Microwaves And Human Health Biology Essay

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Microwaves are one of the seven basic forms of electromagnetic energy waves and occupy part of the electromagnetic spectrum of energy or power. Microwaves are very short waves that travel at the speed of light (3x108 m.s-1) and can be used to relay telephone, television, computer and satellite information across the world and into outer space and even detect speeding cars.

Microwaves, in their purest form, are able to penetrate through both natural and man-made materials. Natural materials include skin, body tissue, and organs, while man-made materials include glass, paper and plastic.

Even though microwaves are found in many forms, the one under investigation will be the use of microwaves in ovens, namely, the microwave oven.

Microwaves ovens are a very efficient and convenient kitchen tool which has come in very handy in this day and age since most women are working mothers who need all the help they can get due to time restraints and pressure. What most people do not know, however, is that their health is being compromised severely, all for the sake of convenience.

All microwave ovens contains a magnetron which is a tube in which electrons are affected by magnetic and electric fields, producing micro wavelength radiation of approximately 2450 Mega Hertz (MHz) or 2.45 Giga Hertz (GHz). This radiation interacts with food molecules causing various changes such as altering the polarity with every cycle, meaning that the polarity changes a few million times per second. In most ovens, the power input is approximately 1000 watts of alternating current. The microwaves generated from the magnetron bombard the food, causing the polar molecules to rotate at the same frequency a few million times per second. The agitation causes molecular friction, hating the food. The friction also causes damage to other molecules in the vicinity, tearing them apart or forcefully deforming them. The deformation is scientifically known as "structural isomerism". Microwaves from the sun are based on direct current that doesn't create frictional heat while microwave ovens use alternating current which creates frictional heat. A microwave oven produces a concentrated wavelength of energy while energy from the sun covers a wide frequency spectrum radiation, making microwave radiation more dangerous because it is being channelled directly onto one object while sun rays are spread out. Microwaving also creates radiolytic compounds, which are unknown compounds not found in nature. Radiolytic compounds are created by molecular decomposition, a direct result of radiation. These compounds stimulate extreme immune responses due to not being recognised as part of our natural make-up. Amongst people who already have allergies, this could be fatal.

Radiation can enter the human body in two ways, through the penetration of the waves into the body or through the ingestion of micro waved foods. Microwaves cause degenerative properties in foods, turning vitamins, minerals and other essential proteins into compounds that cannot be broken down by the body or into substances that react to form toxins. This in essence, means that we end up ingesting food that is either non-beneficial or harmful to the human body. Tests have also shown the loss of 60-90% of the vital energy field index in all the foods tested.


The same violent effects that microwaves have on food molecules also cause deformities and dysfunctions in our bodies, when directly exposed to microwaves. Since people ingest biochemically altered food, there is great concern regarding how the same decayed molecules will affect our biological cell structure and biochemical balance.

Microwaves are able to weaken cell membranes through penetration and heating. The weakening of cell membranes by microwaves is commercially used in the field of gene altering technology. Due to the forced that is involved in the process, the cells are actually broken. The damaged cells then become easy prey for attack from viruses, fungi and other pathogens. The natural repair mechanisms are suppressed and cells then have to switch to an emergency coping mechanism which involves switching from aerobic to anaerobic respiration. Instead of water and carbon dioxide being released by the cells, hydrogen peroxide and carbon monoxide, which are poisonous to cells, are produced, causing a domino effect with relation to cell damage.

Other negative effects on the body include:

Malfunctions in the lymphatic system which result in a decrease in the ability for the body to protect itself against abnormal growths, resulting in very swollen body parts which are non-cancerous growths but still very harmful as the swelling could clog up many vessels. This is also linked to the loss of functioning in parts such as the liver, kidneys and intestines as the body has more baggage to deal with.

The production of hormones in both males and females either shuts down, functions abnormally or produces either too many or too little hormones at the wrong times.

