Microwaves are a very common kitchen appliance used for convenience amongst so many people every day. However, with the convivence comes the risk of exposing yourself and those in your home to dangerous levels of EMF radiation.
If you aren’t new to the dangers of EMF Radiation then odds are you are probably aware that microwaves are towards the top of the list when it comes to household items that emit high amounts of EMF. Many people have opted to not own a microwave myself included.
The EMF Dangers of Microwaves
When you choose to use a microwave to warm your food or beverage the electromagnetic energy that’s warming or cooking the food or drink does not stay contained in the microwave.
Even though there is a shield which is the door and was designed to block the radiation, there is still a significant amount that leaks out of the microwave through the crack on the sides of the door, the top, and sides of the microwave.
While using a microwave to warm your food EMF radiation levels reach high and dangerous levels of EMF Radiation.
There are dozens of videos on Youtube showing how much leakage is actually occurring while using your microwave.
There is an actual legal limit for how much EMF radiation a microwave is allowed to emit in the United States and in most of Europe. These laws allow an average of 5mW/cm² at a distance in 2 inches of EMF radiation leakage.
The manufacturers and lawmakers are aware of the EMF radiation leakage and understand that this can be harmful to our health. They came up with this number because it is not enough radiation to burn your skin.
Not so comforting when we know this amount is still enough to do damage on a biological level. Just because this is the approved legal limit does not mean it is safe to use a microwave.
In fact, many researchers believe that this legal limit could be upwards of a thousand times higher that is dangerous in cases of long term exposure.
Microwaves Change the Molecular Makeup of your Food
Another non-EMF related danger of microwaves is it actually changes the molecular makeup of your food. Here is a quote from Larry Gust explaining how they work:
“Microwave ovens use electromagnetic energy that vibrates 2.4 billion times per second. This energy acts on the molecules in food, particularly water molecules causing them to rapidly vibrate.
This rapid movement generates friction, thus heat. Vibration is so violent that molecules are often torn apart or distorted, thereby changing the chemical makeup of the food.
Additionally, this appliance leaks microwaves into the environment around it.”
There is a misconception that using a microwave will cause your food to be radioactive. This is false. Although microwaving your food does cause your food to change at a molecular level it does not result in your food becoming radioactive.
Although your food will not become radioactive you may be losing more nutrients than you think by microwaving your food. Unfortunately, there has not been much testing on this, which is sur[rising since microwaves are in most homes today.
However, the testing that has occurred shows that microwaving your food causes you to lose some of those foods nutritional benefits.
This loss is partially due to overcooking of the food which can be done when cooking your food in other ways like in the oven or boiling. The other reason for this loss is due to the molecules of the food is changed.
A few examples of studies that have shown microwaving your food lowers the nutritional value:
- In 1999 Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica B found microwaving asparagus caused a reduction in nutritional value, specifically a reduction in vitamin C. This was due to the overcooking of the vegetables as vitamin C is very commonly lost when you overcook vegetables.
- in 2001 the Journal of Nutrition found that microwaving garlic for as little as 60 seconds inactivated the alliance, which is the cancer-fighting enzyme in garlic.
There are always going to be two sides to every story like articles written by experts at Harvard who claim microwaving your food is the safest way to cook your food as you least amount of nutritional value.
Many doctors assure their patients it is a fine and healthy way to cook their food but personally, I think it does not work the EMF exposure and the lowered nutrition in my food.
Is there such thing as Low EMF Microwaves?
Are there such things as low EMF microwaves? Unfortunately no there are not low EMF microwaves on the market.
Due to how microwaves work it would be nearly impossible to make a low EMF microwave. However, I do have a few solutions to help lower your EMF exposure while using a microwave.
How to Lower EMF Exposure While Using a Microwave
1. Use Microwave Alternative
This option is not only better for you but for your food as well! I personally have opted to have a small conventional oven, it takes a longer than a microwave however it doesn’t change your foods molecules and significantly lowers your exposure to EMF radiation.
Other Microwave alternatives:
- reheat your food in a frying pan
- try using a steam convection oven
- boil water on the stove top or in an electric tea kettle
- reheat soups on the stovetop
- plan ahead so you don’t have to use your microwave to defrost items or defrost in water in the sink
- Only cook the amount of food you will eat to avoid leftovers and make fresh food daily
- Instead of eating foods like microwave popcorn opt for air pop or stovetop popcorn, its better for you anyways.
2. Purchase a Microwave Shield
This is something I would highly recommend if you are going to continue to use a microwave. I do want to mention that a microwave shield can give you a false sense of safety.
Although microwave shields will help lower your exposure to EMF radiation they do not eliminate it altogether.
There are not a ton of microwave shields out there but this one from Vest will help minimizes radiation exposure. This one is also nice because it is pretty neutral and should blend in nicely with most kitchens styles.
Vest claims that their shield will reduce radiation emitted from the microwave device by up to 78%. Not perfect but a great option for someone who is planning on the continued use of their microwave.
3. Keep Distance Between you and your Microwave
If life without a microwave is just not something you want to do another tip besides using the microwave shield is to make sure you are not standing too close while the microwave is in use.
I know it is tempting but do not stand and stare into the microwave door as your food warms (keep this in mind with kids too).
Try to keep at least 5-10 feet between you and it while it’s running. An even better option is to leave the room while your microwave is in use.
In addition to keeping some distance between you and your microwave while in use, maybe even consider moving your microwave into a lower traffic area of your home. This may even help you to use your microwave less, only when you really need it.
4. Open a Window
Another small yet effective tip is to open a window while using a microwave in your home. The open window will allow the harmful rays to exit your home more easily. This will help your exposure amount lessen.
5. If you are Going to have a Microwave Opt for a Newer Model
Avoid using really old microwaves. This is actually normally not the advice I give here on Honest EMF as typically newer appliances emit extra EMFs however when it comes to microwaves newer is better. Why?
Older microwaves don’t have as good of a seal as the newer models have so more radiation will leak out while in use.
Another reason is the older the model the higher your chances that there were small damages that have occurred over the years which may also result in a higher amount of radiation leakage.
Final Thoughts On the Dangers of Microwaves
Microwaves emit dangerous levels of EMF radiation and unfortunately, there are no Low EMF microwaves available on the market. The good news is you don’t need to use a microwave, there are lots of other options out there to help keep your exposure to EMF radiation down.
If ditching your microwave isn’t something you are ready to consider try making some of the small changes I listed above to try and help reduce your exposure, like getting a shield for your microwave, adding distance between you and your microwave when in use.
I have been living microwave free for over 5 years. It took a little bit of time to get used to making some small changes but after I know what I know I wouldn’t go back to using one or having one in my home.