The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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January 15, 2013

Things to remember when using the microwave

Sure it's been around for decades, but there still a few rules to follow

It’s certainly safe to say that most people didn’t expect the microwave to become the everyday kitchen appliance that it is today.

And just like many other everyday household products that we use, a lot of consumers don’t really think about how they differ from each other, in terms of functionality and overall safety, which is why certain government agencies spend a great deal of time regulating certain products, to set standards of performance and to ensure safety for the general public.  

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tells consumers not to just randomly select a microwave when shopping for one, and each person should really understand how microwaves work, how to properly use them, and how to give them the proper maintenance.

Emerson Microwave  Jan. 15, 2013, 7:31 p.m.
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It’s safe to assume that a lot of people associate microwave ovens with radiation waves and are also aware that these waves are what heat up foods.

Once these waves reach the water or fat content in the food, these contents vibrate, which in turn heats or cooks whatever is inside the microwave.

The FDA says the good thing about microwaves, is there have been very few cases surrounding people becoming injured by radiation, aside from just a few instances. In these rare cases the microwaves weren't serviced correctly or people had somehow managed to get body parts where they didn't belong.

Dangerous to kids

The government regulators also point out that most microwave injuries are related to people becoming burned by containers or other hot receptacles placed inside, and many people heat items for too long, especially liquids that can explode and cause scalding.

And since some small children can reach a low-placed microwave and open its door, they could potentially expose themselves to those hot liquids or overly heated foods and suffer a serious injury.

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