Can you get cancer by sitting in front of a microwave?

No. There is no evidence that suggests sitting in front of a microwave can cause cancer. The domestic microwave works at the frequency of 2450MHz, which is potentially too low for inducing cancer in human beings.

People began associating cancer with radiation after the World Health Organisation (WHO) (2011) classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as a potential risk factor of cancer in human beings. The available limited studies have shown that prolonged exposure to ‘very high’ radiation from electronic devices may have detrimental effects on human beings. Further human trials are necessary to understand the link between cancer and exposure to radiation.

Operating an empty microwave or using a faulty microwave are not recommended. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration website does not suggest standing near a broken microwave as it can leak radiation. A microwave heats the food using microwave radiation. However, this radiation does not affect the food in any way except heating it and remains within the chamber. Moreover, there is no chance of radiation leak as radiation stops the moment the door of the microwave opens.

The World Health Organization (WHO) website has shown that microwave manufacturers do not recommend operating an empty microwave as the radiation can damage the electronic tube that releases the radiation within the chamber.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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