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US FDA: Performance Standards For Microwave And Radio Frequency Emitting Products
FOOD SCIENCE AUSTRALIA INFORMATION SERVICES: The Safety Of Microwave Ovens
CANADIAN CENTRE FOR OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY: Microwave Ovens and their Hazards
A. R. E. C. RESEARCH OPERATIONS: The Proven Dangers of Microwaves
US FDA: Performance Standards For Microwave And Radio Frequency Emitting Products
FOOD SCIENCE AUSTRALIA INFORMATION SERVICES: The Safety Of Microwave Ovens
CANADIAN CENTRE FOR OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY: Microwave Ovens and their Hazards
A. R. E. C. RESEARCH OPERATIONS: The Proven Dangers of Microwaves
US FDA: Performance Standards For Microwave And Radio Frequency Emitting Products
US Food and Drug Administration, HHS § 1030.10
PART 1030-PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR MICROWAVE AND RADIO FREQUENCY EMITTING PRODUCTS
AUTHORITY: Secs. 501, 502, 510, 515-520, 701, 801 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 351, 352, 360, 360e-360j, 371, 381); secs. 354-360F of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 263b-263n).
§ 1030.10 Microwave ovens.
(a) Applicability. The provisions of this standard are applicable to microwave ovens manufactured after October 6, 1971.
(a) Do not attempt to operate this oven with the door open since open-door operation can result in harmful exposure to microwave energy. It is important not to defeat or tamper with the safety interlocks.
THE SAFETY OF MICROWAVE OVENS
Microwave ovens provide a convenient method of cooking and reheating food. Their ease of operation and time-saving properties mean that their popularity is likely to increase for domestic use as well as in restaurants and institutions. While few people would dispute their convenience, consumers are sometimes concerned about the safety of microwaves and their effect on nutrients in food.
Microwave Cooking And Nutrition
The majority of reports published on the nutritive value of foods cooked in microwave ovens indicate that food prepared in this manner is at least as nutritious as comparable food cooked by conventional methods.
Most of these studies have concentrated on vitamin retention and indicate that cooking in minimal water for a reduced time, as occurs with microwaving, promotes the retention of the water- soluble vitamins particularly of vitamin C and thiamin. Microwave cooking is preferable to boiling to minimize the leaching of vitamins into the cooking water; in this regard it is similar to steaming.
Far less information is currently available on the effect of microwave cooking on other food components such as carbohydrates, lipids and fat-soluble vitamins.
For the same reasons given for vitamin C, microwave cooking enhances mineral retention in vegetables.
The quality of protein is higher in microwaved than in conventionally cooked food as far less oxidation occurs in meat cooked in a microwave. Lack of browning is visible evidence that heating is gentler, and makes it likely that vitamins A and E are better retained than in conventional cooking. However these differences are likely to be slight and of little nutritional significance.
Re-heating food quickly in a microwave retains more nutrients than holding food hot for long periods; this is significant in institutions and hospitals where food may be held hot for several hours in traditional catering systems.
The nutritional value of food does not depend only on the way in which it is cooked. Just as important are shopping wisely for quality products, correct temperature control during storage and preparation and serving food promptly after it is prepared. Leaching effects aside there seems to be little difference to the retention of nutrients between food cooked by microwaves or by conventional means, providing cooking time and temperature guidelines are carefully followed.
Microwaves And Food
Effect On Food
All food undergoes changes when heated; there is no solid evidence that microwaves cause any effect on food other than those due to rapid heating. Care should be taken to avoid overcooking.
Radiation And Food
Food cooked in a microwave oven does not present a radiation risk. Microwaves cease to exist as soon as the power to the magnetron of a microwave oven is switched off. They do not remain in the food and are incapable of making either it or the oven radioactive.
Chemical Changes In Foods
Consumer concern has been caused by media coverage of isolated reports which suggest that microwave heating produces chemical changes in foods with the formation of potentially toxic compounds. The most widely reported of these was a letter which appeared in the reputable journal The Lancet in 1989. This work was reviewed by an expert committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council which concluded that the results obtained in the experiment were not relevant to the way food is prepared and consumed. A second more recent report in a little known Swiss journal also appears to be irrelevant to domestic use of microwave ovens.
Microwave Ovens And Uneven Heating
Food cooked in a microwave oven does not heat uniformly and unwanted microorganisms may survive in portions of poorly heated food.
Manufacturers use stirrer fans and turntables and recommend standing times to help alleviate the problem of uneven heating. Many microwaveable meal packs carry the instruction to stir the food part way through the cooking process. Items such as lasagne that can't be stirred should be allowed standing time to allow the whole product to reach a uniform temperature.
How far microwaves are able to penetrate into the food will also depend on the thickness of portions and on the composition and moisture content of the food. When heating large quantities of food it is more effective to divide it into smaller portions for re-heating than it is to heat a large amount for longer.
Care should be taken that frozen food has been completely thawed. Water absorbs microwaves far more easily than ice does; incomplete thawing will result in uneven cooking and the potential survival of undesirable microorganisms in those parts of the food which have been insufficiently heated.
