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Are old microwave ovens safe?

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chrisbailey | 18:39 Thu 20th May 2004 | Technology
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In our kitchen we currently have an approximately 20 year old microwave oven from 'Bauknecht' and I am concerned that it may be emitting some form of radiation because it has very little screening (on most modern ovens you cannot see inside them very well) and as it was made so long ago, safety standards may have changed. My mother will not replace it because it 'works perfectly well' so I want to know if it's safe. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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It would be almost certain that it wouldn't leak, even though it's twenty years old the principles of construction haven't changed. The old doors would have a seperate mesh, where now they are part of the main door frame ,this will explain the lack of visibllity. Anyway the things to look for visibly are any holes in the mesh, those that shouldn't be there that is! excessive rust around the door and oven cavity. To test for leakage there are only two recognised test meters and the thier both over �200, but if you're still unsure phone around from the yellow pages and you should find someone who would test for you for about �20 ish, although for �40+ you could buy a new one.
Refer to the food & drink section with the heading microwave.Incitatus seems to be informing that leaking radiation is not a problem as this is the same as generated by a mobile phone.How ever without getting into tec/jargon magnitrons,capacitors etc etc you might want to treat your mum to a new one as they start from �40 if you would feel happier or take it to a repair shop and for about �20 they'll test it for you.
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Thank you for these answers. It was mainly for her own safety, as I refuse to eat anything microwaved anyway! I might buy her a new one then. Incidentally, I posted it here as I thought "Food & Drink" was more to do with actual food, rather than cooking methods, which is "Technology".

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