Microwaves are totally safe. Do you really think so many would have been sold and used if it wasn't. No one on the cancer wards caught it from microwaves. Microwaves are just a unit that causes molecules to vibrate which produces the heat that cooks or warms the food. Totally safe and tell your neighbour to stop teasing you
Here's an interesting story about microwaves in this months E (ecology) Magazine:
They do say in the article to move away from the oven while it is working and not to look inside through the window.
The reason for not standing in front of the microwave is in case there is a leak on the door seal which could presumably 'microwave' the body - but there doesn't seem to be any examples of this that aren't 'urban legends'. Microwaves can be tested for leaks. Your neighbour is talking complete rubbish - however there is some evidence that microwaving does change the nature of food in some way. Unfortunately I can't remember the reference - just do a Google search but I would ignore any articles which are not from a reliable source, i.e. find a scientific study with references rather than just hearsay.
Here's a great site for checking out such stuff: http://www.snopes.com. It's an amazing site for checking out rumors, urban legends and such.
My husband is a total geek and has been reassuring me for years that all microwaves do is use "microwaves" which are similar to radio waves to heat up the liquids in the foods. The microwaves heat the molecules in the liquids through the frequency of the waves.
No it doesn't. Your neighbour has probably heard some story spread by people who know nothing about how microwave ovens work. Don't worry, you can use it safely.
See http://www.microwavecooking.com/Microwave_Safety.htm for useful info on this subject.
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