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Is melamine toxic to humans?

Is melamine toxic to humans?

In 2007, melamine was found in wheat gluten and rice protein concentrates exported from China and used to make pet food in the United States. This caused a large number of deaths in cats and dogs due to kidney failure.

At present, melamine contamination has been found in many different brands of infant formula, one brand of frozen yogurt desserts and one brand of canned coffee beverages. All these products are most likely made from raw materials made from milk contaminated with melamine.


(1) Introduction of melamine

Melamine is an organic base chemical and the most common form is white crystals rich in nitrogen.

The world's production of melamine in 2007 was approximately 1.2 million tons, and the main producers are located in China and Western Europe.

Melamine can be produced from three different raw materials: urea, dicyandiamide or hydrogen cyanide. Commercially produced melamine is made from urea, and certain proprietary processes can provide product purity of up to 99%.


(2) Is melamine toxic to humans?

What are the health effects of melamine consumption on the human body?

Although there are no direct human studies on the effects of melamine in animal studies, the data can be used to predict adverse health effects. In animal experiments, only melamine can cause bladder stones. When combined with cyanuric acid, which may also be present in melamine powder, melamine can form crystals, which can cause kidney stones.

These small crystals can also block the tubules in the kidneys, potentially preventing the production of urine, leading to kidney failure and, in some cases, even death. In some cases, melamine has also been shown to have carcinogenic effects on animals, but there is not enough evidence to judge the risk of human cancer.

What are the symptoms and signs of melamine poisoning?

Irritability, urine, little or no urine, signs of kidney infection, high blood pressure

What is the treatment for kidney stones and kidney failure?

Depending on the severity of kidney disease, patients may receive various types of treatments. Treatment may include alkalization of fluids and urine, correction of electrolyte and acid-base disorders, hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, or surgical removal of kidney stones.


(3) Harm of illegal use of melamine

This substance can be used illegally in food to increase nitrogen content, so laboratory tests will give the concept that food is rich in protein.

Countries like China are facing this kind of food adulteration problem. Adding water to milk will increase the volume of milk, but the protein level in milk will decrease. Since milk samples have been tested for protein strength, the company or seller that sells milk may illegally add melamine to the milk, and the test shows that the milk has a high nitrogen content, indicating that it contains enough protein. By using the substance in the same way, pet food is also adulterated.

For all of us, it is important to pay attention to adulteration, because any toxin that enters the body can harm our health. Although the human body can tolerate harmful chemicals and toxins to a certain extent, it will begin to decompose after a period of time. Melamine powder can also contain melamine acid, which combines with melamine to form crystals, which is the cause of kidney stones. High enzyme count, high blood pressure, restricted urine flow or anuria or urine containing blood are some indications or symptoms of melamine poisoning and toxicity.

It is important to use the product only within the scope permitted by law. There are many ways to check and analyze the melamine content in milk and other foods. ETH Zurich has also developed a spectroscopic method, EESI-MS (Extractive Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry), which can test the presence of melamine in melamine. Any food.




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