Most of the articles also mention that though there are connections between diacetyl and cancer, no concrete evidence exists to support these claims as of now.In a nutshell: Unless you're planning on eating microwave popcorn twice a day or more for the next ten years, you have nothing to worry about. Another hazard that you might find only if you pull a radio transmitter apart and smash up the RF power devices is Beryllium Oxide. If you don't know what you are doing then only take a microwave apart to change one of the fuses. It’s no wonder foods cooked in such a way become so harmful to consume.Government and industry studies suggest they pose no threat, but a … Simply removing it is safe, but never try to take one apart. i want to take apart a microwave for a science experiment, but i was wondering if doing this could hurt me in any way (toxins, radiation.) When many plastics are microwaved, dangerous chemicals like BPA have been known to leak out of the plastic containers, covers, … You'll see in all of these articles that the victims of 'popcorn cancer' either worked in popcorn factories, or ate copious amounts of microwave popcorn for a prolonged period of time. Please confirm your email address in the email we just sent you. The lung disease found in the factory worker was thought to have been caused by the fact that he inhaled large amounts of a chemical called diacetyl. But she uses it in a very specific way. Magnetrons can be incredibly dangerous, while you are safe from radiation when they are not powered, the ceramic insulators can contain beryllium oxide which can be fatal when inhaled. Even if the microwave isn't plugged in. Take the danger serious; in the US, 4 people per year die from electrocution trying to repair microwave ovens, even electricians by … is taking apart a microwave harmful? If you must use a microwave, periodically check it to make sure it’s steaming when it reaches its boiling point. Do not touch the contacts of the capacitor under any circumstances! Can you discern fact from fiction? 1 Answer. This care is pure, and it’s an issue that is seriously alive. Microwave oven manufacturers are required to certify their products and meet safety performance standards created and enforced by … Superheating has been blamed for countless severe burns to the hands and face as cups of liquid essentially explode after being removed from the microwave. This type of radiation can be dangerous if you receive large doses of it because it has the ability to change your DNA and damage your body. The internal micro switch can also be used to control an appliance. Additionally, check your microwave every now and again for any signs that the door or the seals are worn or damaged.If you’re concerned that your microwave may be leaking radiation, you should stop using the microwave and contact your state health department who should be able to test your oven for signs of leakage. What is more dangerous, the overhead line of a train or the inside of your microwave oven? You probably think a microwave door handle must be cleaner than the toilet seat in your office. 1 Here in the US, microwaves are ubiquitous, but recent research shows that microwaves significantly decrease the nutritional value of food. Before getting started, check the case to see if it has any useful information on it. Bisphenol A is a chemical toxin present in plastic bottles that can percolate into foods and cause cancer, early puberty, obesity and … Despite the dangers and her research, Professor Havas does own a microwave for speedy, energy-efficient dinners. Image Credits: Sergei Kazakov/Shutterstock. Have you ever been worried about using your microwave oven because you’ve heard that it may harm you in some way? You could of course use the fan to make, well, a fan! Instructables user Koil_1 used a digital timer to create a multi appliance shut-off timer. While the layout may vary, almost all microwaves have the same set of fundamental parts. Don't forget to take the bottom panel out to remove the turntable motor! Hold it there for a few moments, making sure it is definitely touching both contacts. Some of them are quite specialised and will only be needed in quite specific situations. Microwave Cooking Dangers Let me now briefly cover the reasons why you don’t want to use a microwave to cook your food – EVER. 1 decade ago. For more information on learning DIY electronics, check out this great resource. Magnetrons can be incredibly dangerous, while you are safe from radiation when they are not powered, the ceramic You can find datasheets for most components by searching the brand and model number. The transformer core is only held together by two very thin welds, as seen on the side of this one. You may have an old one that was replaced -- in my case, my neighbors were getting rid of theirs and left it in our stairwell. Can microwaves really cause cancer? weland on Mar 1, 2015 … Just remember that it will go a lot easier if you plan the route you are going to take throught the machine to detach and use things. Remember, that box you use to heat up your food emits radiation, and is sealed for a reason. 