limits for their usage. The united States
has not accepted the European reports of harmful effects, even though the EPA
estimates that radio frequency and microwave radiation sources in America are
increasing at 15% per year.

Benefits
Commercial microwave ovens all use a timer in their standard operating mode;
when the timer runs out, the oven turns itself off.

Microwave ovens heat food without getting hot themselves. Taking a pot off a stove,
with the exception of an induction cooktop, leaves a potentially dangerous heating
element or trivet that will stay hot for some time. Likewise, when taking a casserole
out of a conventional oven, one's arms are exposed to the very hot walls of the
oven. A microwave oven does not pose this problem.

Food and cookware taken out of a microwave oven are rarely much hotter than 100
C (212 F). Cookware used in a microwave oven is often much cooler than the food
because the cookware is transparent to microwaves; the microwaves heat the food
directly and the cookware is indirectly heated by the food. Food and cookware from
a conventional oven, on the other hand, are the same temperature as the rest of
the oven; a typical cooking temperature is 180 C (356 F). That means that
conventional stoves and ovens can cause more serious burns.

The lower temperature of cooking (the boiling point of water) is a significant safety
benefit compared to baking in the oven or frying, because it eliminates the
formation of tars and char, which are carcinogenic.[18] Microwave radiation also
penetrates deeper than direct heat, so that the food is heated by its own internal
water content. In contrast, direct heat can fry the surface while the inside is still

cold. Pre-heating the food in a microwave oven before putting it into the grill or pan
reduces the time needed to heat up the food and reduces the formation of
carcinogenic char. Unlike frying and baking, microwaving does not produce
acrylamide in potatoes,[19] however unlike deep-frying, it is of only limited
effectiveness in reducing glycoalkaloid (i.e. solanine) levels.[20] Acrylamide has
been found in other microwaved products like popcorn.
Heating characteristics

Microwave ovens are frequently used for reheating previously cooked food, and
bacterial contamination may not be repressed if the safe temperature is not
reached, resulting in foodborne illness, as with all inadequate reheating methods.

Uneven heating in microwaved food can be partly due to the uneven distribution of
microwave energy inside the oven, and partly due to the different rates of energy
absorption in different parts of the food. The first problem is reduced by a stirrer, a
type of fan that reflects microwave energy to different parts of the oven as it
rotates, or by a turntable or carousel that turns the food; turntables, however, may
still leave spots, such as the center of the oven, which receive uneven energy
distribution. The location of dead spots and hot spots in a microwave can be
mapped out by placing a damp piece of thermal paper in the oven. When the water
saturated paper is subjected to the microwave radiation it becomes hot enough to
cause the dye to be released which will provide a visual representation of the
microwaves. If multiple layers of paper are constructed in the oven with a sufficient
distance between them a three dimensional map can be created. Many store
receipts are printed on thermal paper which allows this to be easily done at home.
[21] The second problem is due to food composition and geometry, and must be
addressed by the cook, by arranging the food so that it absorbs energy evenly, and
periodically testing and shielding any parts of the food that overheat. In some
materials with low thermal conductivity, where dielectric constant increases with
temperature, microwave heating can cause localized thermal runaway. Under
certain conditions, glass can exhibit thermal runaway in a microwave to the point of
melting.[22]

Due to this phenomenon, microwave ovens set at too-high power levels may even
start to cook the edges of frozen food while the inside of the food remains frozen.
Another case of uneven heating can be observed in baked goods containing berries.
In these items, the berries absorb more energy than the drier surrounding bread
and cannot dissipate the heat due to the low thermal conductivity of the bread.
Often this results in overheating the berries relative to the rest of the food. "Defrost"

oven settings use low power levels designed to allow time for heat to be conducted
within frozen foods from areas that absorb heat more readily to those which heat
more slowly. In turntable-equipped ovens, more even heating will take place by
placing food off-centre on the turntable tray instead of exactly in the centre.

