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Is the radiation that comes from the microwave dangerous?

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tarfa | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:39 AM via web

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Is the radiation that comes from the microwave dangerous?

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:53 AM (Answer #1)

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Well, as long as you don't stick your hand in the microwave while it is on, no.  Of course, most microwave ovens have a door that will not allow the oven to operate while the door is open, so that is figuratively a moot point.  Microwaves are a little higher up the electromagnetic spectrum than radio waves, so to be honest, we are bombarded with microwaves all the time.  They are still long enough that they will diffract, or bend, around our bodies rather than bombard them.  Microwaves are used in our cell phones, our wireless internet devices, and police radar guns.  There is some research as to whether cell phones can cause cancer because of the proximity of the phone to the head, but even that is stretching the harmful potential a bit.  The armed forces are currently developing a non-lethal weapon that causes a light layer of the skin to become uncomfortably warm, so as to repel a person.  Microwaves are the frequency employed by this new type of crowd-control weapon.

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