Microwaves are convenient for everything from defrosting food to reheating dinner plates to making popcorn, but just like any appliance, they can pose hazards if not used correctly. Since microwaves don’t involve heat or flames like stoves and ovens, many people don’t think about how they use their microwaves and may unknowingly be putting their health at risk.
Instead of using heat, microwave ovens use radiation to excite the molecules in food, which causes them to increase in temperature. Like any type of radiation, microwave energy can have a harmful effect of the body if you’re exposed to it directly, but if you follow these tips, you can keep yourself protected from radiation and still enjoy the conveniences of microwave cooking.
1. Inspect your microwave door before every use. If seals around the microwave door are broken or the door does not shut tightly, radiation can leak out of the oven when it’s in use. Worn seals or loose door catches should be repaired before you use your microwave again.
2. Only use microwave-safe, BPA-free containers for reheating food. Most people know that putting metal in a microwave can cause an explosion, but not everyone is aware that some types of plastics are also dangerous when subjected to microwave energy. Containers that feature BPA can transfer toxins into food while it cooks, so never place an ordinary takeout container or other plastic dish in your microwave unless it’s specifically labelled “microwave safe.”
3. Never put your face in front of the microwave door while it’s in use. A small amount of radiation can travel through the glass, so keep your distance during cooking.
4. Keep the vents on the microwave clear. Blocking these could cause a fire hazard.
5. Have your microwave checked by a professional if it begins making strange noises or cooking food poorly. These are symptoms that the microwave may not be running properly or safely. If you’re concerned about your microwave, call us here at Matic Service to come out and have a look.