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  • Are Microwaves Radioactive? Can Anti-Radiation Stickers Protect Us? A Physicist Answers

    We've been seeing these questions lately on social media.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
Are Microwaves Radioactive? Can Anti-Radiation Stickers Protect Us? A Physicist Answers
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/stockfoto
  • One mom from our Smart Parenting Village community wondered whether microwave ovens are radioactive.

    We immediately sought Renee Ellenor Angeles, a physicist with a Masters’s degree in Applied Physics. A post of hers had gone viral in Home Buddies, which we will get to later, but let us share her reply about microwave radiation first.

    Microwave ovens use non-ionizing radiation that has enough energy to cause excitation of food molecules which in turn produces heat. The (oven’s) case itself will contain the microwaves inside, so you don’t have to worry about it affecting you,” Angeles explains.

    When asked if the food will be radioactive after being heated in the microwave, she answers, “It won’t be. It will only be heated up.”

    In her post in the Facebook group, Renee explains that non-ionizing radiation does not affect human DNA.

    “Wala pong enough energy ito upang sirain ang mga DNA at therefore ang cells po natin,” she says.

    She adds that non-ionizing radiation, especially on the microwave spectrum, affects heat production, and it works the same way as concentrated levels produced by microwave ovens.

    “Lahat po ng under non-ionizing, safe po ito and nae-expose po kayo everyday sa ganito (at low levels).”

    However, she warns about ionizing radiation, “Once ionizing na po siya, kailangan na pong mag-ingat (lalo na at high energies). And this includes UV from our sun. Kaya po tayo may sunblock.”

    In the same post, she warned about buying anti-radiation stickers as they are only ‘marketing stunts.


    “If may nakita po kayong nagma-market ng’ anti radiation’ phone stickers, glasses, and screens, it is only a marketing stunt, since wala nga pong harmful radiation ang ating electronic gadgets.”

    Angeles also gives this fun fact, which hopefully will provide parents with some peace of mind for radiations coming from gadgets and appliances at home.

    “Lahat ng bagay po ay may radiation. You are exposed to radiation every day. May radiation from the ground, from outer space, from the air you breathe, even your food has radiation.”

    However, Angeles is quick to point out that this should not give us an excuse to soak ourselves — or our children — in gadgets for long periods.

    “The science that we have now dictates that there is no evidence that phones, gadgets, and cell sites causes cancer. BUT, as the principle of radiation protection says, exposure to radiation should be as low as reasonably achievable. Meaning, if you don’t have to be exposed, don’t.”

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