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  #1  
Old 11-20-2009, 03:27 PM
DaveBfd DaveBfd is offline
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Are microwaves dangerous?

I know they can affect food in some way, but not really what it does. Aside from the effects on food that it cooks, is it dangerous to stand near a running microwave?

I know a certain person who leaves the room when a microwave is running, but has no problem eating the food that comes out of it. It is my understanding that the energy inside the microwave cant escape because the waves are bigger than the holes b/w the metal in the door.

So, whats the deal here?
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2009, 03:30 PM
beowulff beowulff is offline
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The way they affect food is to do something called "heating" to it.

Microwaves can cause burns and possible eye damage if you are exposed to very high intensities. A microwave oven with a working gasket is leaking miniscule (and safe) amounts.
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2009, 03:43 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBfd View Post
b/w
Just curious: what were you abbreviating there? I ask because I can't make heads or tails of it. I've only ever seen "b/w" used in describing recordings (Prince, "Let's Go Crazy" b/w "Erotic City").

Last edited by KneadToKnow; 11-20-2009 at 03:43 PM..
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:44 PM
DaveBfd DaveBfd is offline
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B/W is between in my notes, sorry .

Last edited by DaveBfd; 11-20-2009 at 03:45 PM..
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2009, 03:49 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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Diathermy
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Microwave diathermy is assigned 915MH Z and 2450MH Z as operating frequencies (these are also Microwave oven frequencies).

Microwave diathermy produces heat in the body tissues through application of microwave energy to the concerned area. The microwave energy stimulates tissue molecules, as r.f. diathermy does, converting electrical energy to heat. Microwave energy is beamed from a director or applicator to the treatment area with intensity of heating controlled by the average power output of the microwave source and the spacing of the applicator from the concerned area. Microwave diathermy applicator size and shape is normally determined by the desired directivity and amount of tissue area to be treated.
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  #6  
Old 11-20-2009, 03:57 PM
Kinthalis Kinthalis is online now
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Microwaves use EM radiation (specifically microwaves - which are of lower frequency of what we term "light" and fall into what we term the radio side of the spectrum) to heat food through a process called dielectring heating (polar water molecules in an oscillating electrical field shift around to align themselves. This shifting causes friction and friction causes heat).

So the EM waves oscillates, water molecules move around and heat up.

So you tell me, by what mechanism could this hurt us?

There really is no danger from Microwaves as long as you don't stick your head in one and remove the fail safe somehow. Thermal burns will damage your eyes and skin, and enough exposure will cook you as easily as a turkey, of course.

Also, it is not really the size of the waves that prevent them from going past the faraday cage like mesh on the window. Light waves aren't physical squiggly lines in the air. They are electrical fields. Their inability to escape is a function of dissipating fields. (Someone else might be able to explain this better ).
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2009, 04:01 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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It's not an ionizing radiation. Standing next to the oven will not mess up your sperm.
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  #8  
Old 11-20-2009, 04:10 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Originally Posted by DaveBfd View Post
B/W is between in my notes, sorry .
Ah! Makes perfect sense now! Thanks!
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  #9  
Old 11-20-2009, 04:17 PM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBfd View Post
I know a certain person who leaves the room when a microwave is running, but has no problem eating the food that comes out of it.
He's almost certainly being paranoid; but in one sense he's acting correctly. If the microwave was damaged or defective and leaking lots of microwaves, as said it would burn him just like it heats food. It almost certainly is doing nothing of the kind, so he's taking precautions against a threat that isn't there.

But even if that was so; the food is just as safe as anything cooked on a stove. It's just hot food. Microwaves are potentially dangerous the way a red hot heating element is potentially dangerous; it can burn you. But it doesn't contaminate anything.
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  #10  
Old 11-20-2009, 04:25 PM
ftg ftg is offline
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Cecil addresses some microwave safety issues starting with pacemakers and moving on from there.

If you don't damage, modify and take the cover off a microwave, you're safe.
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  #11  
Old 11-20-2009, 05:04 PM
DaveBfd DaveBfd is offline
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This is exactly what i was expecting to hear, thanks. Now all I just need to do is convince them how silly it is somehow.