Microwave heating can be deliberately uneven by design. Some microwavable


packages (notably pies) may include materials that contain ceramic or aluminum
flakes, which are designed to absorb microwaves and heat up, thereby converting
microwaves to less penetrating infrared, which aids in baking or crust preparation
by depositing more energy shallowly in these areas. Such ceramic patches affixed to
cardboard are positioned next to the food, and are typically smokey blue or gray in
colour, usually making them easily identifiable; the cardboard sleeves included with
Hot Pockets, which have a silver surface on the inside, are a good example of such
packaging. Microwavable cardboard packaging may also contain overhead ceramic
patches which function in the same way. The technical term for such a microwaveabsorbing patch is a susceptor.[23]
Effects on food and nutrients
Raisins when cooked in a microwave produce considerable smoke[citation needed]

Several studies have shown that if properly used, microwave cooking does not
affect the nutrient content of foods to a larger extent than conventional heating,
and that there is a tendency towards greater retention of many micronutrients with
microwaving, probably due to the reduced preparation time.[24] Microwaving
human milk at high temperatures is contraindicated, due to a marked decrease in
activity of anti-infective factors.[25]

Any form of cooking will destroy some nutrients in food, but the key variables are
how much water is used in the cooking, how long the food is cooked, and at what
temperature.[26] Nutrients are primarily lost by leaching into cooking water, which
tends to make microwave cooking healthier, given the shorter cooking times it
requires.[27] Like other heating methods, microwaving converts vitamin B12 from
an active to inactive form. The amount inactivated depends on the temperature
reached, as well as the cooking time. Boiled food reaches a maximum of 100 C
(212 F) (the boiling point of water), whereas microwaved food can get locally
hotter than this, leading to faster breakdown of vitamin B12. The higher rate of loss
is partially offset by the shorter cooking times required.[28] A single study indicated
that microwaving broccoli loses 74% or more of phenolic compounds (97% of
flavonoids), while boiling loses 66% of flavonoids, and high-pressure boiling loses

47%,[29] though the study has been contradicted by other studies.[30] To minimize
phenolic losses in potatoes, microwaving should be done at 500W.[31]

Spinach retains nearly all its folate when cooked in a microwave; in comparison, it
loses about 77% when cooked on stove, because food on a stove is typically boiled,
leaching out nutrients. Bacon cooked by microwave has significantly lower levels of
carcinogenic nitrosamines than conventionally cooked bacon.[26] Steamed
vegetables tend to maintain more nutrients when microwaved than when cooked on
a stovetop.[26] Microwave blanching is 3-4 times more effective than boiled water
blanching in the retaining of the water-soluble vitamins folic acid, thiamin and
riboflavin, with the exception of ascorbic acid, of which 28.8% is lost (vs. 16% with
boiled water blanching).

A convection microwave is a combination of a standard microwave oven and a


convection oven. It allows food cooked in the convection microwave to be cooked
quickly, yet come out browned or crisped as in a convection oven. For example, a
convection microwave oven can be preheated to bake cakes, which is not possible
with standard microwave ovens. There are microwaves which contain electric
browning baking elements. A true convection microwave has a high velocity forced
air fan to circulate the hot air uniformly.

Convection microwave ovens were initially considered to be high-end kitchen


appliances. Over time their price has dropped, and they can be bought for around
the same price as a conventional oven. However, some models do require more
space than a standard microwave, because of the larger cooking area inside.

Companies such as Wolf, GE, Sharp, Samsung,Panasonic and Daewoo all currently
produce convection microwaves.

Convection microwaves offer the quick cooking features of a microwave with the
browning, crisping, and full "cook-through" of a traditional oven. Instead of just
heating the inside of the food (as regular microwaves do), a convection microwave

also browns and cooks the outside of your food. Scientifically speaking, regular
microwaves emit waves that bounce around until they come in contact with food,
causing water molecules to excite and generate heat, which then cooks the food.

In contrast, convection oven technology uses a fan to force air movement and heat
up the full interior of the microwave to cook food from the inside out. That's why
you can use convection microwaves to bake and roast things that would otherwise
be cooked too quickly (and not thoroughly) with just a regular microwave.
Hazards

