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Question 1080

How do microwave ovens affect people fitted with pacemakers? — W
If a microwave oven doesn't leak microwaves, then it won't affect such people at all. However, if microwaves do leak from a particular microwave oven, they will cause undesirable currents to flow in the electric leads of the pacemaker. That's because a microwave consists of electric and magnetic fields, and an electric field exerts forces on charged particles. The mobile charged particles in the pacemaker's electric wiring will experience these forces as the microwave encounters them and they will move back and forth with the microwave's fluctuating electric field. The pacemaker's wiring isn't meant to carry these unexpected current flows, and the pacemaker and/or the person attached to it may experience unpleasant effects. While such problems are very unlikely, it makes sense to warn pacemaker users whenever a microwave oven is in use.

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