A positive feature of microwave ovens with regard to food safety is that food can be taken from the freezer, thawed quickly, cooked and served without it spending long periods of time in the danger temperature zone between 4°C and 60°C, which provides favorable conditions for the growth of dangerous micro-organisms.
Microwave Ovens And Burns
Microwave ovens are less likely to cause burns than are conventional ovens. However the potential hazard of burns associated with microwave cooking is not often considered, and many people allow young children to operate these appliances unsupervised.
Burns have occurred from the steam emitted from microwaveable popcorn bags and similar closed packages and from the boiling portions of foods which heat unevenly. An example of this is a jam-filled donut; the jam center may exceed the boiling point of water while the donut itself is only warm. Frozen macaroni cheese is another example as the cheese reaches a high temperature more quickly and retains more heat than the macaroni.
Severe scalding has also occurred when babies have been given milk heated in a microwave oven.
When using new crockery for the first time in a microwave oven, use oven gloves to remove the item after heating, until you are aware of its heating characteristics. There have been instances when some types of crockery mugs have absorbed more heat than the liquid they contained causing unexpected burns.
Containers And Films For Microwave Cooking
Only utensils designed for the purpose should be used in a microwave oven. However as there are no standards currently available for claims such as 'microwave-safe,' any concerns about the safety of such products should be referred to the manufacturer.
Some additives used in the manufacture of plastics, particularly those which make it pliable, may migrate into food, especially at high temperatures. Only those plastic containers which have been specifically designed for microwave cooking should be used, and they should be discarded when the surface shows any signs of breaking down.
When plastic films are used in microwave ovens it is preferable that they are not in direct contact with the food they cover. Meals to be reheated on a plate may be covered with clean white absorbent kitchen paper to prevent spatter.
It is very important that food containers which have been designed to package frozen or chilled foods such as ice cream or margarine, are not exposed to high temperatures in a microwave oven. The low melt temperatures of these plastics may result in migration of undesirable contaminants into the food or in physical disintegration of the containers themselves.
As migration is more likely to occur into hot fatty foods, glass containers are preferred to plastic for heating them.
Container shape may also influence the way a food reacts to re-heating. Circular or oval containers help prevent edges of the food burning because energy absorption occurs evenly around the edges. Square containers tend to encourage burning on the edges of a product.
Shallow containers, because they provide a large surface area, are a good choice for heating foods.
Packaging for microwavable meals has been especially designed for use at high temperatures. This sophisticated packaging may incorporate susceptors (surface layers) to compensate for some of the limitations of microwave cooking. Susceptors consist of a plastic film metallized usually with aluminum and laminated to paper or paperboard to hold the required shape. They are designed to enhance browning and crisping of a product and to improve its texture. For example without the use of susceptors, pizzas heated in a microwave oven would be soggy.
Susceptors absorb microwave energy and heat food mainly by direct contact. Susceptor materials have been tested both for migration levels of undesirable chemicals and the release of any volatiles, but tests have not revealed that they pose any threat to consumer safety.
However because manufacturers of microwavable foods and packaging materials are continually looking at new ways of improving their products by improving the design of susceptors, it is essential that surveillance of high temperature packaging materials is sustained.
The packaging industry recognizes the problems of potential migration from packaging into food and constantly monitors and improves manufacturing processes.
Radiation And Leakage
Microwave oven doors are designed with at least two features which ensure that power is cut off immediately the door is opened. However it is possible for microwaves to leak out around the edges of a badly fitting or damaged door. If a door does not fit squarely and operate smoothly or if it shows signs of corrosion or damage, the oven should be inspected by a qualified technician.
Samples of all models of microwaves are tested for leakage before sale as prescribed in Australian Standard 3801-1980, and the National Health and Medical Research Council has determined a standard of safety for the power flux density of radiation for microwave ovens which it believes safeguards public safety. Microwave oven leakage levels which exceed the recommended levels are extremely rare. An oven in good condition and used correctly is safe.
Most microwave oven repair shops will test ovens for leakage at a reasonable cost.
Leakage detectors for domestic use are available but only those which comply with Australian Standard AS2889-1987. Microwave oven leakage detectors for household use should be purchased and their instructions followed carefully for an accurate result. The Australian Radiation Laboratory (Lower Plenty Rd. Yallambie Victoria 3085) closely monitors potential radiation hazards in consumer products. Their Information Bulletin no.16 outlines general precautions with regard to the possible hazard of microwave leakage from ovens.
Successful microwave cooking depends on understanding the limitations as well as the benefits of this type of cooking.
Correctly used, microwave ovens offer a convenient and safe method of food preparation, without any detrimental effects on consumer safety or nutrition.
Why do people worry about microwave radiation"
Microwave ovens are used daily in restaurants, cafeterias, lounges, kitchens, snack bars, and homes. Microwave oven users are often concerned about potential health hazards from the exposure to microwave radiation leakage. With the latest techno-logical advances in door seal design and with proper maintenance, microwave oven leakage has been greatly minimized or eliminated.
How do microwave ovens work"
In a microwave oven, food is cooked by exposing it to microwave radiation. Most household microwave ovens operate on a frequency of 2450 megahertz (MHz or million cycles per second) in a continuous wave (cw) mode. Larger ovens used for industrial applications sometimes operate at 915 MHz.
