Walkthrough a nearby store and we can see most people move towards the kids' cutlery section. In the tableware section, a huge variety of beautiful eye-catching plates, cups, and spoons with bright coloured, cartoon imprinted melamine plates. To make the mealtime fun for babies, toddlers and school-aged kids, many consider that melamine plates are the right choice because they are unbreakable and available in the market at a reasonable price and have their kid’s favourite cartoons. Many of us have bought or received decorated mundane melamine plates without knowing its harmful effects.
Melamine: How it is made
Melamine is an odourless and tasteless white powder created from urea, dicyandiamide or hydrogen cyanide during the slow oxidation of natural gas. Melamine is combined with urea and formaldehyde to synthesize hard and powerful melamine resins. Melamine resins are versatile, durable and heat resistant and it can be moulded into various shapes and designs. It is used in many products such as floor tiles, clothes, whiteboard and nail polish.
Melamine dishes are not healthy and it’s not the right choice. Here are the reasons:
Reasons to avoid melamine plates:
- Toxins get decompose in food
When hot drink or food is served in a melamine plate or cup, chemicals from melamine may get leeched into your food. Acidic, salty and fatty foods will release some toxins from melamine dishes which will contaminate the food and harm your health. It also happens when we store foods with salty sauces in melamine dishes. If we are feeding a hot bowl of porridge/soup to our babies or toddlers, then we are feeding them harmful toxins along with the food without our knowledge. Therefore, we recommend avoiding melamine dishes and use bamboo dinnerware.
- Intake of melamine leads to health Issues
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have found harmful effects when melamine and formaldehyde gets leeched in our food
- Risk of kidney failure, kidney stones, and bladder problems are increased because of melamine contamination
- When formaldehyde is inhaled, it leads to nasopharyngeal cancer. It irritates the skin, eye and triggers unknown allergies.
The FDA has set strict limits of, 15 mg formaldehyde and 2.5 mg melamine may be added per kilogram of food. But when melamine plastic plates are microwaved, these threshold values could be rapidly exceeded and the toxic substances may pass into our daily drink or food.
It is best not to use melamine dinnerware and simply stick to bamboo dinnerware sets.
- Obscure Toxins
Usually, manufacturers do not indicate the substances that are used in the manufacturing process of plastic products transparently. Along with known toxins, some unknown toxins are also released when the melamine plates are heated. A recurrent suspect is a nonylphenol, which is added to the melamine dinnerware to keep plastics stable in heat and sunlight. When nonylphenol is consumed by humans, it is quickly metabolized.
- Hard to reuse
Melamine plates are non-biodegradable because of its solidity. Normally plastics are recycled and they are moulded under heat. But melamine plates are very difficult to recycle. They can be melted but cannot be moulded again. Hence, it is considered hazardous waste and occupies the landfills. Researchers are trying hard to decompose the melamine plates by either shredding up or turn into a powder state. Manufactures will add those melamine powders to other products making it harmful to health again.
If you're looking for melamine free, non-toxic baby dishes then the best safe alternatives are bamboo plates. Check out our Non-Toxic Bamboo Dinnerware at altretail.in