Last edited by DaveBfd; 11-20-2009 at 05:04 PM..
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2009, 06:51 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Originally Posted by DaveBfd View Post
This is exactly what i was expecting to hear, thanks. Now all I just need to do is convince them how silly it is somehow.
Why bother?
With people who believe stuff this silly, I'd just as soon have them outside the room, rather than sitting at my table.
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  #13  
Old 11-20-2009, 07:02 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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I recall when microwaves first came out. People I knew swore they got a headache by standing near it while it was operating. Sounded plausible to me at the time; after all, this was something straight out of science fiction! We take them for granted these days. In fact, we got ours free just for buying our washing machine.

I also recall being in a convenience store once in the mid-1970s when some guy came in and asked the clerk if he could heat up his sack of food he'd just bought from Wienerschitzel (are those still around?). After a couple of minutes, a loud shriek filled the store, from that customer. His food was on fire! Seemed Wienerschnitzl wrapped their stuff in a thin piece of foil.
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2009, 07:49 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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And since the method by which microwaves would do damage to humans is by heating, you can easily be certain that your microwave isn't damaging you: If it were, you'd feel the heat. This also applies to cell phones, incidentally: If you don't feel your cell phone heating up your head, then it's not harming you.
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  #15  
Old 11-20-2009, 08:37 PM
DaveBfd DaveBfd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-bonham@scc.net View Post
Why bother?
With people who believe stuff this silly, I'd just as soon have them outside the room, rather than sitting at my table.
Its hard when they are a family member. Not to mention an adult. Heres a laugh for you:

There is also a fear of beef in my house. We havent had beef in about 5 years (unless I buy it and bring it in for myself).

We didnt have milk around because it was thought to be dangerous, so our milk was switched to soy milk.

And then it was found out soy was dangerous too! So now we're back to regular milk. No soy sauce either.

Cell phones? Dont even go there.
Monitors? Dont even go there.
microwaves? Stay away!

Said family member takes about 15 pills a day and tries to get me to take them too. Just thought Id share the little story of my life . I wish I could remember some of the more funny ones, Im fogetting about 10 things. I think the majority of this comes from the radio show "coast to coast." Its kind of an all night conspiracy theory get together which sadly gets listened to nearly religiously and without any critical thinking apparently..
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  #16  
Old 11-20-2009, 09:08 PM
DaveBfd DaveBfd is offline
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Quick update. Literally one minute ago I was just informed that "cell phones, microwaves and now ROUTERS" are all dangerous and they are getting rid of them in Europe. lol.
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  #17  
Old 11-20-2009, 09:44 PM
Sofis Sofis is online now
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Originally Posted by DaveBfd View Post
Quick update. Literally one minute ago I was just informed that "cell phones, microwaves and now ROUTERS" are all dangerous and they are getting rid of them in Europe. lol.
It's true, the police just broke down my door and took my phone and my microwave.

And my wallet.

At least, I think it was the police.
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  #18  
Old 11-20-2009, 10:14 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBfd View Post
Quick update. Literally one minute ago I was just informed that "cell phones, microwaves and now ROUTERS" are all dangerous and they are getting rid of them in Europe. lol.
Don't forget that little black box above the door at the grocery store. For heaven's sake, it beams MICROWAVES straight down into YOUR BRAIN!!!!! What, did you think it was magic? It uses MICROWAVES!!! And we all know those are just evil.

Your "certain person" needs one of these: http://zapatopi.net/afdb/
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  #19  
Old 11-21-2009, 12:06 AM
Blake Blake is offline
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Originally Posted by Kinthalis View Post
So you tell me, by what mechanism could this hurt us?
Well we know that radio frequency radiation can cause DNA damage. And we know that exposure to low frequency radiation has been linked to cancer via cell phones.

So it's not like it's completely implausible for microwave radiation could be carcinogenic. There's just a total absence of evidence, despite a lot of time spent looking.
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  #20  
Old 11-21-2009, 05:21 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
Don't forget that little black box above the door at the grocery store. For heaven's sake, it beams MICROWAVES straight down into YOUR BRAIN!!!!! What, did you think it was magic? It uses MICROWAVES!!!
The door opening things? Interesting; I always assumed it was ultrasound for some reason. Sonar rather than radar.
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  #21  
Old 11-21-2009, 06:32 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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The person you describe is doing what I saw often at work or other places when microwaves had just reached prices where they were affordable. Many people just starting to use them thought that microwave ovens when running were giving off radiation like a nuclear pile in a reactor. They couldn't believe that it wouldn't irradiate them trough a door that wasn't lead lined. I dealt with people buying these and returning them. There were a large number of people that expressed concerns about radiation not being stopped by the doors. I'd explain they were radio waves, and not to worry. The store manager eventually purchased a device that would light up if microwaves were present. It could be put in the microwave and it lit up. You could put it anywhere outside the microwave and it didn't light up, because the radiation didn't get through to power it. It calmed down many people that didn't understand that microwaves were not the same radiation as a nuclear reactor gave off. You will note the term nuke it is used to refer to cooking in a microwave. It's a confusing term used by the general public.