The source of the radiation in a microwave oven is the magnetron tube. The magnetron, basically, converts 60 Hz powerline electric current to electromagnetic radiation of 2450 MHz. The high voltage (typically 3,000 to 4,000 volts) which powers the magnetron tube is produced by a step-up transformer rectifier, and filter which converts the 120V AC (alternating current or 60 Hz line voltage) to 4 kV DC (direct current).
The microwave energy from the magnetron is transferred to the oven cavity through a waveguide section. A mode stirrer spreads the microwave energy more evenly throughout the oven.
The microwave radiation produces heat inside the food in the oven. Heat is produced when the water molecules in the food vibrate (at a rate of 2,450,000,000 times per second) when the food absorbs the microwave radiation. The movement of the molecules produce friction which causes heat. This heat cooks or warms up the food.
Can microwaves leak radiation"
Old or faulty door seals are the most common causes of microwave radiation leakage. Mechanical abuse, a build-up of dirt, or simple wear and tear of continued use can cause door seals to be less effective. Theoretically, there will be small amounts of leakage through the viewing glass but measurements have shown this to be insignificant.
How is the radiation measured outside the microwave"
Microwave radiation is measured as power density in units of milliwatts per square centimetre (mW/cm²) which is essentially the rate of energy flow per unit area. One needs special equipment for the detection and measurement of the leakage. Typical levels of radiation leakage from microwave ovens is about 0.2 mW/cm² which is far below the limit set by the national safety standard Safety Code 6: Limits of Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields at Frequencies from 10 kHz-300 Ghz (1994, 60 p., Health Canada pub. 91-EHD-160). This level of leakage cannot be sensed by the body.
The power density of the microwave radiation decreases rapidly with increasing distance from the oven. For instance, if you measure a power density of 5 mW/cm² at 5 centimetres (2 inches) from the oven, you can expect 1.5 mW/cm² at 30 centimetres (one foot) and less than 0.01 mW/cm² at 1 metre (three feet) from the oven. This means that the farther away from the microwave you stand, the less radiation you will be exposed to. At one metre, there is very little radiation left.
What are the health effects of microwave radiation"
A large amount of literature has been published on the biological effects of microwave radiation. Generally speaking, exposure to very high levels of microwave radiation can result in significant amounts of energy being absorbed by the body. Just as with food, this energy is transformed into heat in the body. Sensitive body parts, such as the eyes, testes and brain, are not able to get rid of the extra heat that may build up. However, the situations where effects of thermal (heat) damage has actually occurred to the eye or brain required long term exposure to very high power densities well in excess of those measured around microwave ovens.
Some biological effects cannot be explained by a temperature rise in the body or in any one part. Persons working in microwave fields have reported headaches, eyestrain, over-all fatigue and disturbance of sleep. These effects have been associated with the interaction of the microwave fields with the central nervous system of the body. Such effects have been labeled as "non-thermal" interactions. These may be responsible for some of the long-term effects from prolonged exposure to low levels of electromagnetic fields. There is no confirmed scientific evidence to prove a link between such effects and microwave radiation exposure. However, it must be emphasized that these effects usually occur with pulsed or pulse-modulated fields and not with the continuous wave fields associated with microwave ovens.
What happens to pacemakers when they are near microwave ovens"
In the past, there were some problems resulting from the microwave radiation interfering with the signal from the pacemaker. Because pacemakers are electronic devices, interference from other electrical sources can cause the pacemaker to malfunction and thus send incorrect information to the heart muscles. Although properly maintained and operated microwave ovens are unlikely to cause this interference, the electromagnetic shields have been put into the new pacemakers as an added precaution. Patients with pacemakers should consult their doctor if they believe that they may have a problem related to microwave or radiofrequency radiation.
What are some general safety precautions for microwave ovens"
Safety tips for operation of microwave ovens:
Safety tips for installation and maintenance of microwave ovens include:
Are there any standards that apply to microwave ovens"
Exposure limits (Safety Code 6) -
Information concerning measuring equipment for microwave oven leakage can be obtained from the suppliers and manufacturers of such instruments. The Radiation Emitting Devices Regulation requires that the measuring instrument must be capable of measuring a power density of 1.0 mW/cm² with an accuracy of ±2dB or better and have an indicator with response time not greater than 3 seconds.
This regulation also specifies standards of design construction, and functioning of microwave ovens. As well, it specifies what warning signs must be used. This regulation applies to sale, lease or import into Canada of any radiation emitting device.
ANSI/IEEE-C95.1-1991 - the power density should not exceed 1.6 mW/cm² at 2450 MHz (microwave oven frequency) for human exposure in uncontrolled environments.
IRPA (International Radiation Protection Association) Guidelines: International Radiation Protection Association recommends exposure limit of 5 mW/cm² for RF workers and 1 mW/cm² for the general public. These exposure limits are averaged over 6 minutes (0.1 h) period. Now-a-days microwave ovens are designed to minimize leakage. Levels of leakage from normally functioning microwave ovens is far less than above limit
Source: Dr A Muc, Ontario Ministry of Labour, 1983
Is it 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 ovens in 1976" Who invented microwave ovens, and why" The answers to these questions may shock you into throwing your microwave oven in the trash.
