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Title Page    ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        i

Approval Page     ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ii

Certification         ..        ..        .         ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        iii

Dedication  ..        ..        .         ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        iv

Acknowledgement         ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        v

Abstract      ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        vi

Table of Contents ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        vii

List of Tables       ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ix

List of Figures      ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        x


1.1     Background of Study     ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        1

1.2     Statement of Problem    ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        3

1.3     Objectives of the Study ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        3

1.4     Significance of the Study         ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        4

1.5     Scope of Study     ..        ..        ..        .         …      ..        ..        4

1.6     Literature Review          ..        ..        .         ..        …      ..        ..        4


2.1     Origin         ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        15

2.2     Types of Microwave Oven      ..        .         ..        ..        ..        16

2.2.1  Standard Microwave Oven      ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        16

2.2.2  Grill Microwave Oven   ..        ..        ..        ..        …      ..        17

2.2.3  Conviction Microwave Oven   ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        17

2.3     Designs       ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        18

2.4     The Magnetron tube Subassembly    ..        ..        ..        ..        20

2.5     Control Switches Relay and Motors ..        ..        ..        ..        20

2.5.1  Front Panel ..        ..        .         ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        21

2.6     How do Microwave Ovens Work     ..        ..        ..        ..        21

2.7     Radiation    ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        22

2.7.1  Types of Radiation        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        23 Non-Ionizing Radiation         ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        24

2.8     Hazard associated with direct exposure to microwave  ..        25

2.8.1  Frequency Versus Depth         ..        ..        .         ..        ..        ..        25

2.8.2  Tissue Damage     ..        ..        ..        .         …      ..        ..        27

2.9     Effect of Microwave Oven on the Food we eat    ..        ..        27


3.1:Research Design      …      ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        29

3.2     Sample Size          …      ..        .         ..        ..        ..        ..        29

3.3     Study Population and Sample Size   ..        ..        .         …      29

3.4     Source of Data     ..        ..        .         ..        ..        ..        ..        29

3.5     Method of Data Collection      ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        30



DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS       ..        ..        ..        31


5.1     Discussion ..         ..        .         ..        .         ..        ..        ..        ..        37

5.2     Summary of Findings    ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        40

5.3     Conclusion ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        40

5.4     Recommendations         ..        ..        .         …      ..        ..        ..        41

5.5     Area of Further Research        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        41

5.6     Limitations ..        ..        .         …      ..        ..        ..        ..        42

References ..        ..        .         ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        43

Questionnaire       ..        ..        .         ..        ..        ..        ..        46


Table 1:  Gender Distribution of the respondents          ..        ..        ..        31

Table 2:   Age Distribution of the respondents    ..        ..        ..        32

Table 3:   Category of Users Respondents ..        ..        .         ..        33

Table 4:   To Assess the knowledge of Microwave among the

Users of microwave Oven  ..        ..        ..        .         ..        33

Table 5:  To assess the awareness of microwave leakage from

Microwave Oven Users      ..        ..        .         …      ..        34

Table 6:  To Assess if users of microwave oven are often aware

of the potential health hazards from microwave oven leakage      35

Table 7:  To Assess the awareness of the factors that leads to this

Potential health hazards among the Users       ..        ..        ..        36


Fig.1: Bar Chart showing gender distribution of the respondent ..   31

Fig.2: Bar Chart showing Age Distribution of the respondents ..     ..        32




It is possible that millions of people are ignorantly sacrificing their health in exchange for the convenience of microwave ovens. Why did the Soviet Union ban the use of microwave in 1976? Who invented microwave and why1, the answers to these questions may shock you into throwing your microwave oven in the trash.

Microwaves areradiations. They are classified as non-ionizing radiation2. Radiation which can change the position of an atom but is not strong enough to alter their structure, composition or proportions, even though non-ionizing radiation is not enough to alter the structure of an atom, it is still able to cause physical alternations. A clear example of how non-ionizing radiation can harm you is the damage caused to your skin and eyes by the sun. Therefore when you are using microwaving cooking, you are exposing yourself to microwave oven radiation3.Tissue directly exposed to microwave oven are subjected to the same deformities molecule go through and this can inturn cause you to experience microwave sickness.People may experience any or all of these signs after being exposed to high level of microwave radiation such as impaired cognition, nausea, vision problem, depression, irritability, weakened immune system, headache, dizziness, Insomnia, disturbance and frequent urination4.

