Famous Toxic Dinnerware

Melamine dinnerware is chic, trendy, and popular. It’s for sale across the gambit from Walmart to Williams Sonoma, but that doesn’t make it a good choice. Melamine dinnerware has been linked to a number of significant health risks because the chemicals it’s made from can leach into the food that is in them. If you are going all-out to eat healthy, it’s a good idea to choose a dinnerware that’s much more user-friendly.

What is Melamine, Anyway?

Melamine is an industrial compound created from one of three chemicals, urea, hydrogen cyanide, or dicyandiamide. The melamine resin from which dinnerware is made is a result of its combination with formaldehyde, a substance classified as a probable carcinogen. Melamine resin resists heat and fire, making it a versatile product used in the manufacturing of floor tiles, plywood, and laminated flooring in addition to dinnerware.

In 2008, melamine masquerading as protein was used to adulterate milk and infant formulas in China, which ignited safety concerns worldwide. Six babies were killed and thousands of people were sickened. At that time it was known that ingesting melamine could result in reproductive damage and bladder or kidney stones which can lead to bladder cancer.

Melamine resin is harmful if swallowed, inhaled during the time an odor is detectable, or absorbed through the skin. When it leaches into food, it ends up inside of the person eating that food.

This was documented in a study published in JAMA in 2013. Half the participants ate hot soup from melamine bowls and the other half ate hot soup from ceramic bowls. High levels of melamine were found in the urine of those eating from the melamine bowls, but residue was not found in those eating from the ceramic bowls.

According to the study authors, “Although the full clinical significance of levels of urinary melamine concentration has not yet been established, the consequences for long-term melamine exposure still should be of concern.”

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