Over 90% of American homes have microwave ovens used for meal preparation. Because microwave ovens are so convenient and energy efficient, as compared to conventional ovens, very few homes or restaurants are without them. In general, people believe that whatever a microwave oven does to foods cooked in it doesn't have any negative effect on either the food or them. Of course, if microwave ovens were really harmful, our government would never allow them on the market, would they" Would they" Regardless of what has been "officially" released concerning microwave ovens, we have personally stopped using ours based on the research facts outlined in this article.
The purpose of this report is to show proof - evidence - that microwave cooking is not natural, nor healthy, and is far more dangerous to the human body than anyone could imagine. However, the microwave oven manufacturers, Washington City politics, and plain old human nature are suppressing the facts and evidence. Because of this, people are continuing to microwave their food - in blissful ignorance - without knowing the effects and danger of doing so.
How do microwave ovens work"
Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic energy, like light waves or radio waves, and occupy a part of the electromagnetic spectrum of power, or energy. Microwaves are very short waves of electromagnetic energy that travel at the speed of light (186,282 miles per second). In our modern technological age, microwaves are used to relay long distance telephone signals, television programs, and computer information across the earth or to a satellite in space. But the microwave is most familiar to us as an energy source for cooking food.
Every microwave oven contains a magnetron, a tube in which electrons are affected by magnetic and electric fields in such a way as to produce micro wavelength radiation at about 2450 Mega Hertz (MHz) or 2.45 Giga Hertz (GHz). This microwave radiation interacts with the molecules in food. All wave energy changes polarity from positive to negative with each cycle of the wave. In microwaves, these polarity changes happen millions of times every second. Food molecules - especially the molecules of water - have a positive and negative end in the same way a magnet has a north and a south polarity.
In commercial models, the oven has a power input of about 1000 watts of alternating current. As these microwaves generated from the magnetron bombard the food, they cause the polar molecules to rotate at the same frequency millions of times a second. All this agitation creates molecular friction, which heats up the food. The friction also causes substantial damage to the surrounding molecules, often tearing them apart or forcefully deforming them. The scientific name for this deformation is "structural isomerism".
By comparison, microwaves from the sun are based on principles of pulsed direct current (DC) that don't create frictional heat; microwave ovens use alternating current (AC) creating frictional heat. A microwave oven produces a spiked wavelength of energy with all the power going into only one narrow frequency of the energy spectrum. Energy from the sun operates in a wide frequency spectrum.
Many terms are used in describing electromagnetic waves, such as wavelength, amplitude, cycle and frequency:
Wavelength determines the type of radiation, i.e. radio, X-ray, ultraviolet, visible, infrared, etc.
Amplitude determines the extent of movement measured from the starting point.
Cycle determines the unit of frequency, such as cycles per second, Hertz, Hz, or cycles/second.
Frequency determines the number of occurrences within a given time period (usually 1 second); The number of occurrences of a recurring process per unit of time, i.e. the number of repetitions of cycles per second.
Radiation = spreading energy with electromagnetic waves
Radiation, as defined by physics terminology, is "the electromagnetic waves emitted by the atoms and molecules of a radioactive substance as a result of nuclear decay." Radiation causes ionization, which is what occurs when a neutral atom gains or loses electrons. In simpler terms, a microwave oven decays and changes the molecular structure of the food by the process of radiation. Had the manufacturers accurately called them "radiation ovens", it's doubtful they would have ever sold one, but that's exactly what a microwave oven is.
We've all been told that microwaving food is not the same as irradiating it (radiation "treatment"). The two processes are supposed to use completely different waves of energy and at different intensities. No FDA or officially released government studies have proven current microwaving usage to be harmful, but we all know that the validity of studies can be - and are sometimes deliberately - limiting. Many of these studies are later proven to be inaccurate. As consumers, we're supposed to have a certain degree of common sense to use in judgment.
Take the example of eggs and how they were "proven" to be so harmful to our health in the late 1960's. This brought about imitation egg products and big profits for the manufacturers, while egg farms went broke. Now, recent government sponsored studies are saying that eggs are not bad for us after all. So, whom should we believe and what criteria should we use to decide matters concerning our health" Since it's currently published that microwaves - purportedly - don't leak into the environment, when properly used and with approved design, the decision lies with each consumer as to whether or not you choose to eat food heated by a microwave oven or even purchase one in the first place.
Motherly instincts are right
On a more humorous side, the "sixth sense" every mother has is impossible to argue with. Have you ever tried it" Children will never win against a mother's intuition. It's like trying to argue with the arm - appearing out of nowhere - that pinned you to the back of the seat when your mother slammed on the brakes.
Many of us come from a generation where mothers and grandmothers have distrusted the modern "inside out" cooking they claimed was "not suitable" for most foods. My mother refused to even try baking anything in a microwave. She also didn't like the way a cup of coffee tasted when heated in a microwave oven. I have to fully agree and can't argue either fact. Her own common sense and instincts told her that there was no way microwave cooking could be natural nor make foods "taste they way they're supposed to". Reluctantly, even my mother succumbed to re-heating leftovers in a microwave due to her work schedule before she retired.
