Microwave oven radiation

I find this interesting. Maybe someone here has some expertise or opinion in this area?
2 years ago a friend bought a microwave oven. He used to work maintaining things like scanners at a specialist hospital. He has a radiation meter, so he tested the radiation, which set off the alarm on the meter. He contacted the suppliers, who repaired it. The repaired oven still set off alarms. They replaced it. The replacement set off alarms.. He contacted trading standards, who referred the case to Yorkshire where the supplier was based. I assume his money was refunded. He heard no more.
He replaced the oven with one of a different make. It was fine until it died a week or so ago. He liked the timer on the radiating oven because it could be set accurately enough to heat his mince pies, and saw it was still available. Thinking they must have solved the problem after two years, he bought one again. He measured the replacement. The alarm on his meter goes off all around it at 5mv/sq metre, and full scale is 10mv/sq.m. It goes beyond full scale when held 2" from the oven.
He rang the suppliers, who just said that all their equipment was built to full European standards. They couldn't tell him what those standards were. He was then referred round in a circle and ended back with the supplier.
They referred him to the actual makers of the rebadged oven, Samsung. They have referred him to another organisation in Kendal. He has repeatedly rung them and spoken briefly, but been repeatedly cut off. They blamed their new phone system and he has latterly been unable to get through at all.
I've certainly never measured the radiation from our oven. Perhaps that explains her funny moods? (That's a joke in case my wife ever reads this).
--
Bill

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On Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:43:49 +0100, Bill wrote:

Microwave radiation is non-ionizing.
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On 18/10/2017 15:52, Jethro_uk wrote:

That means? to us peasants.
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That the radiation photons are not energetic enough to damage your cells, DNA, or anything else. And this is true no matter how many of them there are, i.e. no matter how much the needle zooms up the scale.
Of course, if such radiation is absorbed by your body you might boil to death. But not at 10mW/sq metre or whatever it was reading.
If you move up the electromagnetic spectrum from microwave, you eventually get to infra-red, then visible light, then UV. IIRC, it's somewhere in the UV band that radiation photons are energetic enough to do damage to your DNA etc, which is why you can get cancer from it.
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On 18/10/2017 16:17, Tim Streater wrote:

You can tolerate a little of almost anything. The dose makes the poison - even for ionising radiations. We evolved on a planet with natural background radiation. People who work in unusually hot workplaces and also much less radioactive locations like Boulby potash mine are health monitored to see if there are any detectable effects with dose.
There appears to be a smallish dose that has almost no effect at all because our DNA repair mechanisms can keep up with it.

However, if there is a significant microwave leak then you can cook your insides or end up with early cataracts of the eyes. There was a nasty one with a chef leaning on the door of an industrial kitchen microwave that resulted in the door seal leaking badly and he lost a kidney.
I once walked into a lab where someone had a 1kW helium microwave plasma on the bench with all the safety interlocks defeated and no Faraday cage around it. Very pretty colour it was too but extremely bad for the eyes. He said it made tuning it easier. I expect he is blind by now.

Despite that I do know one or two former microwave link engineers who spent a lot of time near powerful transmitters who died young and of brain tumours so I wouldn't entirely rule it out. Weak thermal effects can cause proteins to refold into the wrong shape (eg. like egg white).
If you require it to activate chemistry with a single photon then it takes something shorter wave than about 400nm (purple).
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On Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:01:05 +0100, Martin Brown wrote:

It's entirely possible that some radiation is required as part of evolution ?
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So, I take it that the general view is that the measured levels are nowhere near being dangerous in actual use. That's good.
Nevertheless, it appears that ovens are being made and sold that have external radiation levels well over double the apparent recommended maximum of 5mW per square cm (sorry about the error in units in the original post) at 2" away from any part of the device. This seems to be the Federal standard in the US. It is interesting that the other make of oven that he has been using gives negligible radiation readings on his meter. I don't know what his meter actually measures. It's also interesting that his attempts to query this with the manufacturer and/or importer and with trading standards seem to have fallen into a black hole. I would have expected Samsung at least to be able to point to the regulations and a source of some basic generic test data on what the general public might perceive to be a safety issue.
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On Wednesday, 18 October 2017 19:05:55 UTC+1, Bill wrote:

All this is meaningless until you have some actual data. At this point we don't.
NT
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That's a smallish dose that has no effect at all as previously explained.
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On 18/10/2017 17:01, Martin Brown wrote:

Many years ago I was actively involved in non-ionising radiation exposure issues. Memory may fail me but I think microwave exposure limits were set to give a temperature rise of less than 1 degC, whereas lower frequencies were limited to avoid nerve stimulation effects (physical or magnetophosphenes) or corona. If anybody wants to know more the ICNIRP guidelines were/are probably the most authoritative source: http://www.icnirp.org/cms/upload/publications/ICNIRPemfgdl.pdf
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On Wednesday, 18 October 2017 17:18:45 UTC+1, snipped-for-privacy@nomail.com wrote:

If you want something a bit simpler, Maplin has one a red/green scale ;-)
https://www.maplin.co.uk/p/microwave-radiation-tester-n53fu
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On 20/10/2017 16:27, whisky-dave wrote:

At what level does it go from saying safe to giving a warning?
Perhaps its a another use for the screwdriver with a neon in the handle to detect live mains. In a darkened kitchen wave the screwdriver handle around the door seal of an operating microwave and if the neon lights you have a problem.
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Well its not exactly true, but at the levels mentioned It would make little difference even if it was I suspect. Having worked with radar engineers on all sorts of different bands gear they seem to come to little harm even if they do what you would not be allowed to now, demonstrate warming a sandwich on the desk using a horn antenna. Look at the folk on lifeboats walking the deck within feed off the radar which is on at the time. if there had been an issue one would have heard about it by now. Mind you if you aimed the output from your magnetron at your wedding tackle you would probably not have many children.
X Rays can be dangerous. In the early days of Colour tvs, as many will recall, you almost needed a live in engineer and one of the main makes was Bush. They had an unfortunate fault condition where the valve that drove the beam and generated the 30,000 volts eht went into a mode where X Rays fired straight out the bottom of the cabinet, and there are anecdotal stories about pets getting cancer and all sorts as they lay between the legs of the set. Eventually a lead cover was used under the offending component, but many service engineers wore radiation monitors. Brian
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This has nothing to do with microwave radiation.
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The morons see the word "radiation" and get all squeeky.
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Indeed.
Once again, microwave radiation is unable to damage DNA. If you get inside the microwave oven you may boil to death, but your DNA will be undamaged.
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Well, it may denature. :o)
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On 19/10/17 13:12, Tim Streater wrote:

Dont think boiling DNA does much good to it though :-)
But you are right, What leaks out of a microwave is less than what is coming out of a wifi or a cellphine at and at very similar frequencies.
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On Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:57:23 +0100, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

In this case, 'similar' being an order of magnitude?
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Still well below infra-red, in terms of energy per photon (which is what counts). AISB, it's not until you've gone past visible and into the UV area that you get energetic enough photons that can do actual damage to your DNA (while leaving you unboiled, a state we should all aspire too :-)
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