The FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, which regulates the manufacture of microwave ovens, says there is little cause for concern. Excessive leaking of microwaves is likely to occur only if the oven predates 1971 or if its door hinges, latch or seals are damaged. Even then, the amount of microwaves is negligible, unless your oven has been doubling as your pillow. A person standing roughly two feet away from a microwave oven would receive one 100th the amount of microwaves received at two inches.
Bottom line: "We are not aware of any health risks from microwave oven leakage," says an FDA spokesperson.
Our December issue features Oprah's Favorite Things—as well as your chance to win them all! You'll also find our easy holiday declutter plan, Dr. Oz's guide to sleeping better (starting tonight) and the ultimate holiday menu.