A microwaved DVD-R disc showing the effects of electrical discharge through its
metal film
High temperatures
Homogeneous liquids can superheat[33][34] when heated in a microwave oven in a
container with a smooth surface. That is, the liquid reaches a temperature slightly
above its normal boiling point without bubbles of vapour forming inside the liquid.
The boiling process can start explosively when the liquid is disturbed, such as when
the user takes hold of the container to remove it from the oven or while adding solid
ingredients such as powdered creamer or sugar. This can result in spontaneous
boiling (nucleation) which may be violent enough to eject the boiling liquid from the
container and cause severe scalding.[35]
Closed containers, such as eggs, can explode when heated in a microwave oven due
to the increased pressure from steam. Insulating plastic foams of all types generally
contain closed air pockets, and are generally not recommended for use in a
microwave, as the air pockets explode and the foam (which can be toxic if
consumed) may melt. Not all plastics are microwave-safe, and some plastics absorb
microwaves to the point that they may become dangerously hot.
Products that are heated for too long can catch fire. Though this is inherent to any
form of cooking, the rapid cooking and unattended nature of microwave oven use
results in additional hazard.
Metal objects
Any metal or conductive object placed into the microwave will act as an antenna to
some degree, resulting in an electric current. This causes the object to act as a
heating element. This effect varies with the object's shape and composition, and is
sometimes utilized for cooking.

Any object containing pointed metal can create an electric arc (sparks) when
microwaved. This includes cutlery, crumpled aluminum foil (though some foil used
in microwaves is unsafe, see below), twist-ties containing metal wire, the metal wire
carry-handles in paper Chinese take-out food containers, or almost any metal
formed into a poorly conductive foil or thin wire; or into a pointed shape.[36] Forks
are a good example: the tines of the fork respond to the electric field by producing
high concentrations of electric charge at the tips. This has the effect of exceeding
the dielectric breakdown of air, about 3 megavolts per meter (3106 V/m). The air
forms a conductive plasma, which is visible as a spark. The plasma and the tines
may then form a conductive loop, which may be a more effective antenna, resulting
in a longer lived spark. When dielectric breakdown occurs in air, some ozone and
nitrogen oxides are formed, both of which are unhealthy in large quantities.

A microwave oven with a metal shelf


It is possible for metal objects to be microwave-oven compatible, although
experimentation by users is not encouraged. Microwaving an individual smooth
metal object without pointed ends, for example, a spoon or shallow metal pan,
usually does not produce sparking. Thick metal wire racks can be part of the interior
design in microwave ovens (see illustration). In a similar way, the interior wall plates
with perforating holes which allow light and air into the oven, and allow interiorviewing through the oven door, are all made of conductive metal formed in a safe
shape.
The effect of microwaving thin metal films can be seen clearly on a Compact Disc or
DVD (particularly the factory pressed type). The microwaves induce electric currents
in the metal film, which heats up, melting the plastic in the disc and leaving a
visible pattern of concentric and radial scars. Similarly, porcelain with thin metal
films can also be destroyed or damaged by microwaving. Aluminum foil is thick
enough to be used in microwave ovens as a shield against heating parts of food
items, if the foil is not badly warped. When wrinkled, aluminum foil is generally
unsafe in microwaves, as manipulation of the foil causes sharp bends and gaps that
invite sparking. The USDA recommends that aluminum foil used as a partial food
shield in microwave cooking cover no more than one quarter of a food object, and
be carefully smoothed to eliminate sparking hazards.[37]
Another hazard is the resonance of the magnetron tube itself. If the microwave is
run without an object to absorb the radiation, a standing wave will form. The energy
is reflected back and forth between the tube and the cooking chamber. This may
cause the tube to overload and burn out. For the same reason, dehydrated food, or
food wrapped in metal which does not arc, is problematic for overload reasons,
without necessarily being a fire hazard.

Certain foods such as grapes, if properly arranged, can produce an electric arc.[38]
A naked flame, which comprises conductive plasma, will do the same. Therefore,
burning candles or other burning objects should not be put into a microwave oven,
unless this is the desired effect.
Some other objects that may conduct sparks are plastic/holographic print thermoses
(such as Starbuck's novelty cups) or cups with metal lining. If any bit of the metal is
exposed, all the outer shell will burst off the object or melt. The high electrical fields
generated inside a microwave often can be illustrated by placing a radiometer or
neon glow-bulb inside the cooking chamber, creating glowing plasma inside the lowpressure bulb of the device.
Direct microwave exposure
Further information: Microwave burn and Microwave#Health effects