6 years ago. How to Safely Take Apart a Microwave and What to Do With the Parts. Microwaving food or water causes the formation of "radiolytic compounds" — new chemicals created by the tearing apart of molecules. Anytime I see someone mention hacking on magnetrons, I feel it my duty to remind us that the back of your eyeballs don't have pain receptors. Avoid microwave cooking and avoid the carcinogenic substances that are created from it. My 5 year old wants to take apart an old microwave. However, if your microwave is faulty and more radiation is able to leak from it, you may be at risk. In this instance the capacitor was encased in the fan assembly, so it required removal before discharging. As long as it is unplugged, it is unlikely to be Really, Really Dangerous (like a TV) but it might give you a zap if you touch the wrong parts. In this article we will cover taking apart the microwave safely, and show some project ideas various inventors have come up with using the parts. This article has covered just a few things you can make from an old no longer needed microwave, and even the smaller parts that have no immediate use are more things in your toolkit for future projects. Read on as we analyze the validity of several common notions about microwave safety. Once you have everything out you should have quite a collection of components: Depending on how modern your microwave is your haul may vary a little. Interested in Arduino projects but not sure where to begin? The vast majority of the general popcorn-eating public don’t inhale nearly enough of this chemical to have any effect on their lungs.Do a google search for "microwave popcorn cancer" or something similar and you'll see how many articles there are about the health horrors of microwave popcorn. YouTube inventor Grant Thompson has a series of videos covering most of these projects and while they are all great ideas, his videos on making a home made ARC welder gives clear instructions on how to make your own welding set up on a small budget. America’s most convenient appliance – microwave ovens seem to be an absolute necessity in today’s fast-paced world. The real dangers of microwave cooking are far more mundane, but no less serious. The MOT takes mains AC power (240v here, it may well be different for you) into the primary coil, and through electromagnetic induction steps that power up so that between 1,800 and 2,800 volts come out of the secondary coil. Once you have the outer casing off, you should be able to see the components. As an added bonus, I found that the wiring that was also salvaged fits perfectly into the holes on a breadboard. Yes, there are risks in taking a part a microwave. The Ultimate Guide to Health and Happiness, Don’t Just Sit There: A Little Exercise Makes Up for a Full Day of Sitting, FDA Watch: Monoclonal Antibody Treatments for COVID-19, Preventive Flu Medication, and an Anti-Nightmare Device Get the Go-Ahead, Tippi Coronavirus: Tips for Living With COVID-19. The relay we stripped from the microwave specifies a 12v coil, though many relays operate at a lower voltage. You may see a flash or hear a loud pop when this happens so be prepared! While wearing your gloves and holding the insulated handle, use your screwdriver or pliers to short both contacts of the capacitor. We will be carefully removing it from the case, but only to gain access to the screws holding the transformer in place. How much do you know about your everyday cancer risks? Microwave Dangers: Urban Myth Or Frightening Reality. Different places have different rules for appliance disposal, be sure to comply with your local rules and regulations. Just don’t stand directly in front of it watching your food cook. The agency also warns that, when you use a microwave to heat water in a cup, there's a risk of the water becoming "superheated," which means it has heated past its boiling point. © 1996-2020 Everyday Health, Inc. Ionizing radiation is the kind of radiation you come into contact with when you have an X-Ray or the type that’s used in nuclear power plants. The motor attached to the fan is a pole motor, which runs at 240v AC. It is worth noting that this disassembly is not suitable for inverter microwaves as they work differently. How to Upgrade Your iCloud Storage on an iPhone, Mac, or Windows PC, The 6 Best Mac Cleaning and Optimization Apps, Microsoft Halts Surface Hub 2S Update Rollout to Resolve Issues, Every Microsoft PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcut for Windows Worth Knowing, How to Prevent Auto-Added Files and Folders in Quick Access. The real dangers of microwave cooking are far more mundane, but no less serious. zvo. It’s especially important that children follow this rule since their bodies absorb radiation more easily than adults’. John estimated that this build cost £75, though without the added cost of the fan, and with clever reuse of other scavenged parts this is the perfect budget (and health conscious) DIY project. If Magneto is the enemy of the X-Men, the magnetron is the enemy of all lungs everywhere. These waves are remarkably selective, primarily affecting water and other molecules that are electrically asymmetrical — one end positively charged and the other negatively charged. I also found it handy to have a small bowl next to me to store all of the screws. But is there any good evidence to support this theory? This unit is already self contained and compact, and can be put to another use as you will see later. 