Dan­ger Zone?

CUT YOUR RADAR SOME SLACK. IF THERE’S ANY RA­DI­A­TION TO FEAR ON YOUR BOAT, IT WILL COME FROM WHERE YOU LEAST EX­PECT IT.

Power & Motor Yacht - - ELECTRONICS -

Fu­runo USA. “But it’s not the same kind of en­ergy. Nu­clear ra­di­a­tion is as­so­ci­ated with change in the bi­o­log­i­cal struc­ture of a cell.”

Kunz is not a sci­en­tist but he has it right, at least ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion’s web­site. “Hu­man ex­po­sure to [elec­tro­mag­netic fields] emit­ted by radar sys­tems is lim­ited by in­ter­na­tional stan­dards and pro­tec­tive mea­sures, which were adopted on the ba­sis of the cur­rently avail­able sci­en­tific ev­i­dence,” the site reads, in part. “To date, re­searchers have not found ev­i­dence that mul­ti­ple ex­po­sures to [ra­dio fre­quency (RF)] fields be­low thresh­old lev­els cause any ad­verse health ef­fects. No ac­cu­mu­la­tion of dam­age oc­curs to tis­sues from re­peated low-level RF ex­po­sure. At present, there is no sub­stan­tive ev­i­dence that ad­verse health ef­fects, in­clud­ing can­cer, can oc­cur in peo­ple ex­posed to RF lev­els at or be­low the lim­its set by in­ter­na­tional stan­dards. How­ever, more re­search is needed to fill cer­tain gaps in knowl­edge.”

“Whether it’s a cell phone next to your head or a radar, they’re both forms of elec­tro­mag­netic ra­di­a­tion that is non­ion­iz­ing,” Kunz says. “It’s not like an X-ray or Gamma rays or any­thing like that. It has the abil­ity to vi­brate a mol­e­cule but not knock a pro­ton or an elec­tron out of its or­bital shell. So, it’s just gen­er­ally weaker.”

That vi­brat­ing mol­e­cule may not threaten to turn you into the In­cred­i­ble Hulk (re­mem­ber Gamma rays from the comic book?). But it does have an ef­fect. “Un­in­formed boaters of­ten equate a marine radar with a mi­crowave oven, and their body as a frozen bean bur­rito,” says Jim McGowan, mar­ket­ing man­ager for the Amer­i­cas for Ray­ma­rine. “It’s true that both sys­tems use mi­crowave en­ergy, and gen­er­ate that en­ergy us­ing a de­vice called a mag­netron. For com­par­i­son pur­poses, most mi­crowave ovens range in power out­put from 0.8 kilo­watt (800 watts) to 1 kilo­watt. The bur­rito anal­ogy doesn’t hold up though be­cause of a fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ence in the way a mi­crowave oven works ver­sus a marine radar. In or­der to heat your bur­rito, from the in­side out no less, a mi­crowave uses con­tin­u­ous-wave mi­crowave en­ergy. That means its mag­netron is on and ham­mer­ing away with 1 kilo­watt of en­ergy for its en­tire cook cy­cle. The mi­crowave en­ergy ac­tu­ally ex­cites the mol­e­cules in the food, caus­ing them to move faster and gen­er­ate heat. This is what warms the food. The longer the

The safety pro­vided by radar sys­tems out­weighs the risks.

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