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Name: emily
Status: student
Age: 14
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999-2001

How do micro waves effect humans?


Electromagnetic radiation in the 1 mm to 1 m wavelength range (300 MHz to 300 Ghz) is referred to as microwave radiation, and is part of what is known as radiofrequency (RF) radiation. The latter covers the 0.5 MHz to 300 GHz range and is considered in the context of adverse biological effects. RF radiation is nonionizing radiation. This means that, in general, it does not have sufficient energy to kick an electron off an atom thus producing charged particle in a body and cause biological damage. The only proven harmful effect from exposure to microwave (or RF) radiation is thermal. RF radiation can enter deep into the body and heat human organs. Thus, the depth of penetration and the level absorption of radiation in the the body are relevant.

- Above 10 GHz (3 cm wavelength or less) heating occurs mainly in the outer skin surface. - From 3 GHz to 10 GHz (10 cm to 3 cm) the penetration is deeper and heating higher.

- From 150 MHz to about 1 GHz (200 cm to 25 cm wavelength), penetration is even deeper and because of high absorption, deep body heating can occur.

Any part of the body that cannot dissipate heat efficiently or is heat sensitive may be damaged by microwave radiation of sufficient power. The lens of the eye and testes are respective examples.

Are there non-thermal ADVERSE effects of microwave radiation in humans? We know that there ARE non-thermal effect: microwaves can cause hearing sensation, can affect behavior (in animal studies), etc. Are these effects adverse and reversible? Research is still continuing in this area as well as in the area of RF radiation effects on immune and central nervous system. Much more work is needed and maybe you can get a degree in science and do some research in this area.

Have said all this, it is my personal view that man-made effects (i.e., those that have not been a part of our natural history) have to be treated with caution, and lack of evidence for adverse effects is NOT the same thing as proof of safety.

Good Luck.

Dr. Ali Khounsary
Advanced Photon Source
Argonne National Laboratory

Since microwaves are a form of energy, they can affect humans, just like the sun or other energy sources can. Our skin does not like to be bombarded with energy sources. What can you do? Make sure that the door seal is kept clean and not torn. Standing near one leaking microwaves is not beneficial, and we could get burnt. The skin will redden like sunburn or get a worse burn depending on our exposure. Used correctly, the energy from microwaves are helpful to cut cooking times.

Van Hoeck

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