Microwave Oven: The Invisible Danger that Could be ‘Zapping’ Your Good Health!

A majority of American kitchens are equipped with two ovens these days. Most have a traditional oven beneath a cooktop.

But the mania for speed and convenience has resulted in about 90 percent of homes also having a microwave oven.

Many folks love the way this modern marvel can help you quickly unthaw frozen foods… heat an entire prepared meal in two minutes… or produce a quick snack…

But is it possible that millions of us could be sacrificing our good health on the altar of convenience? Keep reading to see important evidence. . .

A main concern is that radiation from a microwave can lead to cancer. But is this true?

That largely depends on whose opinion you decide to listen to.

One school of thought is that the low frequency radiation used in microwaves doesn’t have enough energy to damage your cells and thereby lead to tumor growth.

But you should know there are dissenting voices to this opinion!

In theory, the microwave just steps up molecular movement – the same thing that happens when you boil water or heat something in a conventional oven. That’s all heat is – faster motion at a level far too tiny for us to see.

But according to a survey of the Professional Service Associates (a group of microwave repair servicemen), more than half of microwave ovens two years or older leak levels of radiation 10 percent higher than the safety standards set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

And of course, that begs the question of whether you can trust the FDA’s assessment of what constitutes a ‘safe’ level of radiation. I wouldn’t count on it. If my hunch is right, those older ovens are leaking radiation way above a safe level.

Early Russian studies caused a 
government BAN on microwaves!

In 1957, Russia began testing radar microwave emissions and microwave oven cooking. What they discovered led them to issue emission restrictions for radar workers and a ban on microwave ovens in 1976.

Robert O. Becker’s book, The Body Electric, described the health effects caused by microwave radiation, according to the Russian research.

Becker said the Russian researchers used the term “microwave sickness” to describe the effects, which first manifest as low blood pressure and a slow pulse. Later these symptoms were followed by chronic exciting of the sympathetic nervous system (stress syndrome) and high blood pressure.

Other symptoms during this phase include:

  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Hair loss
  • Headache
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Nervous tension
  • Sleeplessness
  • Stomach pain

The Russian researchers found that continued exposure led to increased incidences of appendicitis, cataracts, reproductive problems and cancer.

These chronic symptoms eventually led to blocked coronary arteries and heart attacks.

The Russian prohibition on microwave ovens was lifted during the political reforms of the 1980s. At this point, the allure of Western conveniences trumped health concerns in Russia.

All radiation is not created equal

Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic energy, like light waves or radio waves. They use alternating current (AC) to create frictional heat.

In contrast, microwaves from the sun are based on principles of pulsed direct current (DC) that don’t create frictional heat.

In commercial models, the oven has a power input of about 1000 watts of alternating current. When microwaves hit your food, they agitate the food molecules, causing the food to heat up.

But this friction also damages and deforms surrounding molecules. In a paper focused on health effects of microwave ovens, chemist and enzyme researcher Lita Lee, PhD, provides a summary of findings from the Russian research.

First of all, carcinogens were formed in just about ALL foods tested! More specifically, the investigators discovered that:

  • Microwaving prepared meats caused formation of the well-known carcinogen d-Nitrosodiethanolamines.
  • Milk and cereal grains converted some of their amino acids into carcinogens when microwaved.
  • Thawing frozen fruits converted fractions containing glucoside and galactyoside into carcinogenic substances.
  • Short exposure of raw, cooked or frozen vegetables to microwaves converted their plant alkaloids into carcinogens.

The Russian researchers also reported decreases ranging from 60 to 90 percent in the nutritional value of the foods tested! This included a decreased bio-availability of vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, essential minerals and lipotropics factors in all foods tested.

To be fair, conventional heating may also destroy nutritional value. I haven’t seen a comparison – or, really, any meaningful data on what cooking does to complex nutrients.

You might be thinking that the Russian tests were conducted several decades ago. Surely microwave ovens have improved their efficiency and safety since then, right?