Last edited by Harmonious Discord; 11-21-2009 at 06:34 AM..
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  #22  
Old 11-21-2009, 06:33 AM
Richard Pearse Richard Pearse is offline
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My microwave oven prevents my laptop from transmitting itunes music to my airport wireless receiver for the stereo.
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  #23  
Old 11-21-2009, 06:56 AM
Patty O'Furniture Patty O'Furniture is offline
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First it's the routers. It's only a matter of time before they come for our band saws and lathes.
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  #24  
Old 11-21-2009, 07:26 AM
Kinthalis Kinthalis is online now
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Originally Posted by Blake View Post
Well we know that radio frequency radiation can cause DNA damage. And we know that exposure to low frequency radiation has been linked to cancer via cell phones.
Can you provide a cite for this. I'm certain that radio waves HAVE NOT been linked to DNA damage.
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  #25  
Old 11-21-2009, 07:37 AM
Blake Blake is offline
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Originally Posted by Kinthalis View Post
Can you provide a cite for this. I'm certain that radio waves HAVE NOT been linked to DNA damage.
Here's the first Google hit. There are plenty more. This isn't particularly new. I remember it being mentioned casually in New Scientist at least 10 years ago, so it was well confirmed even then.

How relevant this sort of thing is to the real world is debatable, but there is evidence that radio frequency radiation can cause DNA damage.
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  #26  
Old 11-21-2009, 02:33 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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DNA damage is far from proven.

Unfortunately, finding unbiased info about this subject on the internet is a lot like looking for a needle in a field full of haystacks.

(WARNING - long post, and it repeats a lot of stuff I've said in previous posts on this subject)

This whole thing got started back in the late 60s and early 70s. Some insurance guy noticed that people who live next to power lines don't live as long as people who don't. Insurance guys get paid big bucks to figure stuff like this out, since it affects the rates they charge and helps them predict how much they are going to have to pay out in the long term.

For a long time, nobody but the insurance guys really paid a lot of attention to it, but then there was a fairly famous (or perhaps infamous) study that found a link between power lines and childhood leukemia. That study was later discredited, but it didn't matter. The genie was out of the bottle. There were folks who now believed that power lines were evil and were killing us all.

Things got really nuts in the 80s. Personally I blame lawyers for a lot of the hysteria. The folks who said power lines are the evil spawn of satan started making all kinds of noise, and folks like the people who run schools, fearing lawsuits, wanted a little guidance from experts as to what was safe and what wasn't. The problem was that nobody had really done a lot of research in this area, so all the experts could do was shrug their shoulders and say "uh, we think it's safe", which of course was nowhere near good enough for the lawyers. So, this entire industry sprung up almost over night. You had "experts" who walked around with field strength meters, proclaiming what areas were safe and what areas weren't, based almost exclusively on numbers that they pulled out of their backsides. Now if Worried Mom sued the school, the school could say hey, our numbers are safe according to experts. Lawsuit dismissed.

At the beginning of all of this, cell phones were these big clunky things that were very similar in size, shape, and weight to a brick. They were also so ungodly expensive that only rich people (or detectives on Miami Vice) could afford to have them. As this went on though, cell phones started to get smaller and more affordable. As cell phones became popular, it didn't take long for people to make the obvious connection that if fields from power lines could be dangerous then the fields emitted by cell phones must be dangerous too. This was the start of the Cell Phones Are Evil movement.

Also around this time, money starts pouring into research. After all, this is a major health issue and the public is demanding answers. Research takes a while, though.

