Microwave - Health Effects

Health Effects

Further information: Electromagnetic radiation and health and Microwave burn

Microwaves do not contain sufficient energy to chemically change substances by ionization, and so are an example of nonionizing radiation. The word "radiation" refers to energy radiating from a source and not to radioactivity. It has not been shown conclusively that microwaves (or other nonionizing electromagnetic radiation) have significant adverse biological effects at low levels. Some, but not all, studies suggest that long-term exposure may have a carcinogenic effect. This is separate from the risks associated with very high intensity exposure, which can cause heating and burns like any heat source, and not a unique property of microwaves specifically.

During World War II, it was observed that individuals in the radiation path of radar installations experienced clicks and buzzing sounds in response to microwave radiation. This microwave auditory effect was thought to be caused by the microwaves inducing an electric current in the hearing centers of the brain. Research by NASA in the 1970s has shown this to be caused by thermal expansion in parts of the inner ear.

When injury from exposure to microwaves occurs, it usually results from dielectric heating induced in the body. Exposure to microwave radiation can produce cataracts by this mechanism, because the microwave heating denatures proteins in the crystalline lens of the eye (in the same way that heat turns egg whites white and opaque). The lens and cornea of the eye are especially vulnerable because they contain no blood vessels that can carry away heat. Exposure to heavy doses of microwave radiation (as from an oven that has been tampered with to allow operation even with the door open) can produce heat damage in other tissues as well, up to and including serious burns that may not be immediately evident because of the tendency for microwaves to heat deeper tissues with higher moisture content.

Read more about this topic:  Microwave

Other articles related to "health effects, health, effects":

Project 112 - Briefings and Reports - Institute of Medicine Reports
2012 Institute of Medicine Study Long-Term Health Effects of Participation in Project SHAD, 2007 Supplement to Institute of Medicine Study Long-Term Health Effects of Participation ...
Sheesha (film) - Health Effects
... Further information Health effects of tobacco A 2005 WHO report states that smoking using a waterpipe poses a serious potential health hazard and is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking ... Consequently, the potential health effects of hookah smoke are expected to be very different ... stones) are widely available and aim to reduce the negative effects of tobacco ...
SENSOR-Pesticides - Case Definition
... are reportable when there is documentation of new adverse health effects temporally related to a documented pesticide exposure AND there is consistent evidence of a causal relationship between the pesticide and ... State public health officials rate each case as definite, probable, possible or suspicious ...
Recovery Projects - The International Project On The Health Effects of The Chernobyl Accident
... The International Project on the Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident (IPEHCA) was created and received US $20 million, mainly from Japan, in hopes of discovering the main ... and Russia, the three main affected countries, for further investigation of health effects ...
Methylmercury - Biological Impact - Human Health Effects
... suggests that methylmercury can cause autoimmune effects in sensitive individuals ... is still some controversy as to the levels of methylmercury in the diet that can result in adverse effects ... pollution is currently focused on more subtle effects that may be linked to levels of exposure presently seen in populations with high to moderate levels of dietary fish consumption ...

Famous quotes containing the words effects and/or health:

    The best road to correct reasoning is by physical science; the way to trace effects to causes is through physical science; the only corrective, therefore, of superstition is physical science.
    Frances Wright (1795–1852)

    Even though I had let them choose their own socks since babyhood, I was only beginning to learn to trust their adult judgment.. . . I had a sensation very much like the moment in an airplane when you realize that even if you stop holding the plane up by gripping the arms of your seat until your knuckles show white, the plane will stay up by itself. . . . To detach myself from my children . . . I had to achieve a condition which might be called loving objectivity.
    —Anonymous Parent of Adult Children. Ourselves and Our Children, by Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, ch. 5 (1978)