One short term study found significant and disturbing changes in the blood of individuals consuming microwave milk and vegetables.Food process through microwave ovens causes change in the blood of an individual. It decreases hemoglobin level and increases cholesterol level5.

The in-depth research conducted by the Russians discovered the biological effect which microwave oven poses. The results were staggering enough which led to ban of microwave oven by the Soviet Union due to the following findings:

  • Carcinogenic substances were formed from the microwaving of nearly all the food tested.
  • Microwaving milk and grains results in carcinogenic substances being formed through the conversion of crimon acid.
  • Microwaving prepared meats caused cancer – causing agent such as d-Nitroodienthanol amines to form.
  • Microwaving fruit as a method of thawing resulted in the conversion of glucoside and galactoside functions into carcinogenic substances.

Despite these comprehensive studies, eight percent of the UK’s populations are still using microwave oven6. Is it not the time more researches are done into the effects they have on us and food we put into them?

Finally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulated the manufacture of microwave ovens since 1971 on the basis of current knowledge about microwave radiation. The agency believes those microwave ovens that meet the FDA standards are used according to the manufacturer’s instructions are safe to use7.



  • Microwave ovens leak radiations which are harmful to the health of the users11.
  • There is an increase circulation of microwave oven in Enugu Urban.



  • To assess the knowledge of microwave among the users ofmicrowave oven.
  • To assess the awareness of microwave leakage from microwave oven by the users
  • To also access if microwave oven users are often aware of potential health hazards from the exposure to microwaveleakage.
  • To assess the factors which lead to this potential health hazard by the users of microwave oven.



  1. It is expected that this study will help to encourage further research on health effect associated with microwave ovens radiation.
  2. It is also expected to bring or create more awareness on the menace caused by microwave.


The study was carried out among individual and fast food restaurants using microwave oven in Enugu urban.



The principal cause of health effects from microwaves can be deduced if we think about how we use our microwave oven. We use it to heat food and indeed if we are exposed to microwaves at high enough level, then the cells and organs in our body will be subjected to a temperature increase. The heating effect arises as follows: The human body is composed of molecules that when subject to the effect of electromagnetic radiation are made to vibrate. Bearing in mind that typical microwave frequency is 2450MHz. The rate of vibration is very rapid and generates a lot of friction within the area of body irradiated8

Experiment carried out has shown that if the received radiation is sufficient to raise the body temperature by more than 50c, then the radiation received is lethal. To understand this, it is necessary to know that body temperature is homeostatically controlled. An increase in temperature around 50c from microwave oven is beyond the homeostatic control of the body and death may result. Your body’s electrical signals are well within the range of those that can be stimulated by ambient microwaves and other forms of electromagnetic radiation, that are harmful, unnatural type of stimulation can seriously impact your body9.

Artificial electromagnetic radiation changes the frequency of your body’s electromagnetic fields through a process called entrainment (or sympathetic resonance). Entrainment is the tendency of an object to vibrate at the same frequency as something outside of it. In other words, powerful artificial electromagnetic field overwhelm your body’s own electrical field changing their frequency and distorting the balance of the body’s electromagnetic field, radiation within the cells in the form of electromagnetic oscillation. This oscillation can stubbornly remain inside you wreaking havoc with your body most important processes10.

Increase publicity and articles in many professional journals prompted the radiological health sections of the Orange County to conduct an accelerated survey of radiation leakage from microwave oven. Ninety three ovens were surveyed throughout the county. 7% of the residential ovens and 23% of the commercial oven tested were measured to be leaking above the present voluntary industry maximum standard of 10mW/cm.28% of the home ovens and 41% of commercial ovens had some types of mechanical problems. The greatest potential hazard exist for personnel operating commercial microwave oven in restaurants and other food service area due to greater “on time “of the oven, the proximity to the oven while in operation, the excessive wear on the oven due to increase use and the lack of proper cleaning and maintenance of the oven11.

Experiment were performed on male fisher rats exposed to microwave radiation  for 30 days at three different frequencies, 900,1800, and 2450 MHz Animal were divided into 4 groups: Group I (sham exposed). Animals not exposed to microwave radiation but kept under same condition as that of other groups, Group II: animals exposed to microwave radiation at frequency 900MHz at specific absorption rate (SAR) 5.953×10-4W/kg Group III: Animal exposed to 1800 MHz at SAR 5.835×10-4 W/kg and Group IV: Animals exposed to 2450MHz at SAR 6.672×10-4 w/kg. At the end of the exposure period animal were sacrificed immediately and DNA damage in brain tissue was assessed using alkaline comet assay. The result demonstrated DNA damaging effect of low level microwave radiation in brain12.