So, we fast forward a couple of decades to the present. Now, a LOT of research has been done on the topic. To date, as far as I am aware, no one has yet been able to prove a conclusive link between either power lines or microwaves and anything bad (typically cancer is the link they are trying to prove). Sure, plenty of studies have found some sort of link. At first you might think well, these studies are probably biased. Oh gee, the study funded by the Coalition for the Banning Of All Cell Phones found a link between microwaves and cancer. Gee what a surprise. But, actually, it's usually not like that. Sure, there may be a few biased studies and there may be a few unscrupulous researchers who intentionally fudge the data so that they'll get a result that insures them more grant money in the future, but overall most of the research has been honest, legitimate, and unbiased. And these unbiased studies do occasionally find something. However, none of these studies has yet held up to follow-up studies, at least not that I'm aware of.

That's the way science works. You do a bunch of studies. If you think you find something, you do follow-up studies to see if you really did find something or if you just encountered some sort of statistical anomaly. Lets say you flip ten coins. It is possible to flip all ten heads. Your "study" would therefore indicate that flipped coins always land on heads. This would surprise quite a few people since they expect it to be 50/50. Then you do follow-up studies (more coin flips) and find out that coins don't always land on their heads. So it is therefore not all that surprising that some of these studies do find links between power lines or microwaves and cancer or some sort of cell damage.

The problem is that the study that finds something bad is front page news. CELL PHONES KILL!!!! makes for a great headline. The follow-up study that doesn't find anything isn't exactly front page news. In fact, it may not even make the paper at all. This makes a lot of folks think that links between cell phones and something bad is a lot more proven than it really is.

I've had an interest in this subject since the early 80s (one of my college professors was one of the early researchers involved in it) and even though I've been following this for more than 25 years it is still a difficult subject to wade through. Both sides can pull up well documented cites to prove their opinion, and if you wade through Blake's links I'm sure you'll find numerous cites from properly done scientific studies. This isn't an easy subject to follow.

Here's our current understanding of it all. Electromagnetic radiation is a broad range of stuff, ranging from long waves at the low end (useful for submarines to communicate through polar ice but little else) up through radio waves, microwaves, infra-red light, visible light, ultraviolet, x-rays, gamma rays, and cosmic rays on the high end. Part way through the ultraviolet part of the spectrum, electromagnetic radiation becomes "ionizing" which means that it can strip the electrons off of atoms and create ions. This is well known to cause cell damage, cancer, and damage to DNA.

Microwaves are well below ultraviolet, and are therefore no more dangerous than visible light. In fact, you'd expect visible light to be more dangerous because it is higher in frequency. Nobody ever panics because someone shines a flashlight on them, though.

Now, if you get enough electromagnetic radiation of just about any frequency you can damage something. You wouldn't want to sit inside your microwave oven (assuming that you could fit) because it will cook you to death. You can cook things with visible light too, as any kid who has ever fried ants with a magnifying glass can tell you. You wouldn't want to stand in front of a Hollywood style spot light for very long either. So the fact that you can heat up and damage tissues with radio waves isn't exactly news. In fact, the power limits that cell phones can use are based on how much they can heat up your head. These limits are so low that you will heat yourself up more standing next to a living person than you will talking on a cell phone. Seriously, a flashlight will do you roughly the same amount of damage.

People have been trying desperately for 30 years to prove that there's more ways to cause damage to cells from microwaves than just heat, and so far they haven't succeeded. It is very difficult to prove a negative, but the absence of evidence so far is starting to look like evidence of absence.

The statistics don't bear out any sort of harmful effect either. Cell phones have gone from being extremely rare to where most folks now carry them, and people aren't dropping like flies from all of the new cancers and such that these things supposedly cause. Compare this to smoking, where scientists still can't fully explain the links, but statistics make it very clear that smoking is downright deadly to your health.

Also, not only has no one been able to conclusively prove a link, they've also not been able to suggest a plausible mechanism by which such a link might work. Ionizing radiation is pretty well understood. If the frequency is too low to be ionizing though, how then could it cause damage? No one has yet come up with a good answer to that question.

Last edited by engineer_comp_geek; 11-21-2009 at 02:35 PM.. Reason: leaving out the word "not" significantly changes a sentences meaning - oops
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  #27  
Old 11-21-2009, 09:01 PM
Kinthalis Kinthalis is online now
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That was my understanding of it, which is why I asked Blake for a cite.
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  #28  
Old 11-21-2009, 10:58 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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That's my understanding as well. But there is no disputing what I claimed: radio frequency radiation can cause DNA damage and exposure to low frequency radiation has been linked to cancer via cell phones.

Everything posted so far has simply said the same thing using many more words.
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  #29  
Old 11-22-2009, 01:11 AM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake View Post
But there is no disputing what I claimed
Actually, there is plenty of dispute.

