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Researchers Suggest Melamine Leaching May Affect Health

Posted on January 23 2013

A recent very small study sheds light on the importance of chemical compounds found in the tableware we eat with. Melamine is a common chemical found in many tableware sets. In a recent study, 12 adult volunteers were split into two groups. One group would eat hot noodle soup out of the melamine bowls and the other out of ceramic bowls.  Urine samples from participants were taken prior to eating the soup and again every two hours for a complete 12-hour period.  The group then took a 3-week “wash-out” hiatus and reconvened switching the types of bowls they had previously used. With the former melamine group using ceramic bowls, and like-wise for the other group, urine samples were again taken the same way they had been before. The researchers found that participants that ate out of melamine bowls during the first part of the trial held the greatest levels of melamine in their urine. However, after eating the soup from the melamine bowls, the average trace amount in the urine was 8.35 mcg; in comparison to the ceramic bowl users’ level of 1.31 mcg. Researchers aren’t exactly sure what the damage caused by an 8.35 mcg trace level would be, but in 2008 melamine was used to fortify baby formula in China and ended up sickening 50,000 infants, killing 6 of them. While the study was extremely small, other researchers not related to the study, find this an interesting stepping stone. Not much is known about melamine leaching, but this study provides a stepping stone to begin work on larger studies. It is possible to procure tableware that is melamine free. If melamine poisoning is a concern, try avoiding use of these products, or at least putting hot foods in them. While this type of tableware is safe for microwaves, it is suggested to avoid that as well, as it can also cause leaching. It appears that our food may not be the only thing we need to watch as the items we eat our food out of may be causing severe damage to our health. Sources: Time Healthland - http://healthland.time.com/2013/01/22/hot-soups-can-cause-chemical-to-leach-from-melamine-bowls/ Bloomberg Businessweek - http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-01-21/toxic-melamine-released-from-bowls-serving-hot-soup-study-finds MedPage Today - http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/GeneralPrimaryCare/36951

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