How dangerous are microwaves?
Did you know Russia has banned them but yet they appear in over 90% of American households?
Microwaves heat food by causing water molecules in it to resonate at very high frequencies and eventually turn to steam which heats your food. While this can rapidly heat your food, what most people fail to realize is that it also causes a change in your food's chemical structure.
There are numerous issues that have emerged since microwave ovens were first introduced to consumers more than 40 years ago, besides depleting your food's nutritional value.
Microwave ovens cause carcinogenic toxins to leach out of your plastic and paper containers/covers, and into your food.
Microwaving distorts and deforms the molecules of whatever food or other substance you subject to it.
The January/February 1990 issue of Nutrition Action Newsletter reported the leakage of numerous toxic chemicals from the packaging of common microwavable foods, including pizzas, chips and popcorn. Chemicals included polyethylene terpthalate (PET), benzene, toluene, and xylene. Microwaving fatty foods in plastic containers leads to the release of dioxins (known carcinogens) and other toxins into your food.
One of the worst contaminants is BPA, or bisphenol A, an estrogen-like compound used widely in plastic products. In fact, dishes made specifically for the microwave often contain BPA, but many other plastic products contain it as well.
Even when the microwave oven is working correctly, the microwave levels within the kitchen are likely to be significantly higher than those from any nearby cellular phone base-stations. Remember also that microwaves will travel through walls if the microwave oven is against an inside wall.
But even if there's nothing wrong with your microwave, keep in mind that standing a foot away from it while it's running can expose you to upwards of 400 milliGauss, and a mere 4 milliGauss has been firmly linked to leukemia. It would certainly be wise to avoid letting your children stand near the microwave when it's running, and avoid it yourself as much as possible—especially if you're pregnant. Also, since your eyes are known to be particularly susceptible to microwave radiation (high microwave exposures are known to cause cataracts), I recommend stepping away from your microwave while it's in use.
New Study Confirms Microwaves Affect Your Heart
A recent study examining the effects 2.4 GHz radiation (which is the frequency of radiation emitted by Wifi routers and microwave ovens) on the heart was just completed. The study found "unequivocal evidence" that microwave frequency radiation affects the heart at non-thermal levels that are well below federal safety guidelines, according to Dr. Magda Havas of Trent University4.
Dr. Havas says:
"This is the first study that documents immediate and dramatic changes in both heart rate and heart rate variability caused by an approved device that generates microwaves at levels well below (0.3 percent) federal guidelines in both Canada and the United States."
No longer can skeptics claim that microwaves produce no immediate biological effects at ordinary household levels!
The study will be appearing in a peer-reviewed journal sometime during the summer of 2010. If you are experiencing rapid or irregular heartbeat, pain or pressure in your chest, you will want to visit your physician and share this video with him or her (second video on this page).
There is also evidence that this same frequency of radiation causes blood sugar to spike in susceptible individuals and may actually be the cause of one type of diabetes.
Some excellent scientific data has been gathered regarding the detrimental effects of microwaves on the nutrients in your food:
A study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture5 found that broccoli "zapped" in the microwave with a little water lost up to 97 percent of its beneficial antioxidants. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11 percent or fewer of its antioxidants. There were also reductions in phenolic compounds and glucosinolates, but mineral levels remained intact.
A 1999 Scandinavian study of the cooking of asparagus spears found that microwaving caused a reduction in vitamin C6.
In a study of garlic, as little as 60 seconds of microwave heating was enough to inactivate its allinase, garlic's principle active ingredient against cancer7.
A Japanese study by Watanabe showed that just 6 minutes of microwave heating turned 30-40 percent of the B12 in milk into an inert (dead) form8. This study has been cited by Dr. Andrew Weil as evidence supporting his concerns about the effects of microwaving. Dr. Weil wrote:
"There may be dangers associated with microwaving food... there is a question as to whether microwaving alters protein chemistry in ways that might be harmful."
A recent Australian study showed that microwaves cause a higher degree of "protein unfolding" than conventional heating.
Microwaving can destroy the essential disease-fighting agents in breast milk that offer protection for your baby. In 1992, Quan found that microwaved breast milk lost lysozyme activity, antibodies, and fostered the growth of more potentially pathogenic bacteria10.
Quan stated that more damage was done to the milk by microwaving than by other methods of heating, concluding: "Microwaving appears to be contraindicated at high-temperatures, and questions regarding its safety exist even at low temperatures."
Another study about breast milk/infant formula by Lee in 198911 found vitamin content becomes depleted by microwaving, and certain amino acids are converted into other substances that are biologically inactive. Some altered amino acids are poisons to the nervous system and kidneys. (Numerous authors mention this study, yet I was unable to find the original article/study, so I cannot personally validate.)
Although many of the above studies are not new, there is certainly ample evidence that microwaving is NOT good for your food.
When your tissues are directly exposed to microwaves, the same violent deformations occur and can cause "microwave sickness."
People who have been exposed to high levels of microwave radiation experience a variety of symptoms, including:
Insomnia, night sweats, and various sleep disturbances
Headaches and dizziness
Swollen lymph nodes and a weakened immune system
Depression and irritability
Nausea and appetite loss
Vision and eye problems
Frequent urination and extreme thirst
There is a good amount of data emerging that people are suffering, to various degrees, these kinds of symptoms from living next to cell phone towers and other high-frequency radiation emitting antennas, which emit microwaves around the clock.
According to Professor Franz Adelkofer, a leading scientist in the area of biological effects of EMF fields:
"There is real evidence that hyperfrequency electromagnetic fields can have geno-toxic effects. And this damaged DNA is always the cause of cancer.
We've found these damaging effects on the genes at levels well below the safety limits. That's why we think it's urgent to base our safety limits on the biological effects, not the thermic ones.
They should be based on biology, not on physics."