Melamine: a toxic to avoid in dishes

Melamine: a toxic to avoid in dishes

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Melamine is a synthetic compound that is often used in tableware and some furniture for its practicality. It is known because the dishes are light, easy to wash, etc.

But its toxicity is unknown and that it is present in food for people and animals. We show you the studies and the dark past of this poison.

Information about this synthetic compound and its harm to health is shared in the following study.

Melamine in food

Melamine is a synthetic chemical compound with the formula C3H6N6, and it is present in many consumer products in the form of brightly colored resin with striking designs.

Chemical formula of melamine

Melamine contains a high percentage of nitrogen and is classified as an amino acid (base of proteins). Due to this property, melamine has been incorporated into wheat gluten and dairy products in order to increase their protein content.

A serious case occurred in China in 2008 when this substance was illegally incorporated into baby milk powder. The consequences were kidney failure in hundreds of thousands of children and the death of dozens of them.

The poison was found in infant formula in extremely high concentrations such as 2,563 mg / kg, which far exceed the maximum tolerable daily intake recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which is 0.2 mg / kg.

Despite the fatal fact, melamine continues to be found in food in Europe. only the permitted concentration has been reduced, making a distinction between foods for infants and for adults.

Melamine is an endocrine disruptor

The scientific evidence on the damage that melanin causes to kidney function in children is overwhelming.

In 2017 the scoping review “Melamine, beyond the kidney: a ubiquitous endocrine and neurotoxic disruptor?” Was published? where the toxic effects of the substance are detailed.

The review points to melamine as an endocrine disruptor with the ability to alter fertility, body weight, and cause neurodevelopmental damage in exposed people.

Avoid products with melamine

The use of melamine products, such as plates and cases, has become widespread in school canteens because it is a dishwasher safe, inexpensive and durable material.

These products are made from the condensation of melamine and formaldehyde. Studies conducted in 2005 by Lund and Petersen show that both compounds contaminate food.

Melamine contamination in everyday tableware increases at high temperatures (such as in food preparation or microwaves) and in contact with acids, such as lemon.


A healthy and practical option for the use of children's tableware are the stainless steel trays, utensils and glasses: they are comfortable, light, dishwasher safe and do not release toxic substances in children's food.

For adults, in addition to stainless steel, there are other healthy material options, such as glass and ceramic or clay.

With information from:

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