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UAE starts checks on microwave ovens

Dubai, May 18, 2011

The UAE government has started the regulation and control of all microwave ovens being sold and distributed in the country to help prevent harmful radiation.

As per the technical regulation approved by the cabinet, only products complying with the safety standards are allowed to trade in UAE.

According to Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (Esma), harmful radiation escapes from the microwave when food residues contaminate door seals; objects are caught between oven door and oven front face; viewing window is damaged; or when the door is damaged.

Harmful radiation also escapes if the door does not close properly, if it is bent and if its hinges and latches are broken or loosened.

Mohammad Saleh Badri, acting director general, Esma, said: “As far as microwave ovens are concerned, the UAE has passed a law that will ensure these products are safe for the consumers. To be able to do that, these appliances should comply with the requirements and the standards that we have. These standards are now mandatory.'

'To prevent harmful radiation, Esma requires that allowable leakage from microwave oven is only as per International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards, the world’s leading organization that prepares and publishes global standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies.'

'In the UAE, the allowed leakage from microwave oven is .5 mW/cm2 prior to acquisition by a purchaser and .10 mW/cm2 during the life of the appliance,' said Badri.

'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. Up to now, more that 215 brands and models have been verified and registered in Esma,' he explained.

“This is a relatively new technology and if there is anything wrong, nobody has noticed it, as yet. That is why education is very important so consumers will better understand the issue,” he added.

Industry studies show that exposure to very high levels of microwave radiation can result in significant amounts of energy being absorbed by the body. Sensitive body parts, such as the eyes and brain, are usually not able to get rid of the extra heat that may build up.

'We are upgrading our website to be more dynamic and interactive giving a chance to people to see and have access to all the registered brands and models of microwave oven that have complied with our standard,” Badri said.

“Consumers should therefore look for the Mark of Conformity,” he added.

“The effects of the radiation from microwave ovens are harmful but it is hard to see the effects because you do not immediately feel the effects and it takes time before you know something is wrong,' remarked Badri.

'For that reason, I highly recommend to the consumers to make sure that their microwave ovens have the Esma certificate of conformity,' he added.

However Badri said till date, the UAE has had no record of casualties or diseases from exposure to microwave radiation.

“We don't have any incidents that implicate microwave oven radiation to any sickness or disease,” he stated.

Badri said practicing a few safety tips in one’s daily lifestyle could make a difference. 'This includes not operating the oven when empty, making sure that the door seal and inside surfaces of door and oven cavity are clean after each use, and keeping the microwave ovens out of the reach of children,' he noted.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: UAE | regulation | microwave oven | harmful radiation |

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