Running a microwave with no load can cause serious damage to electrical components. When food is placed in the oven, microwave energy generated by the magnetron is absorbed by the food. When no food is in the oven, there is nothing to absorb the energy. The energy bounces around the cavity and is channeled back through the waveguide. This can cause arcing, fire and may burn out the magnetron.
The slotted choke door seal prevents microwave energy from escaping the oven cavity. It is not dangerous to stand close to a running microwave.
No, microwaves are actually less harmful than sunlight. On the electromagnetic spectrum, microwaves are closest to radio waves. All microwave ovens are thoroughly tested in the factory for microwave leakage before shipment.
Today pacemakers are fitted with electromagnetic shields to prevent any interference. Being near a microwave with a pacemaker is now perfectly safe.
There are many Agencies that offer Compliance Marks for products that were tested to domestic and international Standards. Domestically (North American Market) our ovens comply with UL 923 (Safety Standard – Microwave Cooking Appliances), CSA C22.2 No. 150 (Safety Standard – Microwave Ovens), and NSF 4 Standard (Sanitation Standard – Commercial Cooking, Rethermalization, and Powered Hot Food Holding and Transport Equipment). All ACP, Inc. ovens comply with these standards. We use the ETL marks to indicate compliance.