12 Green Foods and Drinks That Are Good for You, Not All Patients Have Easy Access to Radiation Therapy, and More From Day 2 of ASTRO. Dec 02, 2020 Magnetron, Move Over! If you’re skeptical of this information, at least minimize your use of the device just in case, until you come to a different decision. According to the FDA, the majority of microwaves they check for leakage turn out to be harmless, but it might be worth checking yours out for peace of mind.In a nutshell: Unless your microwave is very old or defective in any way, it is not harmful to your health. I also stripped the front panel of the microwave off as one piece. However, few of us consider the fact that this common kitchen appliance is actually a powerful machine, capable of emitting up to two-thousand watts of electricity and heating food to over 200°F.So, should you believe all the news stories telling people how dangerous microwaves are? Various pieces of high voltage rated wire, and the mains lead. Everyday Health is among the federally registered trademarks of Everyday Health, Inc. and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. Beryllium Oxide is like a much worse version of … Microwaves contain a goldmine of bits for the electronics tinkerer, from transformers for a Tesla coil to simple, robust switches for your hobby projects. It has the advantage of being very powerful, whilst remaining fairly quiet. In this model is was part of the fan assembly, though this can vary. Magnetrons can be incredibly dangerous, while you are safe from radiation when they are not powered, the ceramic If you need to heat liquids in the microwave, leave a microwavable spoon standing in the cup and stop the microwave periodically to stir the liquid and release the steam. Leave the last screw, which is located in the raised rectangle in the middle of the bottom panel, These beginner projects will teach you how to get started. Transformer (commonly referred to as MOT). The first step is finding your microwave. Let us know in the comment section below! In this instance, the manufacturer kindly put a diagram of the internal electronics on the back of the case. No one voicing the dangers of microwaves has an agenda. How to Safely Take Apart a Microwave and What to Do With the Parts. Diacetyl is one of many chemicals used to create buttery coatings for microwave popcorn. Sign up for our Healthy Living Newsletter! If you have a microwave mounted over your stove, look inside of a cabinet above it for … The more windings you have on the secondary, the higher the voltage and lower the amps, and vice versa. This unit could be used as is as a countdown timer -- perfect to remind you to get up and stretch after a period in front of the computer! Now, with that said, let's get started. Here's how to upgrade your iCloud account on any compatible platform. The micro switches we scavenged are momentary normally open (NO), normally closed (NC), or selector switches which are rated up to 16A 250v (remember, yours may vary depending on your country). Need more iCloud storage? Make sure that you know how to handle dangerous things such as HV capapcitors, laser devices, strong magnets, and in the microwave's case, the magnetron. Grab a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and Get Super Mario Odyssey Free, Hulu Officially Launches Its Watch Party Feature to Everyone, You Can Now Play Apple Music on Google Nest, Intel, NVIDIA, and AMD Roll Out New Windows 10 Drivers, Forget the Xbox: Microsoft's Ugly Sweaters Are Its Hottest Commodity, Want to Be a Certified Cisco Power User? Adobe Premiere Rush vs. Adobe Premiere Pro: Which Should You Use? The microwave has become an integral part of modern life; government figures estimate that 90 percent of households in the US have at least one microwave. By modifying this design by John Ward to make use of the fan, you can create a powerful extractor on a low budget. Depending on the version of the microwave myth, these chemicals are said to be cancerous, radioactive, unnatural, or otherwise dangerous. It can cause cancer to occur in your cells, for example, and can result in birth defects if you’re pregnant.Microwaves produce non-ionizing radiation.Non-ionizing radiation doesn’t have the power to change your DNA and is not as dangerous as ionizing radiation. The cancer causing compounds in the plastic containers and plastic wraps percolate into the food cooked in microwave oven. This means that the high torque motor is capable of generating power when turned manually. what shoukld i look out for? Relevance. The magnetron inside a microwave can contain beryllium oxide in their ceramic insulators which can be fatal if it gets into the lungs. Microwave cooking is such an important part of our culture that even the most heinous news of microwave dangers is unlikely to stop people from using them.That said, there are very few risks involved in microwaving, despite what the next “big story” might try to tell you.What Really Causes Cancer? It is the microwave oven, because of the higher voltage that is used. Microwave ovens have been ubiquitous in kitchens since the 1980s, but more recently intrepid tinkerers have been taking them apart to harvest them for parts for their own projects. It is such a weird question, I couldn't think where else to … Have you ever microwaved a cup of water to make yourself a quick cup of coffee, only to have the water bubble over once you add the instant coffee? This contains a motor for the timer along with two more micro switches. Just before you go, one more time: always use caution when working with high powered electronics. Now that you have everything you need, gather up the pieces you will not be keeping for disposal. When you take it apart, don't poke around at the hunk of circuitry where the power cord goes in. Some say that microwave radiation can damage one’s genetics (DNA) and