Boycott Watch
April 30, 2006
Email About Microwave Ovens And Boiling Water Is True
   At Boycott Watch, we often debunk false emails circulating over the Internet, but this one is true, at least the science is. We can not verify the individual case or experience described because there is not enough information to back it up. A test of this theory was performed on the Discovery Channel TV show Mythbusters, where the hosts showed that water with few or no impurities is less likely to bubble in a microwave oven.

   The email contains a reply from General Electric which we have not verified, but the information is correct per our independent research, and we will therefore take it at face value because it is overall correct, regardless of the source attributed.

   The email also contains a video demonstrating the claim but it has no source information. We believe the video is undoctored, thus supports the claim.
Start Of Original email:

Read the following before watching the video.

A 26-year old decided to have a cup of coffee. He took a cup of water And put it in the microwave to heat it up (something that he had done numerous times before). I am not sure how long he set the timer for, but he told me he wanted to bring the water to a boil. When the timer shut the oven off, he removed the cup from the oven. As he looked into the cup, he noted that the water was not boiling, but instantly the water in the cup "blew up" into his face. The cup remained intact until he threw it out of his hand but all the water had flown out into his face due to the build up of energy. His whole face is blistered and he has 1st and 2nd degree burns to his face which may leave scarring. He also may have lost partial sight in his left eye.

While at the hospital, the doctor who was attending to him stated that this is fairly common occurrence and water (alone) should never be heated in a microwave oven. If water is heated in this manner, something should be placed in the cup to diffuse the energy such as: a wooden stir stick, teabag, etc. It is however a much safer choice to boil the water in a tea kettle.

General Electric's response:

Thanks for contacting us. I will be happy to assist you. The e-mail that You received is correct. Micro waved water and other liquids do not always bubble when they reach the boiling point. They can actually get superheated and not bubble at all. The superheated liquid will bubble up out of the cup when it is moved or when something like a spoon or tea bag is put into it.

To prevent this from happening and causing injury, do not heat any Liquid for more than two minutes per cup. After heating, let the cup stand in the microwave for thirty seconds before moving it or adding anything into it.

If you pass this on ... you could very well save someone from a lot of Pain and suffering.

Now check the attachment video clip and see what can happen!
End Of Original email:

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