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Can microwave wavelengths be harmful to people?
Question Date: 2005-02-28
Answer 1:

Microwave radiation can indeed be dangerous to humans, but you are unlikely to encounter microwaves powerful enough to harm anyone in most places.
Microwave radiation isn't fundamentally different from any other types of non-ionizing radiation. Forms of ionizing radiation, like gamma rays, have very high energies that can actually rip electrons off of atoms. Ionizing radiation can very negatively affect living things by destroying parts of cells and DNA. Microwaves don't have this much energy.
Actually,microwaves, light, and radio are all forms of non-ionizing radiation.

The danger from any form of non-ionizing radiation comes from very high intensities. Just like you should never look into a laser (a high intensity form of light,) you wouldn't want to expose yourself to high levels of microwave radiation. Your microwave oven is safe because it blocks microwaves from exiting. What is it about microwave ovens that keeps the microwaves in?

A new concern that a lot of people have is over the radiation their cellphones give off. Most studies seem to show that it isn't harmful, but it's very hard to study this kind of thing because there are so many variables,so scientists are still looking into the effects of this kind of microwave exposure.

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