Many others feel the same way, but they're considered an "old fashioned" minority dating back to before the 1970's when microwaves first overwhelmed the market. Like most young adults at the time, as microwave ovens became commonplace, I chose to ignore my mother's intuitive wisdom and joined the majority who believed microwave cooking was far too convenient to ever believe anything could be wrong with it. Chalk one up for mom's perception, because even though she didn't know the scientific, technical, or health reasons why, she just knew that microwave ovens were not good based on how foods tasted when they were cooked in them. She didn't like the way the texture of the microwaved food changed either.
Microwaves unsafe for baby's milk
A number of warnings have been made public, but have been barely noticed. For example, Young Families, the Minnesota Extension Service of the University of Minnesota, published the following in 1989:
"Although microwaves heat food quickly, they are not recommended for heating a baby's bottle. The bottle may seem cool to the touch, but the liquid inside may become extremely hot and could burn the baby's mouth and throat. Also, the buildup of steam in a closed container, such as a baby bottle, could cause it to explode. Heating the bottle in a microwave can cause slight changes in the milk. In infant formulas, there may be a loss of some vitamins. In expressed breast milk, some protective properties may be destroyed. Warming a bottle by holding it under tap water, or by setting it in a bowl of warm water, then testing it on your wrist before feeding may take a few minutes longer, but it is much safer."
Dr. Lita Lee of Hawaii reported in the December 9, 1989 Lancet:
"Microwaving baby formulas converted certain trans-amino acids into their synthetic cis-isomers. Synthetic isomers, whether cis-amino acids or trans-fatty acids, are not biologically active. Further, one of the amino acids, L-proline, was converted to its d-isomer, which is known to be neurotoxic (poisonous to the nervous system) and nephrotoxic (poisonous to the kidneys). It's bad enough that many babies are not nursed, but now they are given fake milk (baby formula) made even more toxic via microwaving."
Microwaved blood kills patient
In 1991, there was a lawsuit in Oklahoma concerning the hospital use of a microwave oven to warm blood needed in a transfusion. The case involved a hip surgery patient, Norma Levitt, who died from a simple blood transfusion. It seems the nurse had warmed the blood in a microwave oven. This tragedy makes it very apparent that there's much more to "heating" with microwaves than we've been led to believe. Blood for transfusions is routinely warmed, but not in microwave ovens. In the case of Mrs. Levitt, the microwaving altered the blood and it killed her.
It's very obvious that this form of microwave radiation "heating" does something to the substances it heats. It's also becoming quite apparent that people who process food in a microwave oven are also ingesting these "unknowns".
Because the body is electrochemical in nature, any force that disrupts or changes human electrochemical events will affect the physiology of the body. This is further described in Robert O. Becker's book, The Body Electric, and in Ellen Sugarman's book, Warning, the Electricity Around You May Be Hazardous to Your Health.
Scientific evidence and facts
In Comparative Study of Food Prepared Conventionally and in the Microwave Oven, published by Raum & Zelt in 1992, at 3(2): 43, it states
"A basic hypothesis of natural medicine states that the introduction into the human body of molecules and energies, to which it is not accustomed, is much more likely to cause harm than good. Microwaved food contains both molecules and energies not present in food cooked in the way humans have been cooking food since the discovery of fire. Microwave energy from the sun and other stars is direct current based. Artificially produced microwaves, including those in ovens, are produced from alternating current and force a billion or more polarity reversals per second in every food molecule they hit. Production of unnatural molecules is inevitable. Naturally occurring amino acids have been observed to undergo isomeric changes (changes in shape morphing) as well as transformation into toxic forms, under the impact of microwaves produced in ovens.
One short-term study found significant and disturbing changes in the blood of individuals consuming microwaved milk and vegetables. Eight volunteers ate various combinations of the same foods cooked different ways. All foods that were processed through the microwave ovens caused changes in the blood of the volunteers. Hemoglobin levels decreased and over all white cell levels and cholesterol levels increased. Lymphocytes decreased.
Luminescent (light-emitting) bacteria were employed to detect energetic changes in the blood. Significant increases were found in the luminescence of these bacteria when exposed to blood serum obtained after the consumption of microwaved food."
The Swiss clinical study
Dr. Hans Ulrich Hertel, who is now retired, worked as a food scientist for many years with one of the major Swiss food companies that do business on a global scale. A few years ago, he was fired from his job for questioning certain processing procedures that denatured the food.
In 1991, he and a Lausanne University professor published a research paper indicating that food cooked in microwave ovens could pose a greater risk to health than food cooked by conventional means. An article also appeared in issue 19 of the Journal Franz Weber in which it was stated that the consumption of food cooked in microwave ovens had cancerous effects on the blood. The research paper itself followed the article. On the cover of the magazine there was a picture of the Grim Reaper holding a microwave oven in one of his hands.
