Did you know that your workplace microwave oven could be exposing users to harmful radiation leakage? You can’t see it occurring, but invisible emissions could be leaking through the small space between the oven door and the oven enclosure whenever your microwave is turned on. In the same way, microwave radiation heats food, it can also heat body tissue…and exposure to high levels of microwaves can cause skin burns or worse still – cataracts.
Here’s how it can happen and why you need to get your commercial or office oven tested to be sure you don’t harm yourself, your employees or compromise the food quality for customers.
What Exactly is Microwave Oven Radiation And Why Do Microwaves Leak?
When you power up your microwave appliance, a High-Frequency Radio wave emission is generated causing water molecules in food to rapidly vibrate – producing heat which results in the cooking of food. When your microwave is turned on, the energy produced can penetrate live tissues and be harmful to health, but once you shut down the oven, the microwaves disappear.
With a secure, sealed microwave door the microwaves remain safely within your appliance, however, if there are any leakages ….you could be exposing yourself or others close
With a secure, sealed microwave door the microwaves remain safely within your appliance, however, if there are any leakages ….you could be exposing yourself or others who are nearby to dangerous levels of radiation leakage.
The NZ Herald has recently reported about the problems of microwave oven safety and radiation leakage. Radiation expert Professor Magda Havas of Nottingham Trent University claims that while microwaves have mechanisms to protect against leaks, faulty appliances still emit harmful radiation. “I’ve tested over a dozen of the most popular brands” warns Magda, “and every single one that I’ve tested has leaked.”
So what causes microwave ovens to leak and emit radiation? When the oven door begins to separate from the oven enclosure slightly, leakage through the small space can occur from the microwave appliance. There are three common causes for this leakage problem.
• Mistreatment of the microwave through regular slamming of the door
• Food builds up through dirt or food particles caught in the door seals and hinges.
• Basic wear and tear from the age of the microwave.
The biggest challenge for staff and employers is – How do you ensure safe operation of your appliances when microwave radiation leakage is not visible to the naked eye?
Microwave Radiation Leakage Tests
Take advantage of our Comply Guy microwave leakage test and tag service; we can conduct safety checks for each microwave on your premises to ensure safe operation for you, your staff and customers.
Here’s what we can do.
- Our technicians will visit your worksite, provide a Microwave Oven Radiation and Safety inspection beginning with an assessment of your microwave(s) for any visible and apparent physical damage and then use an extremely sensitive radiation detector to ensure any emissions are not excessive. If it’s not safe, we alert you to the issues and suggest next
- If it’s not safe, we alert you to the issues and suggest next steps for resolving the problem.
Is your worksite or workplace a commercial kitchen or hospitality venue? Because appliance efficiency may vary, microwave testing is of particular importance in the food retail industry. If a microwave operates inefficiently, food may not be (re) heated to the appropriate temperature, which may in turn impact on the quality of the product and potentially the health of the consumer. And, microwaves penetrate walls, so should there be leakage, other employees sitting in an office backing onto the kitchen’s microwave wall may be exposed to even greater levels of radiation than the user who is only near the microwave while warming their own food.
Don’t forget – in your commercial kitchen much of your equipment needs testing on either 6 or 12 monthly intervals. Equipment to also consider for testing can include fridge, freezer, blast chiller, frying pan, oven, deep fryer scales, mincer, mixers, meat slicer, slicer, electric knife, sandwich press, blender, coffee machine, microwave, and toaster.
Learn more about how Comply Guy can help you with microwave radiation leakage tests and portable testing and tagging for your industrial, commercial or worksite kitchens. Stay safe, stay compliant – call us today for obligation free advice and guidance.