According toJoledar et al in a study to evaluate the effect of leakage microwave on gestational period, fetal health and weight in mice was performed on 20 female mice and the results showed that in test group litter size (10.9 + 0.43 vs 6.2 + 0.62), mean body weight (1.1 +0.09 vs 1.7 +0.06) decrease significantly (p< 0.05) number of dead fetus was significantly higher in test group (2.16 +0.54 vs 0), whilst gestational period did not altered significantly (P< 0.05). In conclusion, it was observed that exposure to leakage waves of microwave oven during pregnancy is harmful for fetal development13.

The vast use of microwave ovens in today’s modern life and possible exposure of users to radiation existed from the oven led to investigate the effect of this radiation leakage on concentration of luteinizing hormone (LS), follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and testosterone. Thirteen immature two weeks – old male mice weighing about 10grams were used in this experimental study. Animals were randomly divided into 3 groups. Each group contained 10 mice experimental group 1 and 2 were exposed to microwave oven 30-90 minutes daily for 30 days, respectively. The control group received no radiation. Animals were anaesthetized and serum samples were stored. The concentration of testosterone, FSH and LH hormones were measured by RAI method. The serum testosterone level showed significant decrease in experimental group 2. But level of LH and FSH indicate no significant different in experimental group 1 and 2 when compared to control group. The results suggested that radiation leakage of microwave ovens might causes dysfunction in the level of testosterone hormone secretion14.

Studies have evaluated the electroencephalography (EEG) of human and laboratory animals during and after microwave exposures. Exposure to high levels of microwave energy can damage the structure and function of nervous system. Much research has focused on the neurochemistry of the brain and the reported effect of microwave exposure. Studies of individuals who are report to be sensitive to electric and magnetic field are discussed. The many exposure parameters such as frequency orientation, modulation, power, density and duration of exposure make direct comparism of many experiments difficult. At high exposure power densities, thermal effects are prevalent and can lead to adverse consequences. At lower levels of exposure biological effects may still occur but thermal mechanisms are not ruled out. It is concluded that the diverse methods and experimental designs as well as lack of replication of many seemingly important studies prevent formation of definite conclusion concerning hazardous nerves system health effect from microwave exposure15

Microwave burns are burn injuries caused by thermal effects of microwave radiation absorbed in a living organism in comparism with radiation burns caused by ionizing radiation, where the dominant mechanism of tissue damage is internal cell damage caused by free radicals. The primary damage mechanism of microwave radiation is thermal by dielectric heating. The microwave damage can manifest with a delay pain or sign of skin damage can show sometime after microwave exposure. The depth of penetration depends on the frequency of the microwaves and the tissue type. As lower frequencies penetrate deeper into the tissue and as there are only few nerve endings in deeper located part of the body. The effect of microwave frequency may not be immediately noticeable. The lower the frequencies at higher power density present a significant risk. The human body acts as a broadband antenna with a number of resonation frequencies dictated by its size and position16

The tissue damage depends primarily on the absorbed energy and tissue sensitivity. It is a function of the microwave power density (which depends on the distance from the source and its power output), frequency and absorption rate in a given tissue. Tissue with higher water content show higher microwave absorption. The degree of the tissue damage depends on both the achieved temperature and the length of exposure. The damage can spread over a large area when the source is relatively distant energy radiator or a very small area when the body comes to a direct contact with the source. Due to the deep penetration of these frequencies, the skin may be minimally affected and show no signs of damage while molecules, nerves and blood vessels may be significantly damaged. Sensory nerve are particularly sensitive to such damage; cases of persistent neuritis and compression neuropathy were reported after significant microwave exposure. The thermal effects of microwave can cause testicular degeneration and lower sperm count. Pulmonary burn can be present when lungs are exposed. Exposure of abdomen may lead to bowel obstruction due to stenosis of the affected bowel. Supine and erect abdominal x-ray is used to check for this condition17.