For example:

In the late 90s, two researchers named Lai and Singh found a link between microwaves and DNA damage. However, a follow-up study by Washington University failed to find the same link.

Another recent study by the Rudiger group also claimed to find a link. Other scientists studying their research now claim that not only did they not confirm the link, but they also believe the original published data to be fraudulent.

The largest study ever on the subject of cancer and cell phones was just completed a couple of years ago. They tracked over 400,000 people who used cell phones over a period of ten years and found no evidence at all of increased cancer rates.

And so it goes, on and on and on.

No dispute? Heh. That's silly. This is one of the most disputed subjects in modern history.
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  #30  
Old 11-22-2009, 02:05 AM
Blake Blake is offline
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So let's get this straight. Your position is that:

1) There is no evidence that radio frequency radiation can cause DNA damage

and

2) Exposure to low frequency radiation has been linked to cancer via cell phones.

If that is your position then it's trivially easy for me to prove how ignorant it is. Hell, I've already posted numerous references that prove the first is ignorant nonsense.


If that isn't you position then you aren't disputing what I said.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:20 AM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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My position is that:

1. It has not been proven that microwaves at low power levels cause DNA damage.

2. It has not been proven that cell phones cause cancer.

If you have a cite that proves either of these, please post it. Note that this cite must (1) have been peer reviewed and (2) must not be contradicted by follow-up studies. I'm not aware of any study that meets these two criteria.

But maybe I'm just ignorant.

It would also be helpful if you proposed a mechanism by which either of the two above things could occur.
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  #32  
Old 11-22-2009, 03:25 AM
constanze constanze is offline
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Originally Posted by DaveBfd View Post
Quick update. Literally one minute ago I was just informed that "cell phones, microwaves and now ROUTERS" are all dangerous and they are getting rid of them in Europe. lol.
Not at all, though some people are lobbying to cut down on the amount of towers for mobiles. A recent article (in my TV guide) lamented on how the German standards of emission for mobile phones are higher than the US standards, and that the manufacturers don't keep to their previously promised low levels (big surprise there!), instead they also stopped advertising low-level emission models of mobiles (marked with the blue angel for being below US standards). Their reason? Putting a blue angel for low emission on one model only would intensify the public's worry about the high emission (and danger) of the other models.
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  #33  
Old 11-22-2009, 03:27 AM
Blake Blake is offline
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Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
My position is that:

1. It has not been proven that microwaves at low power levels cause DNA damage.

2. It has not been proven that cell phones cause cancer.
Neither of which I have ever even mentioned.

So you are not in any way disputing what I stated?

So why did you claim that you were?

Quote:
If you have a cite that proves either of these, please post it.
WTF? Why would I be likley to have such cites, given that I never even mentioned such ideas?

Look, simple question engineer_comp_geek:

ARE YOU DISPUTING WHAT I WROTE OR ARE YOU NOT?

Because you claimed that you were disputing it. And now you seem to be saying that you aren't disputing it.

This is important because ff you are no longer disputing it then I have cured your ignorance on this issue. But if you are disputing what I have written then I still have some way to go to cure your ignorance.

So can I please have a straight answer:

ARE YOU DISPUTING WHAT I WROTE OR ARE YOU NOT?


Because I say again: these are not statements that are open to dispute. They are facts so easily verified by such a wealth of information that it would take an act of willful ignorance to dispute them.
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  #34  
Old 11-22-2009, 03:37 AM
constanze constanze is offline
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Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
DNA damage is far from proven.
The problem with that is the time frame. Cancer takes 10 to 20 years to develop, so DNA damage that leads to cancer can't be proven or disproven when the mass distribution of cell phones and the powerful broadcast towers has now only been around for about 10 years.

Quote:
Things got really nuts in the 80s. Personally I blame lawyers for a lot of the hysteria. The folks who said power lines are the evil spawn of satan started making all kinds of noise, and folks like the people who run schools, fearing lawsuits, wanted a little guidance from experts as to what was safe and what wasn't. The problem was that nobody had really done a lot of research in this area, so all the experts could do was shrug their shoulders and say "uh, we think it's safe", which of course was nowhere near good enough for the lawyers. So, this entire industry sprung up almost over night. You had "experts" who walked around with field strength meters, proclaiming what areas were safe and what areas weren't, based almost exclusively on numbers that they pulled out of their backsides. Now if Worried Mom sued the school, the school could say hey, our numbers are safe according to experts. Lawsuit dismissed.
I think you are exaggerating the lawyers, and ignoring the reason why many people felt legitmatly worried that a new technology was introduced overnight, without tests as to potential effects having been done beforehand.

