How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 609

I've heard from many people that you should not stand directly in front of and no closer than 30 feet while a microwave oven is on? Why? If this is a myth how did it get started?
This idea is just a myth. There should be virtually no microwaves leaking from the oven so it shouldn't matter where you stand. If you're concerned about microwaves, you can buy a microwave oven tester from a local appliance store or from (or for a more accurate and reliable measurement, take your microwave to a service shop for inspection with an FDA certified meter). I have no idea how such a myth got started, but it's clear that microwave ovens scare people because they don't understand them. Given how easy it is to burn yourself on a conventional oven, I'd guess that there are fewer health risks with microwave cooking than with conventional cooking.

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