Microwaves are accelerating cooking appliance, and so it makes sense that we’d have them at Fermilab (as well as in every home and business across the US).
Two recent incidents at Fermilab have highlighted problems associated with microwaving paper cups. Heating – or reheating – coffee or tea in a paper cups seems less of a problem, than heating a nearly empty paper cup or dry food, such as oatmeal. Like all paper products, paper cups are derived from organic cellulose material, held together by the seams with adhesive. These products are combustible. In fact, the manufacturer of the paper cups available at the Fermilab stockroom, provides a warning that the paper cups are NOT microwavable. Unfortunately, this warning is only on the bulk package that the cups are shipped in and not marked on the individual cups.
Please use caution when microwaving items made of paper. Soon you will see postings warning that paper cups are not microwavable.