Microwave Ovens Do Not Cause Cancer

Microwaves ovens have been around since the 60s and so has been the misconception that microwave ovens can actually cause cancer.

Part of the misconception comes from the fact that, microwave ovens use “radiation to cook food”. In many people’s minds the term radiation spells out cancer.

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Ionising vs Non Ionising radiation

Microwave Ovens Do Not Cause Cancer

Since microwave ovens use microwave radiation to heat food, here is what you know about electromagnetic radiation:

  • There are many different types of electromagnetic radiation that have different ionising powers.
  • X-rays are also electromagnetic radiation like microwave radiation but however, X-rays have lots of energy and enough ionising power to potentially harm our DNA.
  • X-rays are an example of ionising radiation and long term exposure to ionising radiation can contribute to cancer.
  • Unlike X-rays, microwaves radiation is non-ionising, which means it doesn’t harm our cellular DNA, nor does it contribute to cancer.

Microwave Ovens Do Not Cause Cancer

Examples of non-ionising radiation that we are exposed to

Microwaves, radio waves, and light waves are all examples of non-ionising radiation that we are exposed to daily. They all do not cause cancer. The only non-ionising radiation which can cause cancer is ultraviolet (UV) radiation.


Conclusion

Though microwave ovens use microwave radiation to heat food, they do not make the food radioactive. Microwave radiation is non-ionising, and does not contribute to cancer risks even with exposure levels far greater than normal radiation leakage.


Sydney Chako

Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics teacher at Sytech Learning Academy. From Junior Secondary School to Tertiary Level Engineering Mathematics and Engineering Science.

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