subsequently cause cancer. You may find that the top part of the casing can be removed first with the screws around the edges giving you enough access to harvest the parts without totally taking it apart, though some models harder to break into than others. Luckily, there is no evidence to suggest that microwave popcorn causes cancer in casual popcorn eaters. Dec 02, 2020 Magnetron, Move Over! You may find it easier that I did if you remove all of the wiring first. Buy This Course, Nintendo in More Hot Water Over Switch Joy-Con Drift, The high voltage capacitor can give you a lethal shock, The magnetron inside a microwave can contain. There is an high voltage capacitor in there that can be still charge … Of course, heavy transformers can smash your feet and sharp sheet metal can cut flesh. While capable of high voltages, they will do perfectly fine for smaller scale projects also, since they are spring loaded they could easily be fitted to door and window frames instead of reed switches as part of a DIY home security system. Earlier in the article I mentioned that the MOT was the most valuable part to scavenge from a microwave, and a quick google search will reveal why. It's not worth it! A practical way to do this is to reassemble the outer case with the magnetron inside it, and then take the whole unit to your local recycling centre for safe disposal. “Microwaving in plastic is Dangerous because it can cause toxic chemicals (like … Unplug your microwave. You must make sure that you get the correct fuse replacement. Join our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free ebooks, and exclusive deals! Scavenging and re-purposing old appliances is a great way to learn about electronics and cuts back on the amount of waste we produce. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be careful around your microwave.The “leakage” of microwave radiation is strictly monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and manufacturers have to prove that their microwave oven leaks only a miniscule amount of radiation. When this happens, the liquid doesn’t have time to release the steam that comes from boiling, making it very unstable. Ian Buckley is a freelance journalist, musician, performer and video producer living in Berlin, Germany. This is called superheating, and it’s a real risk when microwaving liquids.Superheating occurs when liquids are quickly heated to a temperature that’s higher than its normal boiling point. posted by leapfrog at 12:38 PM on August 4, 2009 Every time you knowingly tinker with high power, it is at your own risk and potentially deadly. In 1976 Russia even banned the use of microwaves! If you can remove the transformer without removing the magnetron, leave it where it is. Locate the plug for your microwave and disconnect it from power completely. We have covered using 5v relays with microcontrollers before, and the same principles can be applied to the relay we salvaged. But should you believe every cancer myth you hear? A microwave oven with its power cord cut or removed AND its high voltage capacitor safely discharged is an inanimate object. You do not need many tools for this disassembly though with different microwave designs this could vary. The high voltage transformer (commonly known as a Microwave Oven Transformer, or MOT) is the real prize in this disassembly. When he's not writing or on stage, he's tinkering with DIY electronics or code in the hope of becoming a mad scientist. In short, be safe! 1 x Electric heating element (this particular microwave had a grill function). What makes microwaves so effective is that the radio waves they emit have the ability to pass through paper, plastic and glass while being absorbed by food.The radio waves used by microwaves, as with any device that uses radio waves, produce a type of radiation. I can put safety goggles on him, but other than that, is there anything chemical or otherwise in there that might endanger him? You've Been Doxxed: What Is Doxxing and Is It Illegal? Compact High Capacity Thermostat (small black circular component). Claim: Microwaves Emit Dangerous RadiationStatus: Mostly Untrue Microwaves work by using high-frequency radio waves (called microwaves) to make the molecules in your food move very fast, creating heat. If you were to power up thatagnetron outside of the microwave and point it at your face, it's possible you'd blind yourself before you even realized you were in danger. Carefully remove it, wrap it up, and put it aside to be safely discarded later. But a microwave can also be dangerous! Now we have all of these parts, what shall we do with them? First of all, the manner in which the food or water is heated is completely unnatural and not found anywhere in nature. Luckily the general setup of the microwave hasn't changed all that much over the years, making the identification and safe removal of parts fairly easy. Just in case you need a reminder this soon, you don't need to understand German to know that something with "Achtung" and "Warnung" on it could potentially be dangerous! If you are new to working with microcontrollers, they also work perfectly in Arduino beginner projects. However, as scary as that may sound, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your food is radioactive after you’ve heated it up.There are two main types of radiation: ionizing and non-ionizing. Never take apart or work on your microwave while it’s still plugged in since you could get shocked or electrocuted. Don’t take