Direct microwave exposure is not generally possible, as microwaves emitted by the


source in a microwave oven are confined in the oven by the material out of which
the oven is constructed. Tests have shown confinement of the microwaves in
commercially available ovens to be so nearly universal as to make routine testing
unnecessary.[39] According to the United States Food and Drug Administration's
Center for Devices and Radiological Health, a U.S. Federal Standard limits the
amount of microwaves that can leak from an oven throughout its lifetime to 5
milliwatts of microwave radiation per square centimeter at approximately 5 cm (2
in) from the surface of the oven.[40] This is far below the exposure level currently
considered to be harmful to human health.[41]
The radiation produced by a microwave oven is non-ionizing. It therefore does not
have the cancer risks associated with ionizing radiation such as X-rays and highenergy particles. Long-term rodent studies to assess cancer risk have so far failed to
identify any carcinogenicity from 2.45 GHz microwave radiation even with chronic
exposure levels, i.e., large fraction of one's life span, far larger than humans are
likely to encounter from any leaking ovens.[42][43] However, with the oven door
open, the radiation may cause damage by heating. Every microwave oven sold has
a protective interlock so that it cannot be run when the door is open or improperly
latched.
There are, however, a few cases where people have been exposed to direct
microwave radiation, either from appliance malfunction or deliberate action.[44][45]
Chemical exposure
Some magnetrons have ceramic insulators with beryllium oxide (beryllia) added.
The beryllium in such oxides is a serious chemical hazard if crushed and ingested
(for example, by inhaling dust). In addition, beryllia is listed as a confirmed human

carcinogen by the IARC; therefore, broken ceramic insulators or magnetrons should


not be handled. This is obviously a danger only if the microwave oven becomes
physically damaged, such as if the insulator cracks, or when the magnetron is
opened and handled directly, and as such should not be a concern during normal
usage.
Carcinogens in microwaved food

In Dr. Lita Lee's book, Health Effects of Microwave Radiation - Microwave Ovens, and
in the March and September 1991 issues of Earthletter, she stated that every
microwave oven leaks electro-magnetic radiation, harms food, and converts
substances cooked in it to dangerous organ-toxic and carcinogenic products. Further
research summarized in this article reveal that microwave ovens are far more
harmful than previously imagined.

The following is a summary of the Russian investigations published by the Atlantis


Raising Educational Center in Portland, Oregon. Carcinogens were formed in
virtually all foods tested. No test food was subjected to more microwaving than
necessary to accomplish the purpose, i.e., cooking, thawing, or heating to insure
sanitary ingestion. Here's a summary of some of the results:

Microwaving prepared meats sufficiently to insure sanitary ingestion caused


formation of d-Nitrosodienthanolamines, a well-known carcinogen.
Microwaving milk and cereal grains converted some of their amino acids into
carcinogens.
Thawing frozen fruits converted their glucoside and galactoside containing
fractions into carcinogenic substances.
Extremely short exposure of raw, cooked or frozen vegetables converted their
plant alkaloids into carcinogens.
Carcinogenic free radicals were formed in microwaved plants, especially root
vegetables. Decrease in nutritional value.

Russian researchers also reported a marked acceleration of structural degradation


leading to a decreased food value of 60 to 90% in all foods tested. Among the
changes observed were:

Deceased bio-availability of vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, essential


minerals and lipotropics factors in all food tested.
Various kinds of damaged to many plant substances, such as alkaloids,
glucosides, galactosides and nitrilosides.
The degradation of nucleo-proteins in meats.

Microwave sickness is discovered

The Russians did research on thousands of workers who had been exposed to
microwaves during the development of radar in the 1950's. Their research showed
health problems so serious that the Russians set strict limits of 10 microwatts
exposure for workers and one microwatt for civilians.

In Robert O. Becker's book, The Body Electric, he described Russian research on the
health effects of microwave radiation, which they called "microwave sickness." On
page 314, Becker states:

"It's [Microwave sickness] first signs are low blood pressure and slow pulse. The
later and most common manifestations are chronic excitation of the sympathetic
nervous system [stress syndrome] and high blood pressure.

This phase also often includes headache, dizziness, eye pain, sleeplessness,
irritability, anxiety, stomach pain, nervous tension, inability to concentrate, hair
loss, plus an increased incidence of appendicitis, cataracts, reproductive problems,
and cancer. The chronic symptoms are eventually succeeded by crisis of adrenal
exhaustion and ischemic heart disease [the blockage of coronary arteries and heart
attacks]."