Because there are many precedents, esp. in US history, of consumers and the public being deliberatly or ignorantly lied to by scientists, the government and manufacturers organisations. The two well-known cases are
X-rays used casually in the 40s to the 50s for things like shoe stores (to fit shoes) because nobody knew or cared about the long-term effects of exposure to highly energy radiation
Use of radioactive materials for mundane things like glowing watches, leading to workers with tongue cancer (from licking the brushes to keep them moist) and other uses with also bad effects.

So it's not spooky conspiracy people who say "Hey, there's a new technology using high-powered energy beams - what are the long-term effects?" and not accepting the pat-on-the-head "It's alllll safe" from the industry making money selling microwaves / cell phones.
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  #35  
Old 11-22-2009, 04:49 AM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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Ah, the endless debate over 'UFOs': Look once and they're there, look again and they're gone, but no matter how many times you look the evidence in favor of them never gets better.

We've had cell phones for something like 25 years now. If we take constanze's timeframe for the development of cancer, just for the sake of argument, we should have some pretty good longitudinal studies in people like on-call physicians who were wealthy and needed to be contacted enough to have had cell phones ever since they were bricks.
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  #36  
Old 11-22-2009, 05:04 AM
Blake Blake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derleth View Post
We've had cell phones for something like 25 years now. If we take constanze's timeframe for the development of cancer, just for the sake of argument, we should have some pretty good longitudinal studies in people like on-call physicians who were wealthy and needed to be contacted enough to have had cell phones ever since they were bricks.
I'm not sure that's true.

Firstly, surgeons weren't particularly early adopters of cell phones based on my memories. Most doctors were still using pagers until quite recently. The reason for that was that the phones were bricks, not at all the type of thing a surgeon could carry while doing rounds or playing golf, and of course quite unnecessary when they were in an office. Based on my experience cell phones were more widely used by tradesmen and real estate agents in the early days, because these were people who needed to be in contact with public, had no other access to phones, were highly mobile out of necessity and for whom carrying a brick in a bag wasn't a major headache.

And the second point is that early phones were mostly bag phones and car phones, with the receiver located several feet from the hand piece when in operation. This design would minimise exposure to any radiaton. Again based on memory, hand phones only became widely sold in the mid-90s.

So we only really have 15 years worth of data, not 25. And it's hard to think of an group to follow for any good longitudinal studies.

Having said that, you'd the near total lack of evidence would be, um problematic, for the believers.
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  #37  
Old 11-22-2009, 11:58 AM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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Here's the thing: We can't conclusively prove that there is no risk whatsoever to using cell phones: There's always the possibility that they raise cancer rates by one part in a billion, or some such, that would never show up in studies. But what we can do is put upper bounds on the risk that they pose, and say that at maximum X number of people die, or that X years of life are lost. And we can also calculate numbers of lives that are saved by cell phones (for instance, someone has a medical emergency, and because that person has a cell phone, they're able to call an ambulance in time). The net result is that cell phones save far more lives than they cost, so fear of cell phones is completely irrational.
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  #38  
Old 11-22-2009, 05:44 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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Originally Posted by 1920s Style "Death Ray" View Post
My microwave oven prevents my laptop from transmitting itunes music to my airport wireless receiver for the stereo.
I consider any testimony on this subject from someone with the user name 1920s Style "Death Ray" to be expert testimony.
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  #39  
Old 11-22-2009, 10:49 PM
Richard Pearse Richard Pearse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailboat View Post
I consider any testimony on this subject from someone with the user name 1920s Style "Death Ray" to be expert testimony.
Ha! I have no idea why it happens but when we are streaming audio via our wireless network the audio reliably cuts out when the microwave is operating.
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  #40  
Old 11-22-2009, 11:12 PM
md2000 md2000 is online now
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Originally Posted by 1920s Style "Death Ray" View Post
Ha! I have no idea why it happens but when we are streaming audio via our wireless network the audio reliably cuts out when the microwave is operating.
One study I recall suggested that any dirt on the door seal area of a microwave could cause significant leakage. Not enough to be lethal or do damage, but enough to interfere with other stuff. wipe down your microwave door. You can buy (or borrow) a tester.

