Microwaves

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  • #13
    Trying to find some information from manufacturers, I came across this from Panasonic:

    "Regarding beryllium, concerns to the hazards of beryllium come from the hazardousness of beryllium oxide. Though some spring materials that Panasonic uses contain beryllium copper alloy, no Panasonic product contains beryllium oxide."

    Source: http://www.panasonic.com/global/corp...l/actions.html

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    • #14
      Science Report –
      A review of the toxicity of beryllium in air
      5
      Beryllium oxide is converted to a ceramic, which is very strong and hard and is an
      extremely good heat conductor and electrical insulator. It finds use in electronic circuits,
      automotive ignition systems, high-speed
      computers and microwave ovens, amongst
      other applications.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...08bobo-e-e.pdf

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      • #15
        Interesting discussion. Follows is an article from Wikipedia. Actually it is a section on hazards of Magnatrons.
        "Among more speculative hazards, at least one in particular is well known and documented. As the lens of the eye has no cooling blood flow, it is particularly prone to overheating when exposed to microwave radiation. This heating can in turn lead to a higher incidence ofcataracts in later life.[27] A microwave oven with a warped door or poor microwave sealing can be hazardous.
        There is also a considerable electrical hazard around magnetrons, as they require a high voltage power supply.
        Some magnetrons have beryllium oxide (beryllia) ceramic insulators, which are dangerous if crushed and inhaled, or otherwise ingested. Single or chronic exposure can lead to berylliosis, an incurable lung condition. In addition, beryllia is listed as a confirmed human carcinogen by the IARC; therefore, broken ceramic insulators or magnetrons should not be directly handled.
        All magnetrons contain a small amount of thorium mixed with tungsten in their filament. While this is a radioactive metal, the risk of cancer is low as it never gets airborne in normal usage. Only if the filament is taken out of the magnetron and crushed can it pose a health hazard.[28][29][30]"

        From this article it would seem that some Magnetrons have bryllium oxide. Logically this means that some don't. Clearly the danger comes from breaking the ceramics and inhaling the dust.

        OKEDEN SCRAP & PM's
        http://www.okedenscrapandpms.com.au

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        • #16
          Just reading a science forum on the subject and the following comments come from there. Pretty much self explanatory. These comments are from 2014. Many other searches are from 8 or more years ago, and as such could well be out of date.

          [–]salton 0 points 1 year ago*

          Probably the most dangerious part of a microwave is something that you would only interact with if you dismantled the applience and didn't know what you were doing. The magnetron that generates the microwaves has two ceramic parts that contain beryllium. If you were to crush or grind those parts somehow you could easily expose yourself to enough beryllium to cause a chronic lung disease called berylliosis.




          [–]UnclePat79Physical Chemistry 8 points 1 year ago

          Just to put this into perspective... You needed to inhale the dust generated by grinding the actual component; the dust would then be simply toxic by chemical means. This lung disease would not be induced due to radiation or something similar...



          [–]__PersPlasma Physics 2 points 1 year ago

          To put this into further perspective: only a small fraction of the population (of order a percent) are acutely sensitive to beryllium and thus susceptible to developing berylliosis from exposure to minute quantities of the material.



          So if you are going to remove the magnatrons, don't break the ceramics. Even suggest you might wear your gloves if you are still unsure that by handling them you may transfer some nasties through your skin.
          OKEDEN SCRAP & PM's
          http://www.okedenscrapandpms.com.au

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          • #17
            yep, unlikely it would crush because it's so hard, my theory is that magnetrons pack a lot of punch, maybe there was a power surge or something which caused the ceramic to shatter, it's a possibility, so when opening up a magnetron to get the 10c of copper, maybe 5c, the dust particles would fly around if in the unlikely event it did shatter.

            it may be one in a million magnetrons, no worries, but what if it's your magnetron?
            so the main point i'm trying to say is if your a newbie scrapper having some fun making spare cash, leave them be, there's better things to get from a microwave.

            scrapforum does not recommend opening magnetrons so..

            caveat emptor

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            • #18
              I whip out the transformer and chuck the rest in light gauge. I couldn't be arsed trying to pull apart small components.

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              • opygmy
                opygmy commented
                Editing a comment
                I can understand SIMs policy as they haven't the time/labour to individually check each transformer involving cutting/filing the primary winding,
                so ALL are downgraded to ballast at 20c/kg.
                With the smaller yard I go to, which only accepts Cu/Cu, they now take my word that each transformer has been checked by myself and indeed it has.
                Of the 15-20 I process each week, I only get 4 or 5 all Cu at 50c/kg (same as motors).

              • WEEE Ben
                WEEE Ben commented
                Editing a comment
                might pay to bring loads of non ferrous to this side of town.
                cu/cu transformers are worth busting open instead of selling though.
                when I send in motors & transformers it's everything in one go, vac' motors, transformers from circuit boards, fan motors, ballasts, microwavw tranny's, the lot,
                all goes as the same here and I just get a bin brought to my van and I just chuck it all in.

              • opygmy
                opygmy commented
                Editing a comment
                I'm planning on doing that as well for iron at 60$, but I don't know which yard you go to that also offers specials.

            • #19
              Well...looks like I walked in on this "interesting debate" about a year late.

              To add my two cents, I see microwaves as four 'motors'(large transformer, fan motor, small transformer on control board, plate rotation motor) and a handful of PVC insulate. Anything else isn't worth it. In my business mind I evaluate microwaves as $5 worth of scrap for 5 minutes work, I'm not going to spend a couple more minutes for 20c worth of aluminium or 14c worth of copper.

              It might add fuel to this fire, usually after I've defiled a microwave, I screw up the side again and fill the center with as much steel smalls as I can and put it through my scrap yard as light gauge steel. I've always done this, however in the last year my yard now informs me to put microwaves to one side due to safety concerns. They still take them, they just get segregated, anyone else have this?

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              • goatrutar
                goatrutar commented
                Editing a comment
                Not had an issue with microwaves at our yard. I use an old 4m3 bin for our light gauge so the microwaves just get chucked in there.
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