According to Dr. Lee, changes are observed in the blood chemistries and the rates of
certain diseases among consumers of microwaved foods. The symptoms above can
easily be caused by the observations shown below. The following is a sample of
these changes:

Lymphatic disorders were observed, leading to decreased ability to prevent


certain types of cancers.
An increased rate of cancer cell formation was observed in the blood.
Increased rates of stomach and intestinal cancers were observed.
Higher rates of digestive disorders and a gradual breakdown of the systems of
elimination were observed.

Microwave research conclusions

The following were the most significant German and Russian research operations
facilities concerning the biological effects of microwaves:

The initial research conducted by the Germans during the Barbarossa military
campaign, at the Humbolt-universitat zu Berlin (1942-1943); and, From 1957 and up
to the present [until the end of the cold war], the Russian research operations were
conducted at: the Institute of Radio Technology at Kinsk, Byelorussian Autonomous
Region; and, at the Institute of Radio Technology at Rajasthan in the Rossiskaja
Autonomous Region, both in the union of the Soviet Socialist Republics.

In most cases, the foods used for research analysis were exposed to microwave
propagation at an energy potential of 100 kilowatts/cm3/second, to the point
considered acceptable for sanitary, normal ingestion. The effects noted by both
German and Russian researchers is presented in three categories:

Category I, Cancer-Causing Effects

Category II, Nutritive Destruction of Foods

Category III, Biological Effects of Exposure

CATEGORY I

CANCER-CAUSING EFFECTS

[The first two points of Category I are not readable from our report copy. The
remainder of the report is intact.]

3. Creation of a "binding effect" to radioactivity in the atmosphere, thus causing a


marked increase in the amount of alpha and beta particle saturation in foods;

4. Creation of cancer causing agents within protein hydrolysate compounds* in milk


and cereal grains [*these are natural proteins that are split into unnatural fragments
by the addition of water];

5. Alteration of elemental food-substances, causing disorders in the digestive


system by unstable catabolism* of foods subjected to microwaves [*the metabolic
breakdown process];

6. Due to chemical alterations within food substances, malfunctions were observed


within the lymphatic systems [absorbent vessels], causing a degeneration of the
immune potentials of the body to protect against certain forms of neoplastics
[abnormal growths of tissue];

7. Ingestion of microwaved foods caused a higher percentage of cancerous cells


within the blood serum [cytomas - cell tumors such as sarcoma];

8. Microwave emissions caused alteration in the catabolic [metabolic breakdown]


behavior of glucoside [hydrolyzed dextrose] and galactoside [oxidized alcohol]
elements within frozen fruits when thawed in this manner;

9. Microwave emission caused alteration of the catabolic [metabolic breakdown]


behavior of plant alkaloids [organic nitrogen based elements] when raw, cooked, or
frozen vegetables were exposed for even extremely short durations;

10. Cancer causing free radicals [highly reactive incomplete molecules] were
formed within certain trace mineral molecular formations in plant substances, and
in particular, raw root-vegetables; and,

11. In a statistically high percentage of persons, microwaved foods caused stomach


and intestinal cancerous growths, as well as a general degeneration of peripheral
cellular tissues, with a gradual breakdown of the function of the digestive and
execrative systems.

CATEGORY II

DECREASE IN FOOD VALUE

Microwave exposure caused significant decreases in the nutritive value of all foods
researched. The following are the most important findings:

A decrease in the bioavailability [capability of the body to utilize the nutriment] of


B-complex vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, essential minerals and lipotropics in all
foods;
A loss of 60-90% of the vital energy field content of all tested foods;
A reduction in the metabolic behavior and integration process capability of
alkaloids [organic nitrogen based elements], glucosides and galactosides, and
nitrilosides;
A destruction of the nutritive value of nucleoproteins in meats;
A marked acceleration of structural disintegration in all foods.

CATEGORY III

BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF EXPOSURE

Exposure to microwave emissions also had an unpredictably negative effect upon


the general biological welfare of humans. This was not discovered until the Russians
experimented with highly sophisticated equipment and discovered that a human did
not even need to ingest the material substance of the microwaved food substances:
that even exposure to the energy-field itself was sufficient to cause such adverse
side effects that the use of any such microwave apparatus was forbidden in 1976 by
Soviet state law.