Dr. Hertel was the first scientist to conceive and carry out a quality clinical study on the effects microwaved nutrients have on the blood and physiology of the human body. His small, but well controlled, study showed the degenerative force produced in microwave ovens and the food processed in them. The scientific conclusion showed that microwave cooking changed the nutrients in the food; and, changes took place in the participants' blood that could cause deterioration in the human system. Hertel's scientific study was done along with Dr. Bernard H. Blanc of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University Institute for Biochemistry.
In intervals of two to five days, the volunteers in the study received one of the following food variants on an empty stomach: (1) raw milk; (2) the same milk conventionally cooked; (3) pasteurized milk; (4) the same raw milks cooked in a microwave oven; (5) raw vegetables from an organic farm; (6) the same vegetables cooked conventionally; (7) the same vegetables frozen and defrosted in a microwave oven; and (8) the same vegetables cooked in the microwave oven. Once the volunteers were isolated, blood samples were taken from every volunteer immediately before eating. Then, blood samples were taken at defined intervals after eating from the above milk or vegetable preparations.
Significant changes were discovered in the blood samples from the intervals following the foods cooked in the microwave oven. These changes included a decrease in all hemoglobin and cholesterol values, especially the ratio of HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol) values. Lymphocytes (white blood cells) showed a more distinct short-term decrease following the intake of microwaved food than after the intake of all the other variants. Each of these indicators pointed to degeneration. Additionally, there was a highly significant association between the amount of microwave energy in the test foods and the luminous power of luminescent bacteria exposed to serum from test persons who ate that food. This led Dr. Hertel to the conclusion that such technically derived energies may, indeed, be passed along to man inductively via eating microwaved food. According to Dr. Hertel, "Leukocytosis, which cannot be accounted for by normal daily deviations, is taken very seriously by hemotologists. Leukocytes are often signs of pathogenic effects on the living system, such as poisoning and cell damage. The increase of leukocytes with the microwaved foods were more pronounced than with all the other variants. It appears that these marked increases were caused entirely by ingesting the microwaved substances.
"This process is based on physical principles and has already been confirmed in the literature. The apparent additional energy exhibited by the luminescent bacteria was merely an extra confirmation. There is extensive scientific literature concerning the hazardous effects of direct microwave radiation on living systems. It is astonishing, therefore, to realize how little effort has been taken to replace this detrimental technique of microwaves with technology more in accordance with nature. Technically produced microwaves are based on the principle of alternating current. Atoms, molecules, and cells hit by this hard electromagnetic radiation are forced to reverse polarity 1-100 billion times a second. There are no atoms, molecules or cells of any organic system able to withstand such a violent, destructive power for any extended period of time, not even in the low energy range of milliwatts.
Of all the natural substances -- which are polar -- the oxygen of water molecules reacts most sensitively. This is how microwave cooking heat is generated -- friction from this violence in water molecules. Structures of molecules are torn apart, molecules are forcefully deformed, called structural isomerism, and thus become impaired in quality. This is contrary to conventional heating of food where heat transfers convectionally from without to within. Cooking by microwaves begins within the cells and molecules where water is present and where the energy is transformed into frictional heat.
In addition to the violent frictional heat effects, called thermic effects, there are also athermic effects which have hardly ever been taken into account. These athermic effects are not presently measurable, but they can also deform the structures of molecules and have qualitative consequences. For example the weakening of cell membranes by microwaves is used in the field of gene altering technology. Because of the force involved, the cells are actually broken, thereby neutralizing the electrical potentials, the very life of the cells, between the outer and inner side of the cell membranes. Impaired cells become easy prey for viruses, fungi and other microorganisms. The natural repair mechanisms are suppressed and cells are forced to adapt to a state of energy emergency -- they switch from aerobic to anaerobic respiration. Instead of water and carbon dioxide, the cell poisons hydrogen peroxide and carbon monoxide are produced."
The same violent deformations that occur in our bodies, when we are directly exposed to radar or microwaves, also occur in the molecules of foods cooked in a microwave oven. This radiation results in the destruction and deformation of food molecules. Microwaving also creates new compounds, called radiolytic compounds, which are unknown fusions not found in nature. Radiolytic compounds are created by molecular decomposition - decay - as a direct result of radiation.
Microwave oven manufacturers insist that microwaved and irradiated foods do not have any significantly higher radiolytic compounds than do broiled, baked or other conventionally cooked foods. The scientific clinical evidence presented here has shown that this is simply a lie. In America, neither universities nor the federal government have conducted any tests concerning the effects on our bodies from eating microwaved foods. Isn't that a bit odd" They're more concerned with studies on what happens if the door on a microwave oven doesn't close properly. Once again, common sense tells us that their attention should be centered on what happens to food cooked inside a microwave oven. Since people ingest this altered food, shouldn't there be concern for how the same decayed molecules will affect our own human biological cell structure"
Industry's action to hide the truth
As soon as Doctors Hertel and Blanc published their results, the authorities reacted. A powerful trade organization, the Swiss Association of Dealers for Electro-apparatuses for Households and Industry, known as FEA, struck swiftly in 1992. They forced the President of the Court of Seftigen, Canton of Bern, to issue a "gag order" against Drs. Hertel and Blanc. In March 1993, Dr. Hertel was convicted for "interfering with commerce" and prohibited from further publishing his results. However, Dr. Hertel stood his ground and fought this decision over the years.
