Are suspected carcinogens being released from children’s tableware into their food?
The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals tested the migration of harmful chemicals from 8 melamine plastic cups intended for children, a popular choice of material due to its durability and the bright colours that can be integrated into the plastic.
Scientists have found that both melamine and formaldehyde used in the production of the plastic can be present as residual chemicals on the products. They also found that wear and tear on tableware and exposure to high temperatures can also increase the release of unwanted chemicals.
In the test carried out by the Danish Consumer Council THINK chemicals, the cups were placed in the dishwasher 20 times and then used for a hot drink. 5 out of the 8 cups released melamine which was higher than the legal limit. All of the cups released formaldehyde but the release of this was below or at the limit allowed for new products.
Why is this a problem?
Formaldehyde and melamine are suspected carcinogens and the European Chemicals Agency warns that melamine is suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child.
Overall, the tests showed that children may be exposed to these two harmful chemicals when eating or drinking from this form of tableware, especially if it is used for hot food or drink. The Danish Consumer Council recommend using glass, porcelain or stainless-steel tableware and kitchen utensils, and not eating off melamine plates when they are worn. They also recommend not using melamine plastic for hot food and drink and to not put it in the microwave.
Check out more tests the Danish Consumer Council THINK chemicals have carried out here.
Read more about CHEM Trust’s work to make sure hazardous chemicals are not used in materials in contact with our food.