Your microwave oven may be contaminating more or equal to your car

 
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The use of microwave ovens only in the European Union (EU) emits as much carbon dioxide as almost seven million cars, according to a study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

Your microwave oven may be contaminating more or equal to your car

Scientists at the University of Manchester found that microwaves emit 7.7 million tons of carbon dioxide per year in the EU, which is equal to the annual emissions of 6.8 million cars.

Microwaves represent the highest percentage of sales of all types of kilns in the EU, with figures that will reach almost 135 million in 2020. Despite this, the rate of their impacts on the environment was not known.

Those responsible for the research, led by Alejandro Gallego-Schmid, carried out the first exhaustive study on the environmental impacts of microwave ovens, considering their complete life cycle.

The study used life cycle assessment (LCA) to estimate the impacts of microwaves, taking into account their manufacture, use and waste management at the end of their useful life.

In total, the scientists investigated 12 different environmental factors, including climate change, depletion of natural resources and ecological toxicity.

They discovered, for example, that microwaves used throughout the EU emit 7.7 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to the annual emission of 6.8 million cars.

The research shows that the main environmental "hot spots" are the materials used to make the microwaves, the manufacturing process and the management of end-of-life waste.

For example, the manufacturing process alone contributes more than 20 percent to the depletion of natural resources and climate change.

However, it is the consumption of electricity from microwaves that has the greatest impact on the environment, taking into account its entire life cycle, from the production of fuels to the generation of electricity.

In total, microwaves across the EU consume an estimated 9.4 terawatts per hour (TWh) of electricity each year, as do the annual electricity generation of three large gas-fired power plants.

The study found that, on average, a single microwave oven uses 573 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity over its eight-year lifespan, equivalent to the electricity consumed by a 7-watt LED bulb, which is left on continuously for almost nine years.

This is despite the fact that microwaves spend more than 90 percent of their lives inactive, in standby mode.

The authors of the study suggest that efforts to reduce the consumption of microwaves should focus on improving the awareness and behavior of consumers to use household appliances more efficiently.

(With information from Notimex)

Fuente: www.adn40.mx
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