Monday, 17 October 2011

News Brief: Melamine in plastic plates far higher than proposed standards

Following the announcement from the Department of Health (衛生署) earlier this month that Taiwan would enact a limit on the levels of melamine that will be permitted to dissolve from melamine-resin containers and utensils (see Taipei Times article here), the Kaohsiung Medical University (高雄醫學大學) has announced research findings showing that levels from products currently in use far exceed those proposed standards.

Published in today’s China Times (中國時報; full article here), the KMU tested five companies’ products made by polymerization of melamine and formaldehyde (美耐皿). Adding liquids at 60-70 for 15-30 minutes, it found that dissolved melamine increased with higher temperatures and longer time periods, and could reach as high as 19.03 ppm. This is 7.6 times higher than the DOH maximum permitted level of 2.5 ppm, and could, it claimed, increase the risks of kidney stones or ureterolithiasis (formation of stones in the ureter). 

These plates, bowls and utensils are commonly used at Taiwan's restaurants, even the hot pot stores that serve boiling broth.

                                                                                                                      Text and photos © Jiyue Publications 2011

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