Not long ago, this decision was reversed in a judgment delivered in Strasbourg, Austria, on August 25, 1998. The European Court of Human Rights held that there had been a violation of Hertel's rights in the 1993 decision. The European Court of Human Rights also ruled that the "gag order" issued by the Swiss court in 1992 against Dr. Hertel, prohibiting him from declaring that microwave ovens are dangerous to human health, was contrary to the right to freedom of expression. In addition, Switzerland was ordered to pay Dr. Hertel compensation.
Who invented microwave ovens"
The Nazis, for use in their mobile support operations, originally developed microwave "radiomissor" cooking ovens to be used for the invasion of Russia. By being able to utilize electronic equipment for preparation of meals on a mass scale, the logistical problem of cooking fuels would have been eliminated, as well as the convenience of producing edible products in a greatly reduced time-factor.
After the war, the Allies discovered medical research done by the Germans on microwave ovens. These documents, along with some working microwave ovens, were transferred to the United States War Department and classified for reference and "further scientific investigation." The Russians had also retrieved some microwave ovens and now have thorough research on their biological effects. As a result, their use was outlawed in the Soviet Union. The Soviets issued an international warning on the health hazards, both biological and environmental, of microwave ovens and similar frequency electronic devices.
Other Eastern European scientists also reported the harmful effects of microwave radiation and set up strict environmental limits for their usage. The United States has not accepted the European reports of harmful effects, even though the EPA estimates that radio frequency and microwave radiation sources in America are increasing at 15% per year.
Carcinogens in microwaved food
In Dr. Lita Lee's book, Health Effects of Microwave Radiation - Microwave Ovens, and in the March and September 1991 issues of Earthletter, she stated that every microwave oven leaks electro-magnetic radiation, harms food, and converts substances cooked in it to dangerous organ-toxic and carcinogenic products. Further research summarized in this article reveal that microwave ovens are far more harmful than previously imagined.
The following is a summary of the Russian investigations published by the Atlantis Raising Educational Center in Portland, Oregon. Carcinogens were formed in virtually all foods tested. No test food was subjected to more microwaving than necessary to accomplish the purpose, i.e., cooking, thawing, or heating to insure sanitary ingestion. Here's a summary of some of the results:
Decrease in nutritional value
Russian researchers also reported a marked acceleration of structural degradation leading to a decreased food value of 60 to 90% in all foods tested. Among the changes observed were:
Microwave sickness is discovered
The Russians did research on thousands of workers who had been exposed to microwaves during the development of radar in the 1950's. Their research showed health problems so serious that the Russians set strict limits of 10 microwatts exposure for workers and one microwatt for civilians.
In Robert O. Becker's book, The Body Electric, he described Russian research on the health effects of microwave radiation, which they called "microwave sickness." On page 314, Becker states: "It's [Microwave sickness] first signs are low blood pressure and slow pulse. The later and most common manifestations are chronic excitation of the sympathetic nervous system [stress syndrome] and high blood pressure. This phase also often includes headache, dizziness, eye pain, sleeplessness, irritability, anxiety, stomach pain, nervous tension, inability to concentrate, hair loss, plus an increased incidence of appendicitis, cataracts, reproductive problems, and cancer. The chronic symptoms are eventually succeeded by crisis of adrenal exhaustion and ischemic heart disease [the blockage of coronary arteries and heart attacks]."
According to Dr. Lee, changes are observed in the blood chemistries and the rates of certain diseases among consumers of microwaved foods. The symptoms above can easily be caused by the observations shown below. The following is a sample of these changes:
Microwave research conclusions
The following were the most significant German and Russian research operations facilities concerning the biological effects of microwaves:
The initial research conducted by the Germans during the Barbarossa military campaign, at the Humbolt-Universitat zu Berlin (1942-1943); and,
From 1957 and up to the present [until the end of the cold war], the Russian research operations were conducted at: the Institute of Radio Technology at Kinsk, Byelorussian Autonomous Region; and, at the Institute of Radio Technology at Rajasthan in the Rossiskaja Autonomous Region, both in the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics.
In most cases, the foods used for research analysis were exposed to microwave propagation at an energy potential of 100 kilowatts/cm3/second, to the point considered acceptable for sanitary, normal ingestion. The effects noted by both German and Russian researchers is presented in three categories:
CATEGORY I: CANCER-CAUSING EFFECTS
[The first two points of Category I are not readable from our report copy. The remainder of the report is intact.]
