Go Glass! Plastic Food Storage Shown to Increase Exposure to Toxic Melamine

glass food storage30th August 2013

By Mary West

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

On a chilly wintry evening, nothing is as appetizing as a steaming bowl of soup. But scientists have found that if the bowl is made of melamine, heat can cause the chemical to leach out into your food, entering the body and potentially increasing the risk of health problems. This discovery adds to the evidence indicating that eating for health not only involves the choice of food but also the choice of dishes in which the food is served.

What is melamine?

Melamine is a chemical used to make cooking utensils and some types of dishes, in addition to paper and plastic products. Regular low-dose exposure to this chemical has been associated with kidney and bladder stones, along with kidney failure and cancer in animal studies.

In 2008, a scandal in China involving melamine occurred when the powdered form of this chemical was added to infant formula to increase the protein content. This fiasco led to the illness of 300,000 babies, six of whom died.

Study raises concerns

In the recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers worked with two groups of participants who ate hot soup from either a ceramic bowl or a melamine bowl. Their urine was tested before the meal and every two hours after eating the meal up to 12 hours. They found that 8.35 mcg of melamine was excreted in the urine of these who used a melamine bowl and only 1.31 mcg was excreted in the urine of those who used a ceramic bowl.

Is this quantity enough to cause harm? It is not known, but the researchers conclude that it does raise enough concern to warrant further studies, especially when the melamine is exposed to heat through microwaving or through holding hot foods.

Another factor to be aware of is that the amount leached into food when exposed to heat will vary from brand to brand. So the results from this one brand may be better or worse than other brands, the authors point out.

An expert speaks out

While melamine has only been the subject of a few studies, it is a toxic substance and should be dealt with cautiously in regard to public health, asserts Dr. Ken Spaeth, director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Center at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York. He explains that melamine can leach out of dishes if the food is particularly acidic or if the dishes are damaged, as well as when the tableware is used to serve or reheat hot foods.

Spaeth considers the high levels of melamine from the study to be a pretty strong link. “It’s reasonable to have some concerns of what exposure could be happening, and the impact it could have on human health,” he says.

Sources:

http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1558449#qundefined
http://healthland.time.com/2013/01/22/hot-soups-can-cause-chemical-to-leach-from-melamine-bowls/
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57565240/melamine-in-soup-bowls-may-seep-into-our-bodies-is-it-safe/
http://www.latimes.com/features/food/dailydish/la-dd-food-fyi-whats-in-your-bowl-of-noodles-it-may-be-melamine-20130122,0,7901629.story

Previous article by Mary West:

About the author:

Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies. To learn more, visit her website alternativemedicinetruth.com.

This article was republished with permission from Live in the Now, one of the fastest growing natural health newsletters. Visit LiveInTheNow.com to browse their complete library of articles, or join the nearly 60,000 readers subscribed to their Newsletter.
 


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  • Trinity

    Yes – a much over looked issue.
    I am a big fan of using glassware for storing and cooking with. Keep up the excellent work.
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