A research team at the University of Manchester has discovered that in Europe microwave ovens, among the most popular electrical appliances ever, pollute as nearly 7 million cars.
In Europe microwave ovens emit 7.7 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year, as much as emitted by 6.8 million cars. The incredible data were shown by researchers from the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science at the University of Manchester (Great Britain), who conducted an all-round survey on this highly appreciated household appliance, from its production to disposal in landfills .

But how can microwave ovens be real air pollution machines? The main reason, explain the researchers coordinated by Dr. Alejandro Gallego-Schmid, lies in energy consumption. Every 12 months in the Europe our trusted cooking companions – for many people they are practically indispensable – devour as many as 9.4 terawatt hours, that is like the production of three large gas-fired power plants each year. Taken singularly, a microwave oven consumes just under 600 kilowatt-hours over its entire life cycle, the same consumption as a 7-watt LED bulb lit continuously for almost 9 years. With the only difference that the appliance remains off for almost all of its "life cycle". Moreover, one of its main purposes is precisely to heat or cook dishes in a very short time.

What worries scientists is not just the "hunger" of electricity from the ovens, but also the environmental impact of disposal of household appliances. To realize the extent of the phenomenon, just think that in 2005 more than 180 thousand tons of electronic and electrical waste were obtained only from microwaves. In seven years, the figure is estimated to rise by about 10 thousand units. This also depends on the fact that the life cycle of microwave ovens has practically halved compared to the 90s of the last century (6-8 years against 10-15); this is because they have become a real fashion item, which pushes to change a microwave oven even if it is still fully functional. Exactly like the latest smartphone model released on the market