EMF Health-effects Research

Eye heating caused by microwave ovens

Leitgeb N, Tropper K,

Biomed Tech (Berl) 38(1-2):17-20, 1993

[Article in German].

To clarify the question as to whether microwave ovens represent a risk for the eyes, a worst-case situation was investigated in which it was assumed that a child observes the internal heating process with its eyes as close to the door of a microwave oven as it is possible to get.

As expected, heating of the eyes was observed, which, however, was caused mainly by the conventional heating process rather than by microwave radiation.

Significant microwave heating was observed only when increased scattered radiation was simulated by inactivating the safety contacts and opening the door of the microwave oven. When the door is opened to a clearly visible gap width (2.3 cm), the contribution of the microwave component to the overall temperature increase of 5 degrees C after one hour of continuous exposure did not exceed 16%.

Even at the maximum possible door gap width which just did not cause the oven to switch off automatically (2.6 cm), 15 minutes of continuous exposure contributed only 50% to the 2 degrees C temperature increase.

On the basis of these results, damage to the eye through the use of microwave ovens can be excluded.

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