Recent studies highlight 
additional health concerns

The microwave ovens of yesteryear might have been less sophisticated than ones on the market today. But modern ovens use the same technology to heat foods—which means they produce similar effects.

Recent studies and anecdotes have demonstrated the potential health dangers associated with use of microwave technologies. For example:

  • A 1991 Oklahoma lawsuit involved hospital use of a microwave oven to warm blood needed in a transfusion. A surgery patient, Norma Levitt, died after receiving blood warmed in a microwave oven. Apparently blood for transfusions – normally kept in refrigerated storage — is warmed before being administered to a patient. But it’snot warmed in microwave ovens. In Mrs. Levitt’s case, the microwaving seemed to alter the blood she received. If it’s true that hospitals won’t warm blood in microwaves, that in itself shows me that microwaving is NOT equivalent to other methods of heating things.
  • A 2003 Spanish government study demonstrated that vegetables and fruits cooked in a microwave lost 97 percent of the nutrients that help reduce coronary heart diseases.
  • A 2011 study from researchers at the Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radiobiology of NAS in the Ukraine studied possible carcinogenic effects of long term exposure to low intensity microwave radiation. They found a dramatic increase of cancer incidence in the population living near a base transmitting station for mobile communications. They also found that animal studies in rodents unveiled a significant increase in carcinogenesis after just 17 to 24 months of microwave exposure!

At the very least, these studies should raise your awareness of potential concerns with using microwave devices.

If you choose to use microwave ovens, the American Cancer Society recommends that you always follow the heating instructions that came with your microwave oven to reduce risk of burns or cataracts.

And when heating foods, it is best to avoid use of plastic containers that can leach harmful chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) into your foods.

These are just some ways to help reduce the chances of your health being ‘zapped’ by microwave use! As for me, my microwave oven sits unused in my kitchen, and has for several years. I’ll probably toss it one of these days.


Read more: http://www.cancerdefeated.com/the-invisible-danger-that-could-be-zapping-your-good-health/2785/?trk_msg=9HM3S0B4R5F49F9OEF0N5EQP6K&trk_contact=EQ5NQ5MNC0AHNLG895QE9MHFU0


Study Finds Radiation Risk for Patients

At least four million Americans under age 65 are exposed to high doses of radiation each year from medical imaging tests, according to a new study in The New England Journal of Medicine. About 400,000 of those patients receive very high doses, more than the maximum annual exposure allowed for nuclear power plant employees or anyone else who works with radioactive material.

Dr. Rita Redberg, a cardiologist and researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, who has extensively studied the use of medical imaging, said it would probably result in tens of thousands of additional cancers. It’s certain that there are increased rates of cancer at low levels of radiation, and as you increase the levels of radiation, you increase cancer.

Dr. Reza Fazel, a cardiologist at Emory University, said the use of scans appeared to have increased even from 2005 to 2007, the period covered by the paper. “These procedures have a cost, not just in terms of dollars, but in terms of radiation risk.”

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/27/health/research/27scan.html?_r=0

Which types of diagnostic imaging procedures use radiation?

•  In x-ray procedures, x rays pass through the body to form pictures on film or on a computer or  television monitor, which are viewed by a radiologist. If you have an x-ray test, it will be performed with a standard x-ray machine or with a more sophisticated x-ray machine called a CT or CAT scan machine.

• In nuclear medicine procedures, a very small amount of radioactive material is inhaled, injected, or swallowed by the patient. If you have a nuclear medicine exam, a special camera will be used to detect energy given off by the radioactive material in your body and form a picture of your organs and their function on a computer monitor. A nuclear medicine physician views these pictures. The radioactive material typically disappears from your body within a few hours or days.

Do magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound use radiation?

MRI and ultrasound procedures do not use ionizing radiation. If you have either of these types of studies, you are not exposed to radiation.

There is no conclusive evidence of radiation causing harm at the levels patients receive from diagnostic xray exams. Although high doses of radiation are linked to an increased risk of cancer, the effects of the low doses of radiation used in diagnostic imaging are not known.

