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Any food or health-related hazards from rust inside microwave?

By February 3, 2009 - 1:46pm
 
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We bought a relatively new home (2001), and for some reason, the built-in microwave has rust in the back corners.

Besides from sounding gross, I'm wondering if there is any possible health risks with heating food up in this microwave?

The food does not directly touch the rust, but I'm not sure exactly how microwaves work and if the rust can become airborne. Does anyone know? Also, I'm not sure what the cause of the rust is; I've never had a microwave do this before (so, possibly the cause of the rust may be more significant than the rust itself?)

thanks!

Add a Comment29 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

My microwave is only 2yrs old under the plate rust built up, i bought the proper microwave spray from ebay scraped the rust off and used the spray but when i was scraping the rust off my spoon went through the bottom of the base, so now there is a small hole, is microwave still safe to use. help.

July 5, 2017 - 1:52am
Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hello Anonymous,

I would not use this microwave and would report the problem to ebay, if you can.

Maryann

July 5, 2017 - 1:11pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

if those rust holes can be closed up and repaired, what with?

April 9, 2017 - 9:10pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I have just noticed a rust hole in a microwave I hadn't used for a while. I am more worried about the RF or Microwaves and whatever else it may put put escaping and affecting atmosphere or my body in a negative way. Or, those things hitting the metal on the underside outside the oven and catching fire or exploding or being dangerous. What about that? Can an expert or knowledgeable person answer please? Thank You.

April 9, 2017 - 9:02pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

That is what I'm concerned about, whether holes in the floor of the microwave so one can see the counter below, allows radiation to escape (they say door must be closed!!) would this be dangerous or start a fire on the butcherblock counter??? How do you safely dispose of such microwave if necessary??

August 31, 2017 - 3:46pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

That is what I'm concerned about, whether holes in the floor of the microwave so one can see the counter below, allows radiation to escape (they say door must be closed!!) would this be dangerous or start a fire on the butcherblock counter???

August 31, 2017 - 3:45pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I like how after two pages of comments no one answered the original question If rust gets on her food If It becomes a health Issue..........

March 22, 2016 - 6:08pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

A microwave works by basically generating RF energy at microwave frequencies and directing those into the cooking chamber. The walls are all metal to reflect the microwave energy into whatever is cooking. The screen on the inside of the front door also reflects the microwaves (they're too big to fit through the holes in the screen), which allows a way to look inside while the oven is operating.

The plastic coating on the inside is basically for appearance (nice and clean white surface) and for ease of cleaning (it's easier to clean than bare metal). And, microwaves do not affect plastic. The frequency of the microwave energy is basically the resonant frequency of water molecules. So, the microwaves cause water molecules to vibrate, resulting in heating from the inside. That's why you can put something like a bowl of ice cream into a microwave and melt it, while the bowl stays cool (there's no molecules in the bowl itself that are excited by the microwave energy).

So, as long as the microwave works properly to heat whatever they put in it, the peeling plastic or rust shouldn't be an issue. It may look terrible and maybe there's a rusty smell from the exposed metal. But, it's not harming the food, nor is there any danger of the rust contaminating the food, as long as it doesn't flake off and fall into the food while it's cooking

May 17, 2016 - 8:26am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

The microwaves are too big to fit through the holes in the door? If you don't know what you are on about them be quiet. Note: the clue is in the title - MICROwaves.

August 30, 2016 - 12:25am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

No, the poster is correct. The metal grating that you look through is designed to block the microwaves. The wavelength compared to the holes is the important part. A microwave oven operates at about 2.4 GHz, which translates to a wavelength of around 12 centimeters. Those little holes are usually only a couple of millimeters wide.

September 12, 2017 - 2:55pm
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