|Picture sourced from internet|
Surprisingly, there were only very few articles that discussed the impact of exposure to microwave ovens radiation on human health, apart from a couple of old journal articles from the 1970s. Even then, these used data gained from investigating ovens with faulty hinges, gaskets and safety locks – presumably (at least one can hope) problems that have long been addressed and rectified.
|Photo sourced from internet|
“A female patient, 36-years-old, complained of bilateral palatal pain on the anatomical area of upper second molars. The painful condition of palatal mucosa erosion was observed. Palatal erosions or ulcerations may be caused by heated food cooked in microwave ovens. We present a case of a bilateral palatal burn caused by cheese-pie. Concluding, any food containing cheese, when heated in microwave oven, may cause palatal burn if eaten immediately” (Kafas & Stravrianos 2008).
The bit that got me was this: “Any food containing cheese, when heated in microwave oven, may cause palatal burn if eaten immediately”… Ahh common sense??
It’s quite a cute little article though, if you’re inclined to have a read. Due to the cooking properties of microwave ovens, food containing soft/liquid material (e.g. cheese) has a higher internal temperature, relative to external. It appears that this a particular concern in cheese pies rather than, say pizzas, because the melty cheesey material is located in the centre of the food item. When we bite into such things, the hot melted cheese flows across the mucosa of our mouths, creating that ‘burning’ feeling I suppose. Fascinating, eh?
“Microwave-heated food may cause serious injury if it is not allowed to cool before consumption” (Offer, Nanan & Marshall 1995).
In the end, I love the microwave. It’s possible to make oatmeal, cakes, bake chicken, etc so until there’s some conclusive evidence, I’m going to continue to use one. That doesn’t mean I stand in front of it and gaze and sniff at the contents while it’s in operation… unlike somebody in our house:
Kafas, P & Stavrianos 2008, ‘Thermal burn of palate caused by microwave heated cheese-pie: A case report’, Cases Journal, vol. 1, no. 191, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2564904/?tool=pmcentrez>.
Merckel, C 1972, ‘Microwave and Man: The Direct and Indirect Hazards, and the Precautions’, California State Journal of Medicine, vol. 117, pp. 20-24, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1518465/pdf/califmed00115-0050.pdf>.
Offer, GJ, Nanan, D & Marshall, JN 1995, ‘Thermal injury to the upper aerodigestive tract after microwave heating of food’, Journal of Accident and Emergency Medicine, vol. 12, pp. 216-217, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1342487/pdf/jaccidem00008-0056.pdf>.