by Alan Barton, All News Pipeline:
The Magnetron tube – that is the primary operating source of the microwaves inside your “radar range” or microwave oven. Usually operating at 4.1Kv (Kilovolts, or 4,100 volts) with varying output current levels depending on the “wattage” yours is rated at. Most seem to be in the 600 to 1200 watt range, with some higher power and some lower power models available. A few years ago there seemed to be a lot of talk about how safe they are, and even many writers saying they should not be in your homes, but why? The FDA says that “Microwave radiation can heat body tissue the same way it heats food. Exposure to high levels of microwaves can cause a painful burn. Two areas of the body, the eyes and the testes, are particularly vulnerable to RF heating because there is relatively little blood flow in them to carry away excess heat. ….Most injuries related to microwave ovens are the result of heat-related burns from hot containers, overheated foods, or exploding liquids. Most injuries are not radiation-related. That said, there have been very rare instances of radiation injury due to unusual circumstances or improper servicing. In general, microwave oven radiation injuries are caused by exposure to large amounts of microwave radiation leaking through openings such as gaps in the microwave oven seals” with some special warnings about heart pacemakers in the early ovens. Not much of a problem according to our government with regulations saying they cannot put out more than 5 milliwatts (or 0.005 watts) per square centimeter. But microwave ovens still present a powerful source of microwave radiation even though it is mostly shielded from us so you need not worry too hard about cooking your brain anytime soon.