3. Creation of a "binding effect" to radioactivity in the atmosphere, thus causing a marked increase in the amount of alpha and beta particle saturation in foods;
4. Creation of cancer causing agents within protein hydrolysate compounds* in milk and cereal grains [*these are natural proteins that are split into unnatural fragments by the addition of water];
5. Alteration of elemental food-substances, causing disorders in the digestive system by unstable catabolism* of foods subjected to microwaves [*the metabolic breakdown process];
6. Due to chemical alterations within food substances, malfunctions were observed within the lymphatic systems [absorbent vessels], causing a degeneration of the immune potentials of the body to protect against certain forms of neoplastics [abnormal growths of tissue];
7. Ingestion of microwaved foods caused a higher percentage of cancerous cells within the blood serum [cytomas - cell tumors such as sarcoma];
8. Microwave emissions caused alteration in the catabolic [metabolic breakdown] behavior of glucoside [hydrolyzed dextrose] and galactoside [oxidized alcohol] elements within frozen fruits when thawed in this manner;
9. Microwave emission caused alteration of the catabolic [metabolic breakdown] behavior of plant alkaloids [organic nitrogen based elements] when raw, cooked, or frozen vegetables were exposed for even extremely short durations;
10. Cancer causing free radicals [highly reactive incomplete molecules] were formed within certain trace mineral molecular formations in plant substances, and in particular, raw root-vegetables; and,
11. In a statistically high percentage of persons, microwaved foods caused stomach and intestinal cancerous growths, as well as a general degeneration of peripheral cellular tissues, with a gradual breakdown of the function of the digestive and excretive systems.
CATEGORY II: DECREASE IN FOOD VALUE
Microwave exposure caused significant decreases in the nutritive value of all foods researched. The following are the most important findings:
1. A decrease in the bioavailability [capability of the body to utilize the nutriment] of B-complex vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, essential minerals and lipotropics in all foods;
2. A loss of 60-90% of the vital energy field content of all tested foods;
3. A reduction in the metabolic behavior and integration process capability of alkaloids [organic nitrogen based elements], glucosides and galactosides, and nitrilosides;
4. A destruction of the nutritive value of nucleoproteins in meats;
5. A marked acceleration of structural disintegration in all foods.
CATEGORY III: BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF EXPOSURE
Exposure to microwave emissions also had an unpredictably negative effect upon the general biological welfare of humans. This was not discovered until the Russians experimented with highly sophisticated equipment and discovered that a human did not even need to ingest the material substance of the microwaved food substances: that even exposure to the energy-field itself was sufficient to cause such adverse side effects that the use of any such microwave apparatus was forbidden in 1976 by Soviet state law. The following are the enumerated effects:
1. A breakdown of the human "life-energy field" in those who were exposed to microwave ovens while in operation, with side-effects to the human energy field of increasingly longer duration;
2. A degeneration of the cellular voltage parallels during the process of using the apparatus, especially in the blood and lymphatic areas;
3. A degeneration and destabilization of the external energy activated potentials of food utilization within the processes of human metabolism;
4. A degeneration and destabilization of internal cellular membrane potentials while transferring catabolic [metabolic breakdown] processes into the blood serum from the digestive process;
5. Degeneration and circuit breakdowns of electrical nerve impulses within the junction potentials of the cerebrum [the front portion of the brain where thought and higher functions reside];
6. A degeneration and breakdown of nerve electrical circuits and loss of energy field symmetry in the neuroplexuses [nerve centers] both in the front and the rear of the central and autonomic nervous systems;
7. Loss of balance and circuiting of the bioelectric strengths within the ascending reticular activating system [the system which controls the function of consciousness];
8. A long term cumulative loss of vital energies within humans, animals and plants that were located within a 500-meter radius of the operational equipment;
9. Long lasting residual effects of magnetic "deposits" were located throughout the nervous system and lymphatic system;
10. A destabilization and interruption in the production of hormones and maintenance of hormonal balance in males and females;
11. Markedly higher levels of brainwave disturbance in the alpha, theta, and delta wave signal patterns of persons exposed to microwave emission fields, and;
12. Because of this brainwave disturbance, negative psychological effects were noted, including loss of memory, loss of ability to concentrate, suppressed emotional threshold, deceleration of intellective processes, and interruptive sleep episodes in a statistically higher percentage of individuals subjected to continual range emissive field effects of microwave apparatus, either in cooking apparatus or in transmission stations.
Forensic Research Conclusions
From the twenty-eight above enumerated indications, the use of microwave apparatus is definitely not advisable; and, with the decision of the Soviet government in 1976, present scientific opinion in many countries concerning the use of such apparatus is clearly in evidence.
Due to the problem of random magnetic residulation and binding within the biological systems of the body (Category III:9), which can ultimately effect the neurological systems, primarily the brain and neuroplexuses (nerve centers), long term depolarization of tissue neuroelectric circuits can result. Because these effects can cause virtually irreversible damage to the neuroelectrical integrity of the various components of the nervous system (I. R. Luria, Novosibirsk 1975a), ingestion of microwaved foods is clearly contraindicated in all respects. Their magnetic residual effect can render the pyschoneural receptor components of the brain more subject to influence psychologically by artificially induced microwave radio frequency fields from transmission stations and TV relay-networks.
The theoretical possibility of psycho telemetric influence (the capability of affecting human behavior by transmitted radio signals at controlled frequencies) has been suggested by Soviet neuropsychological investigations at Uralyera and Novosibirsk (Luria and Perov, 1974a, 1975c, 1976a), which can cause involuntary subliminal psychological energy field compliance to operative microwave apparatus.
FORENSIC RESEARCH DOCUMENT