A woman demonstrates a Litton Series 500 microwave oven on a display stand, circa 1966. (Photo by Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Is It Dangerous To Use An Old Microwave?
By Aimee Lamoureux
In the 1950s and 1960s, the price of microwaves decreased, meaning almost every American could afford to buy one. However, when microwaves were first invented, nobody was particularly concerned with the potential dangers of using electromagnetic radiation to cook.
Now, we know that the small amounts of low-frequency electromagnetic radiation used in microwaves are unlikely to be harmful to humans, but you may be wondering if old models are safe. Most old microwaves, as long as they have been well-maintained and are functioning, are also likely safe to use today as there is a very low risk that old microwaves will cause harm.
However, if the microwave has damage to the screen or rubber seals around the door, radiation can leak out while it is running. A simple microwave leakage tester can be an easy way to check this issue, but if all signs seem good, you should feel free to show off your antique microwave on your counter.