The microwave uses (according to Google) 2.45Ghs which is in the middle of the wifi frequencies. This is the resonant frequency IIRC of the hydrogen-oxygen bond in water, so it has the effect of boiling things by heating the water molecules. Things that are fairly dry do not heat well. (or have just fat, not water). The waves don't penetrate too far into the payload, so heating deeper than a half inch or inch or so requires good old conduction. The shorter the waves, the shallower the penetration.

In foild or other conductors, the intense radio waves induce currents called "eddy currents". With good conductors (metal) the lack or resistsance means higher currents and higher temperatures, up to and including Farenheit 451. One warning was that often those brown "kraft-paper towels" are made of recycled paper which may include flecks of aluminum foil - and they could burst into flame. You can buy a bacon-crisping tray for your microwave, which is basically just a thicker sheet of aluminum.

One story to do with longer-wave radar that I heard - sailors used to stand in front of the radar dish before shore leave years ago (those were the days). This guaranteed no pesky paternity suits from shore leave. Unfortunately, experience showed repeated exposure made the effect permanent...

In just the opposite, there have also been studies that show that radiation induces quicker healing of cuts and wounds.... possibly from electric currents, or maybe from the heating induced in the body.
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  #41  
Old 11-23-2009, 05:58 AM
naita naita is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
The microwave uses (according to Google) 2.45Ghs which is in the middle of the wifi frequencies. This is the resonant frequency IIRC of the hydrogen-oxygen bond in water, so it has the effect of boiling things by heating the water molecules. Things that are fairly dry do not heat well. (or have just fat, not water). The waves don't penetrate too far into the payload, so heating deeper than a half inch or inch or so requires good old conduction. The shorter the waves, the shallower the penetration.
About resonant frequencies:
Quote:
It's a common misconception that the microwaves in a microwave oven excite a natural resonance in water.
How everything works.
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  #42  
Old 11-24-2009, 03:35 AM
tim314 tim314 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake View Post
ARE YOU DISPUTING WHAT I WROTE OR ARE YOU NOT?

Because you claimed that you were disputing it. And now you seem to be saying that you aren't disputing it.

This is important because ff you are no longer disputing it then I have cured your ignorance on this issue. But if you are disputing what I have written then I still have some way to go to cure your ignorance.

So can I please have a straight answer:

ARE YOU DISPUTING WHAT I WROTE OR ARE YOU NOT?


Because I say again: these are not statements that are open to dispute. They are facts so easily verified by such a wealth of information that it would take an act of willful ignorance to dispute them.
Your rather rude shouting and accusations of "willful ignorance" aside, I don't think it's actually true that "We know RF radiation can cause DNA damage", as you claimed. If you look carefully at the list of articles you linked to, some of them claim evidence of DNA damage and others claim not to find such evidence under similar conditions.
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  #43  
Old 11-24-2009, 04:40 AM
beo.thuck beo.thuck is offline
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yes they are

yea, just yea.
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  #44  
Old 11-24-2009, 05:13 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
The microwave uses (according to Google) 2.45Ghs which is in the middle of the wifi frequencies.
So let's hope that the person mentioned in the OP wears their full-body Bacofoil suit any time they go any place with WiFi.

The microwave/wireless internet problem, is, of course, well documented and expoited.
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  #45  
Old 11-24-2009, 08:49 AM
Random Design Random Design is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
They tracked over 400,000 people who used cell phones over a period of ten years
As Blake has pointed out, ten years or even 20 or 30 is hardly a significant amount of time to study affects like those possible from radiation. In a few centuries, if the research still suggested there was no link between EM radiation and cancer, then it would be safe(r) to say there really was no link. At this point, as with so many fields of research regarding cause/effect in humans, it's too early to say anything with any degree of certainty.
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  #46  
Old 11-26-2009, 11:17 PM
beo.thuck beo.thuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beo.thuck View Post
yea, just yea.
I have a new habit, its actually reading what other posters wrote before responding to the Original Poster (OP). So I'm editing my suspicion.

Whoever has evidence of damage prove it my linking to a consensus of scientific peers or stop being so sure.

I mean they may be dangerous, cell phones and power lines, but show me the proof as accepted by smart logical people or stop being so sure.

I'm going to wipe down my microwave seal in the meanwhile..
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