apart the magnetron or play with it for several good reasons! These transformers have been re-purposed to create many weird, wacky, and sometimes downright dangerous inventions -- everything from homemade electric arcs, to metal melting foundries, to spot and welding machines. The relay I stripped in this case works perfectly well with only 9v, making it the perfect relay to use in a microcontroller project, and since the relay here is capable of taking up to 250v 16A would be able to sustain use in almost any home automation setting. The very first thing to locate is the capacitor. Favorite Answer. This makes it perfect for use as a home made fume extractor fan, which is something everyone who owns a soldering iron should have. In a wonderfully simple project, Instructables user ahmedebeed555 has created a hand-cranked phone charger using next to no parts! Or that it may destroy the micro. 1 x 240v geared motor from the turntable. Studies on the effects of microwaves have been quite controversial as microwave technology has evolved over the years. Microwaves have the power to burn human tissue and the eye is particularly susceptible.The FDA warns that you shouldn’t stand directly against your microwave while it’s heating your food. And what are the real dangers of microwave cooking that slip under the news radar? The dangers of heating plastics in the microwave cannot be ignored. Answer Save. Now that you have the bigger components out, slowly remove everything else piece by piece. Microwave ovens cook food using waves of energy that are similar to radio waves but shorter. Before we get started there are three important points we need to go over: Every time you knowingly tinker with high power, it is at your own risk and potentially deadly. There are a veritable gold mine of parts for DIY home inventors here, from high powered heavy duty components that can be used to make a Tesla coil, to basic durable parts for all manner of Arduino hobby projects or Raspberry Pi home automation. They are currently present in at least 90% of homes in America thanks to their ability to cook and reheat foods or beverages in a simple, rapid way.The majority of people use this kitchen appliance … There are several fantastic projects you can do with this beast, which we will go over later in this article. Carefully remove the wires and screws and pull out your prize. The MOT is heavy, so it is almost always attached to the bottom of the casing by two or four screws. Most magnetrons look like this, and are attached to the main microwave case with four screws. To avoid being a victim of superheating, avoid heating liquids (or any food, for that matter) in the microwave for extended periods of time. Now begin by removing all of the screws you can see on the outer casing. These effects are due to the fields of microwave radiation interacting with the body’s central nervous system, according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety … Lv 5. Some of them however, can be put to use here and now. Microwaves cause these molecules to … Myths vs. FactsCell phones, makeup, bug spray, and even fresh produce all have been rumored to cause cancer. Have you made any amazing inventions from scavenged microwave parts? By subscribing you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. In this instance, we came out with: Along with these things we also got assorted smaller resistors, diodes, capacitors and an inductor. If the superheated liquid is disturbed in anyway––for example, if you add power or stir it––it can “erupt” as the steam is suddenly released from within the liquid. When you’re heating up left-overs from yesterday’s dinner after a long day at work, how much time do you spend thinking about the potential microwave dangers? A 2016 study in Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine revealed that long-term microwave radiation exposure increases your risk of impaired brain function and can affect our central nervous system (CNS) causing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's (the most common form of dementia), cancer, and infertility. Make sure you take adequate precautions and use protective gear where appropriate! The Raspberry Pi Comes of Age with the Pi 400 Desktop Computer, How to Return an Item on Amazon and Get Your Money Back, 12 Free Alternatives to Windows Operating Systems. When it comes to protecting yourself from cancer, you need to know which seemingly obscure myths may actually be true. The microwave oven serial killer. Phillips screwdriver with insulated handle. In case the above image is not clear, this is what you are looking for: If possible, you should discharge the capacitor before removal. Live to tinker another day! 1 x Powerful 240v AC pole motor from the fan. High voltage transformers can be expensive items to buy for hobby or DIY use, but with careful modification, MOTs can be used to provide a high range of different power requirements. (Source of microwave radiation). Remove the four on the top and bottom of the casing, and four more on the right side which are holding the transformer to the inside of the case. On the bottom of the microwave you'll find 9 more phillips screws. Claim:Microwave Popcorn Causes CancerStatus:IndeterminateThe question of whether microwave popcorn causes cancer has been hot news for almost five years.The story stems from a legal case involving a worker in a microwave popcorn factory who developed a potentially deadly lung disease, similar to lung cancer.