Microwaves seem to have such serious side effects that there are now recognisable side effects associated with what is now known as "Microwave Sickness". These are symptoms such as:

Very low blood pressure that eventually turns to dangerously high blood pressure over short periods of time.

Migraines, where headaches and eye-ache usually go together.

Restlessness at night where a person fails to sleep due to anxiety, stomach cramps or irritability.

The loss of hair on both the head and pubic parts.

Reproductive problems could also come about as a result of radiation since the testes are particularly sensitive due to the thin outer skin and the seminal fluids which could heat up, causing the death of sperm of the malfunctioning of production glands. This is also a common source of prostate cancer. In females, growths could occur on the cervical region, causing sterility or infertility.

Eyesight could be impaired as microwaves harm the lens of the eye.

The most disturbing health effect that I discovered is the effect of microwaves on the brain. These can go range from concentration problems to behavioural changes (these were more apparent in animals but also have great potential amongst humans).

Radiation has shown to cause considerable brainwave disturbance in the alpha, theta, and delta wave signal patterns of people exposed to fields of microwave emission. The consistent ingestion of food prepared in microwave ovens leads to long term or permanent brain damage through "shorting out" electrical impulses in the brain, whereby, the impulses are either disturbed or do not reach the neurons that are supposed to pick signals up.

Due to the brainwave disturbance, negative psychological effects surfaced. These include minor to severe memory loss, disturbance in concentration abilities, suppressed emotive awareness, degeneration of intelligence, and interrupted sleep patterns.

Interesting fact: People using pacemakers are warned to stay far from microwaves as the waves interfere with the pacemaker's ability to keep a consistent pulse since pacemakers are electronic devices that use their own waves.


Microwaves are carcinogenic, meaning that they have the potential to cause cancer.

Microwave radiation has been tested and proven to cause the altering of the blood chemistry causing mutations in the body's metabolism, which in turn increases the chances of cancerous growths where there normally would not have been any due to radiation forcing increased rapid and uncontrolled cell division.

Brief description of cancer: "Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems." (as defined by the National Cancer Institute)

Carcinoma - cancer of the skin or tissues that lining internal organs.

Sarcoma - cancer found in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.

Leukaemia - cancer that starts in blood, causing white blood cell production to spiral out of control, causing white blood cells to attack any cells they come into contact with, which includes red blood cells.

Lymphoma and myeloma - cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system.

Central nervous system cancers - cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.

The relevance of the summary of cancers above is to emphasise how deep into the human body microwaves can penetrate, causing various forms of cancers in numerous possible places. The most basic description of a cancer is it being a rapidly dividing cluster of cells with an uncontrolled rate of mitotic division, leading to large masses of tissue which is in most cases, dangerous.

Microwaves are one of the leading causes of cancer, which is why a myth such as "pregnant women should not be near microwaves" deserves special attention because although it does not seem very serious, there is a lot of truth and scientific backing for it.

In the earliest stages of pregnancy, before the foetus is a foetus and before it is an embryo it is just a dividing ball of cells, making this time extremely risky because the slightest complication in the cell patterns could lead to the death of the baby, either by the mother's body destroying it, it growing into a ball of cells so complex and uncontrolled that it destroys its own vital cells in the bid to rapidly multiply some cells or by an abortion induced by doctors due to the embryos slim chance at survival, definite deformities (which could be lethal) and possible risk to the mother's life. As the stages progress and the foetus grows, chances of deformities decrease but drastically increase into chances of the development of tumours, which are not that risky while the foetus is inside the womb but could be life-threatening when the baby is born and the tumour is either too heavy for the body or leaks into other areas.

Interesting facts:

Microwave ovens were invented by Nazis.

The Soviet Union banned microwave ovens in 1976.

Microwaves have been used in military weaponry in the past, some microwave devices are said to have effects similar to teargas and are used to disperse protesting crowds.

Microwaves pass through glass, paper, plastic, and similar materials; and they are absorbed by foods, meaning that dishes do not melt because they do not even heat up, it is the heat of the food inside that causes containers to melt.