The following are the enumerated effects:

A breakdown of the human "life-energy field" in those who were exposed to


microwave ovens while in operation, with side-effects to the human energy field of
increasingly longer duration;
A degeneration of the cellular voltage parallels during the process of using the
apparatus, especially in the blood and lymphatic areas;
A degeneration and destabilization of the external energy activated potentials of
food utilization within the processes of human metabolism;
A degeneration and destabilization of internal cellular membrane potentials while
transferring catabolic [metabolic breakdown] processes into the blood serum from
the digestive process;
Degeneration and circuit breakdowns of electrical nerve impulses within the
junction potentials of the cerebrum [the front portion of the brain where thought
and higher functions reside];
A degeneration and breakdown of nerve electrical circuits and loss of energy field
symmetry in the neuroplexuses [nerve centers] both in the front and the rear of the
central and autonomic nervous systems;
Loss of balance and circuiting of the bioelectric strengths within the ascending
reticular activating system [the system which controls the function of
consciousness];
A long term cumulative loss of vital energies within humans, animals and plants
that were located within a 500-meter radius of the operational equipment;

Long lasting residual effects of magnetic "deposits" were located throughout the
nervous system and lymphatic system;
A destabilization and interruption in the production of hormones and
maintenance of hormonal balance in males and females;
Markedly higher levels of brainwave disturbance in the alpha, theta, and delta
wave signal patterns of persons exposed to microwave emission fields, and;
Because of this brainwave disturbance, negative psychological effects were
noted, including loss of memory, loss of ability to concentrate, suppressed
emotional threshold, deceleration of intellective processes, and interruptive sleep
episodes in a statistically higher percentage of individuals subjected to continual
range emissive field effects of microwave apparatus, either in cooking apparatus or
in transmission stations.

Forensic Research Conclusions

From the twenty-eight above enumerated indications, the use of microwave


apparatus is definitely not advisable; and, with the decision of the Soviet
government in 1976, present scientific opinion in many countries concerning the
use of such apparatus is clearly in evidence.

Due to the problem of random magnetic residulation and binding within the
biological systems of the body (Category III:9), which can ultimately effect the
neurological systems, primarily the brain and neuroplexuses (nerve centers), long
term depolarization of tissue neuroelectric circuits can result. Because these effects
can cause virtually irreversible damage to the neuroelectrical integrity of the
various components of the nervous system (I. R. Luria, Novosibirsk 1975a),
ingestion of microwaved foods is clearly contraindicated in all respects. Their
magnetic residual effect can render the pyschoneural receptor components of the
brain more subject to influence psychologically by artificially induced microwave
radio frequency fields from transmission stations and TV relay-networks.

The theoretical possibility of psycho telemetric influence (the capability of affecting


human behavior by transmitted radio signals at controlled frequencies) has been
suggested by Soviet neuropsychological investigations at uralyera and Novosibirsk
(Luria and Perov, 1974a, 1975c, 1976a), which can cause involuntary subliminal
psychological energy field compliance to operative microwave apparatus.

FORENSIC RESEARCH DOCUMENT

Prepared By: William P. Kopp


A. R. E. C. Research Operations
TO61-7R10/10-77F05
RELEASE PRIORITY: CLASS I ROO1a

Ten Reasons to Throw out your Microwave Oven

From the conclusions of the Swiss, Russian and German scientific clinical studies, we
can no longer ignore the microwave oven sitting in our kitchens. Based on this
research, we will conclude this article with the following:

Continually eating food processed from a microwave oven causes long term permanent - brain damage by "shorting out" electrical impulses in the brain [depolarizing or de-magnetizing the brain tissue].
The human body cannot metabolize [break down] the unknown by-products
created in microwaved food.
Male and female hormone production is shut down and/or altered by continually
eating microwaved foods.
The effects of microwaved food by-products are residual [long term, permanent]
within the human body.
Minerals, vitamins, and nutrients of all microwaved food is reduced or altered so
that the human body gets little or no benefit, or the human body absorbs altered
compounds that cannot be broken down.
The minerals in vegetables are altered into cancerous free radicals when cooked
in microwave ovens.
Microwaved foods cause stomach and intestinal cancerous growths [tumors]. This
may explain the rapidly increased rate of colon cancer in America.

The prolonged eating of microwaved foods causes cancerous cells to increase in


human blood.
Continual ingestion of microwaved food causes immune system deficiencies
through lymph gland and blood serum alterations.
Eating microwaved food causes loss of memory, concentration, emotional
instability, and a decrease of intelligence.