What are the dangers of old microwave ovens?

Updated July 20, 2017

Microwaves are used by nearly everyone these days. Many are bothered by the potential radiation leakage that can occur from using these ovens. The Food and Drug Administration sets and enforces standards for performance for electronic products to assure that radiation emissions do not pose a health hazards to public health. There's no need to worry about microwaves leaking from ovens that are properly maintained. However, if the microwave oven being used is old, there's a highly probability that the door hinges, latch or seal may be loose or not working properly. This can cause possible microwave radiation leakage.

Radiation leakage

The Canadian Centre for Health and Safety states that old or faulty door seals are the most common cause of microwave radiation leakage. Dirt build-up, mechanical abuse and everyday wearing away can cause faulty seals. Old microwave ovens should be thoroughly checked to make sure that the hinges, latch and seal is in working condition. Again, a damaged or old microwave oven may produce microwave power leaks. A microwave in good working condition should not present potential health hazards. You can contact the oven's manufacturer for questions concerning latches, seals and door hinges.

Pacemaker health concerns

In the past, microwave radiation was thought to interfere with the signals of pacemakers. Pacemakers are electrical devices and interference from other electrical products can send inaccurate signals to the heart muscles. In spite of this, well-maintained ovens are not likely to cause this interference. Old microwave ovens pose a higher threat. Pacemaker patients should use microwave ovens with caution, especially older ones.

Avoiding microwave hazards

For starters, if you have an old microwave that needs maintenance, fix it, throw it away or get a new one. Eliminate the problem. Make sure that no damage is being done to the door or door seal. A defective door and seal can lead to radiation leakage. And lastly, keep the oven clean after each use and out of reach from children.

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About the Author

Currently based in Georgia, Ivory Adams has written health- and healing-related articles for over five years. Her articles have been published in "The Observer Newspaper." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.