Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Health Risks of Melamine Contamination

News quickly spread across the globe about the hazardous effects of melamine especially those contents that were discovered in Chinese milk products. Dairy products and especially infant milks were the major goods that are said to have contained this unhealthy substance.

This wide-spreading catastrophe that hits the world particularly on 54,000 children in China was now considered as one big threat to ones health. The root of this issue is the unlawful use of melamine in milk products. Melamine is actually a kind of chemical used as a component in plastic. Therefore, it should only be used in manufacturing plastic goods and the likes. No amount of melamine is safe to be added in infant formula.

According to the FDA research, for us to determine the risk of melamine contamination, a certain standard procedure has to be followed. Melamine content will only be safe when the level of this chemical is less than 2.5 parts per million. This stated fact is even supported by Dr. Stephen Sundlof who is the director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. He added, "If you had 1 million grains of sand, and they're all white sand, and you had two grains that were black -- that's what that means"

So if there is an ample amount of melamine added to a milk formula, worst scenario may happen. The small crystals present in the melamine powder can block the small tubes in the kidney. Once blocked, tendency is to stop the production of urine which causes kidney failure and worst, death. And though melamine has also been shown to have carcinogenic effects in animals, there is still insufficient evidence for the carcinogenic risk in humans. But the mere fact that it’s dangerous, production of such must be prevented.

This is the major reason why the outbreaks of milk products from China which are known to have melamine contents have spread vastly to several nations especially in Asia. The terrible situation of several children in China alarmed the public especially for those parents who have kids and for newly-born babies who depends most on milk supplements.

And the best way for these nations to stop this adverse incident to happen again is by destroying and prohibiting contaminated milk products from China that were included on the list. Also, a lot of standard procedures were now implemented to prevent such unpleasant incident to occur once more.