Help Me Fight Some Ignorance [air conditioning and microwaving]

There are two issues that I encounter often. They seem to be based on urban myths or a lack of understanding of science. They’re in the same category as a fear of flying but one, in particular, affects me personally.

The first is air conditioning and its affects on health. To me it uses a mechanism similar to that in a refrigerator, the cooling system is enclosed and the air that comes out is just cooler and drier. Apparently some websites claim it is bad for your health, I can only imagine drier and cooler air may make a cough worse. Maybe the outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in the past have helped spread this myth?

The second is microwaving food. To me this is something similar to radio or cell phone waves that vibrate water molecules in your food, in an enclosed and safe environment, and the heat from the vibrations causes the temperature of the food to rise. Once the food is out of the machine the heating will slow and stop and any microwaves dissipate and not cause illness. I am not a trained scientist.

When I’m living and working in a hot, humid environment I get very uncomfortable if the a/c isn’t on. It makes me feel physically ill and reduces my ability to work. If someone’s cold they can put another layer on but if you’re too hot you can’t turn up to work naked! My colleagues could sue for PTSD. I have a water mister in the fridge and wet towels in the freezer to apply if needs be, but how can I bust this misinformation about microwaves and a/c?

Edited title to indicate subject.

General Questions Moderator

Thanks! I tried to edit the title but was outside of the time limit.

microwaves stop being produced as soon as the oven turns off.

humans have a comfort zone, could depend on genetics and where you’re from, of temperature and humidity. individual variations like health will also affect this. indoor air should have a certain amount of air changes for good health. some people dislike air conditioned environments as long as the temperature is below 85F.

I don’t understand why people specifically dislike a/c, is it more harmful than air heated by a radiator? Surely a significant percentage of the globe works in air conditioned offices, and suffer no ill effects. The worry about a/c and m/waves seems bizarre to me, am I missing something?

On AC you are notmissing anything.

A persons responce to is is subjective. It depends. When I was younger I did not like air conditions enviorments. The lower hunity cool air set off my sinus. I could ignore heat or cold if it was between 45* to 95*. Now I prefere it around 72*.

The danger in air conditioning enviorment poor maintenance. If dirt is allow to build up, it cancause health issues. In an office building if the controls do not work properly the system may not be bring in any outside fresh air.

Opps sorry. wrong key

I can’t vouch for the cleanliness of the a/c units that have been a problem for my colleagues/friends. I worked in Saudi and shared a huge villa with another guy. He refused to have the a/c on even when it was in the 50c outside. He also only ate only vegetables (many tinned) and drank very little of our hooch. I was relegated to my bedroom as each room had an individual a/c unit. When I made him aware that our workplace was completely a/c everywhere he decided he’d prefer to work back in the UK. He’s a very, very bright guy but not in all subjects, it seems.

Now I’m in Korea where it’s cooler but there’s more humidity. A/c dries the air and cools it from 34c to around 25. Great, except my SO just said that she thinks the a/c is giving her a cough and making her feel ill. She and my previous colleague both refuse to use the microwave :smack:

I see absolutely no rational reason for either of them. Anyone have more info?

AC can dry out the air in a room. Drink extra water.

But there is really no reason to advoid an room with AC.

It’s unfortunate that microwave “radiation” and nuclear “radiation” use the same word.

What’s really unfortunate is that some people can’t (or won’t) learn about the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.

It’s the same ignorance that makes some people afraid of cellphone radiation and power lines.

Derleth thanks! I didn’t know about them at all.

So visible light is also radiation and closer to the nasty stuff than microwave radiation? Plus microwaves are almost as safe as tv and phone signals.


I have to wonder how much “health issue” carryover there is from swamp coolers to air conditioners. A swamp cooler (at least older ones) works by running water over “filters” that seem to be made of some natural material, and pulling outside air through those wet filters and blowing it into the building. And as I noticed at the old house I lived in before my current residence, if those filters don’t get changed for a long time they get mildewy. I can imagine some health issues related to particles of that mildew getting blown into the indoor air.

It’s not such a concern with a “modern” A/C, where the air gets filtered before it reaches the cooling coils. But I can easily imagine somebody who grew up with swamp coolers transferring their “concerns” about them to modern A/C, and passing misinformation to later generations. It’s not dissimilar to people who dismiss the current versions of computer operating systems based on bad experiences they had in 1998.