DOI: 10.3390/toxics12020143 ISSN: 2305-6304

Migration of Melamine and Its Derivatives from Melamine/Bamboo/Wheat Straw-Made Tableware Purchased from Internet Markets or Retail Shops in China

Shaojie Liu, Yifei Wang, Zhanren Liu, Zhiping Yang, Liang Chen, Bo Chen
  • Chemical Health and Safety
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology

Objectives: The ecofriendly and sustainable concept of bamboo- and wheat straw-made tableware has gained attention in recent years. However, it is necessary to note that these kinds of tableware are composed of melamine (MEL)–formaldehyde resin with the addition of bamboo fibers or wheat straw. This study aims to explore the potential migration of MEL and its derivatives from the tableware and conduct a risk assessment. Methods: The study involved 46 bowls or cups purchased from Internet markets or retail shops in China, whose raw materials included MEL, bamboo, and wheat straw. There were four pieces of glass- or ceramic-made tableware used as the control group. Migration testing was performed according to the test conditions selected from the European Union Reference Laboratory for Food Contact Materials. Considering the realistic worst-case scenario, we measured the concentrations of MEL and its derivatives in food simulants using ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry and estimated the exposure risks for adults and 1-year-old infants. Results: MEL and its derivatives could migrate from MEL-, bamboo-, and wheat straw-made tableware with varying concentrations. The total migration was ranked as follows: bamboo-made tableware > MEL-made tableware > wheat straw-made tableware > glass- or ceramic-made tableware (p < 0.001). The primary contributor to the total concentration for MEL- and bamboo-made tableware was MEL, whereas cyanuric acid (CYA) was the main contributor for wheat straw-made tableware. Based on the total concentration of MEL and its derivatives and the strictest TDI value, the proportions of the calculated hazard quotient ≥1 for MEL-, bamboo-, and wheat straw-made tableware in adults were 53.50%, 92.30%, and 1.90%; and the proportions in 1-year-old infants increased to 86.00%, 100.00%, and 7.40%. Conclusion: The utilization of MEL-, bamboo-, and wheat straw-made tableware could be regarded as a significant source of human exposure to MEL and its derivatives. It is advisable for both adults and infants to refrain from using tableware manufactured with MEL and bamboo fiber, as it may increase the susceptibility to MEL-related diseases.

More from our Archive