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The Ultimate Oven Guide / Oven Safety: A Quick Guide

Theory of Electric and Microwave Ovens: Chapter 3


Oven’s Safety


In this module, we will discuss the

- Standard organizations, and

- Regulations provided for ovens. Skip to quiz!


International Standards


The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is the organization for standards of electrical devices. IEC set the standards for the construction and usage of microwave ovens for material standards and uniformity in products.


Manufacturers of electronic radiation-emitting products sold in the United States are responsible for compliance with the federal codes. Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), Chapter V, Subchapter C, specifically talks about radiation control in electronic products that include ovens.


Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), sets and enforces performance standards for electronic products. Manufacturers of microwave ovens are responsible for compliance with all applicable requirements of Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations (Subchapter J, Radiological Health).


Modern microwave ovens operate at a standard frequency of 2,450 Megahertz (MHz). CDRH and the FDA enforce these performance standards to ensure that radiation emissions do not cause a threat to the user’s health. The radiation limit is 5 milliwatts (mW) of microwave radiation per square centimeter.


This is measured at a distance of 2 inches from the oven surface, and this limit is very safe and cannot harm people. A Federal standard (21 CFR 1030.10) limits the amount of microwaves that can leak from an oven throughout its lifetime.


FDA tests microwave ovens in its laboratory to make sure the standard is followed. The FDA also evaluates manufacturers' radiation testing and quality control programs at their factories. Microwave ovens should follow all the limitations provided in the federal codes.


The standard also requires all ovens to have two independent interlock systems. It should stop the production of microwaves when the latch is released or the door is opened. In addition, a monitoring system stops oven operation in case one or both of the interlock systems fail.



Hazards


Most injuries related to microwave ovens are the result of

  • Heat-related burns from hot containers,

  • Overheated foods, or

  • Exploding liquids.

It is very rare for instances of radiation injury due to unusual circumstances or improper servicing.


Microwave radiation can heat body tissue the same way it heats food. Exposure to high levels of microwaves can cause a painful burn.


The eye’s lens is sensitive to intense heat and exposure to high levels of microwaves. Intense heat and exposure to microwaves can cause long-term problems like cataracts.


It is little cause for concern about excess microwaves leaking from ovens unless the door hinges, latch, or seals are damaged. The FDA recommends looking at the oven carefully and not using an oven if the door doesn’t close firmly or is bent, warped, or otherwise damaged.


The IEC, CDRH, and FDA set different levels of standards for oven manufacturing. The radiation limit is 5 milliwatts (mW) of microwave radiation per square centimeter at approximately 2 inches from the oven surface. Never use a damaged oven, or even the door is not closed as it may cause injuries.




 

Question #1: Standard organizations for ovens are (Select all that apply)

  1. IBAF

  2. FDA

  3. FIFA

  4. CDRH

Scroll down for the answer...










Answer: FDA

CDRH

Standard organizations for ovens are

  • IEC,

  • FDA, and

  • CDRH


Question #2: Which standard organization set the standards for the construction and usage of microwave ovens for material standards and uniformity in products?

  1. Federal Police

  2. ASHRAE

  3. IEC

  4. IPC

Scroll down for the answer...










Answer: IEC

IEC set the standards for the construction and usage of microwave ovens for material standards and uniformity in products.


Question #3: The radiation limit is ___ milliwatts (mW) of microwave radiation per square centimeter at approximately 2 inches from the oven surface.

  1. 5

  2. 1

  3. 15

  4. 10

Scroll down for the answer...








Answer: 5

The radiation limit is 5 milliwatts (mW) of microwave radiation per square centimeter at approximately 2 inches from the oven surface.


Question #4: Most injuries related to microwave ovens are the result of (Select all that apply)

  1. Heat-related burns

  2. Closing oven door

  3. Exploding liquids

  4. Falling of oven

Scroll down for the answer...








Answer: Heat-related burns

Exploding liquids

Most injuries related to microwave ovens are the result of

  • Heat-related burns from hot containers,

  • Overheated foods, or

  • Exploding liquids.


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