The Australian radiation protection and nuclear safety agency maintain a close watch over potential radiation hazards arising from the use of microwave oven which utilize microwaveradiation for cooking of food stuff either in the home or in commercial or other premises have the potential to create radiation hazard if they are incorrectly used or are not maintained in good working order18.In Australia, all state electricity authorities havegazette domestic microwave ovens as prescribed items. That is before any domestic microwave oven is sold, a sample of each model has to be tested and approved to the particular requirements for microwave ovens as per the Australian standard19, and such testing and approval requires the oven to be surveyed for microwave leakage.

The National Health and Mechanical Research Council recognize that some microwaves escape from ovens and has laid down standard of safety for leakage radiation. It has been proven beyond doubt that microwave hitting the eye have the following damaging effect repeated short microwave radiation which in effect is not painful and show no ill effect in the beginning, leads in the case of frequently repeated exposure to lasting eye damages. Thus, this non ionizing radiation has a dangerous cumulative effect. The same also applies to domestic microwave ovens. A housewife unknowingly expose day by day to microwave emission form an oven installed at any level may acquire serious eye damage20.

In 1990 during a microwave oven testing programme conducted by the Berliner Stiftung warentest (Berlin Foundation for Product test) it was found that all the test ovens emitted microwave while in operations21. Nevertheless, histological studies with microwave carrots and broccoli have revealed that the molecular-structures of nutrient are deformed by high frequency reversal of polarity even up to the point of destroying the cell wall. In addition through induction the food itself becomes a carrier and secondary source of technically generated radiation. Studies regarding the luminous power of luminescent bacteria revealed a highly significant association between the amount of microwave energy in the test food and the increased energy in the blood serum of test persons who ate that food. The luminous power of luminescent bacteria exposed to serum from the test person was significantly greater than that exposed to serum of person who had eaten conventionally heated food or raw food respectively. This led the authors to the conclusion that such technically derived energies may be passed along to man indirectly via ingestion of microwave food.22

In report published in 1980 by the Institute of Radiation Hygiene of the German Federal Office of Public Health. Sixteen studies were comparatively evaluated with regard to thermal and non-thermal effect of microwave radiation. Microwave radar is a form of electromagnetic energy with potential hazards to human health and safety. Its lethal and non-lethal harmful effect has been demonstrated in experimental animals. Lethal effects upon humans from exposure to microwave have not been proved. Alleged non-lethal effects have been limited primarily to cataractogenesis. Increasing use of microwave commercially in communication and domestically as in micro ovens increases the hazard of exposure to microwave23

The main effect of microwave treatment is of course quick heating of food compared to conventional heating methods. This quick heating of food substance can lead to uneven and non-calculable heat distribution in the food causing so called “cold spots” and “hot spot” respectively. Thus, germs are not sufficiently inactivated and eliminated. Short heating periods of microbiological contaminated food are a serious health hazard.24

Dr. Lita Lee stated that every microwave oven leaks electromagnetic radiation harms food and converts substances cooked in it to dangerous organic, toxic and carcinogenic product. Kevin. In order to heal yourself from any diseases, you have to end putting toxins into your body and that is to stop eating everything that comes out of microwave oven. Microwavefoods have been shown to elevated cholesterol and stress and decrease white blood cells25.  Take a look at how microwaves cook food and then imagine what that same microwave radiation could do to your body. Microwave leakage is serious enough that Food and Drug Agency set strict limits on it for the manufacturers but once door seals age, leaking tends to exceed those limited.Microwave break chemical and molecular bond and can literally rip atom apart, disrupting the basic biochemical structure of life. It is no wonder food cooked in such way become so harmful to consume26.

The anthroposophist A. Bohmert, reported the following effect that microwave heating had on water, a common component of all food product; water samples were heated. Some were heated in microwave ovenand others conventionally and then left to cool before use. These water samples were used to bring grain to germination. The grain in contact with microwave water was the only one that did not germinate27

Nutrition Action Newsletter reported on the leakage of numerous toxic chemicals from the heat susceptor packaging of common microwaveable foods, including pizzas chips and popcorn. At the high temperature achieved in this process, the chemical in the plastic migrate from the susceptors into your food. The chemicals include polyethylene terpthalate (PET) a petroleum derived product and other known or suspected carcinogens such as benzene, toluene and xylene.There is also increase in concentration of antimony (which in small doses can cause headache, dizziness and depression) as a result of cooking with polyethylene terephthalate oven – proof trays. It is not recommended that food containing fat in a plastic container should be heated in microwave oven. The combinations of fat and high heat plastic release doxin28 (a known carcinogen)and other toxin into the food substance.



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