Read more: https://hps.org/documents/meddiagimaging.pdf

Doctors Order More Tests when They Benefit Financially: Ask If You Really Need that Test Your Doctor Ordered

Researchers from the Institute for Technology Assessment at the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Radiology found that there was no mistaking that diagnostic imaging tests were being ordered far more than they deemed necessary. The question that begs to be answered is, “why?”

Many doctors referred their patients to imaging centers that were affiliated with their practice, or were even done by the doctor’s own staff. When a physician has such a close relationship with the provider conducting the imaging study, there is the possibility that the physician will benefit financially from ordering additional imaging studies.

Read more: http://voices.yahoo.com/doctors-order-more-tests-they-benefit-financially-631960.html?cat=5

A Closer Look: The Downside of Diagnostic Imaging

CT and nuclear medicine tests do have a downside, however: they deliver doses of ionizing radiation from 50 to over 500 times that of a standard x-ray, such as a chest x-ray or mammogram. Scientists have raised concerns that such large doses of radiation plus the widespread and increasing use these diagnostic procedures may, in a small but significant way, pose a cancer risk in the general population.

“The use of CT in particular has gone up dramatically, and we’ve drastically lowered the threshold for using it,” said Dr. Rebecca Smith-Bindman, a visiting research scientist with NCI’s Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB). “There’s a general belief that if you get a CT scan, you must be reasonably sick and must really need it. This is no longer true, and we are increasingly using CT scans in patients who are not that sick. There’s been drift not only in how often we use it but in how we use it.”

“We’ve only talked about the benefits of CT for the past 20 years, without considering any potential harm” she continued.

Research estimated that approximately 29,000 future cancers could be related to CT scans performed in the United States in that year alone, with women being at higher risk than men. About 35 percent of these cancers were projected to be related to scans performed in patients 35 to 54 years old, and 15 percent related to scans performed in children younger than 18. 

The medical community has proposed many ways to reduce radiation exposure from diagnostic medicine without negatively impacting the quality of patient care:

  • Reduce the number of CT exams by using other technologies (such as ultrasound or MRI) in cases where they would provide equal diagnostic quality.
  • Limit the use of CT in healthy patients who would obtain little benefit (such as whole-body CT screening).
  • Limit the use of repeat CT surveillance of patients in whom a diagnosis has already been made, when repeat scanning would lead to little change in their treatment.
  • Track and collect information on radiation exposure for individual patients. 

Read more: http://www.cancer.gov/aboutnci/ncicancerbulletin/archive/2010/012610/page8

Dangers of Medical Imaging Tests and Procedures

Exposure to medical imaging radiation is a concern in both adults and children. However, radiation exposure in children is of a greater concern because they are more sensitive to radiation than adults. In addition, children have longer life expectancy than adults. With repeated exposure or accumulated exposure to radiation, children may be more likely to develop health problems in the future.

Life time risk of developing cancer increases when a patient undergoes more frequent X-ray exams and at larger doses, according to the FDA. Women who are exposed to the radiation may have higher lifetime risk for developing radiation-associated cancer than men after receiving the same exposures at the same ages.

While experts believe that the risk of developing cancer with radiation exposure is relatively small, radiation exposure through these medical imaging tests should never be taken lightly.

Read more:  http://voices.yahoo.com/dangers-medical-imaging-tests-procedures-5452681.html?cat=5

How much radiation does a person get from medical imaging studies?

  • Getting a CT scan gives a patient as much radiation as 100 to 800 chest X-rays.
  • Getting a nuclear medicine study exposes a patient to as much radiation as 10 to 2,050 chest X-rays.
  • Getting a fluoroscopic procedure exposes a patient to as much radiation as 250 to 3,500 chest X-rays.

Moreover, doctors may prescribe scans that aren’t medically justified. And since risk from radiation exposure accumulates over a lifetime, certain scans may not be appropriate for people who’ve already had a lot of scans.

Read more: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=114953