Between fear of the unknown and the spread of misinformation, it’s understandable if you’re wary of chemicals like melamine—especially when such a large variety of chemicals have complex and clinical-sounding names. In order to help you feel more confident, in this article we’re going to tell you how melamine resin is used and why it’s safe to use in our daily lives.
What Is Melamine Resin?
Melamine is a nitrogen-based compound that’s naturally flame retardant. Melamine resin manufacturers turn the melamine into a resin by adding other naturally occurring agents like formaldehyde. Typically, melamine resin is in demand by manufacturers of plastic cookware, utensils, and similar products because it makes these dishes very durable. This is a key factor in allowing dishes to be dishwasher-safe, which is a necessity considering nearly everyone uses dishwashers.
Why Melamine Is Safe
During the manufacturing process, heat is used to mold the plasticware; that heat uses up the majority of the melamine compounds. What little melamine is left over is harmless and will not affect you or your food.
The main concern many people have is that the melamine will contaminate their food and get them sick. The FDA has shared this concern and conducted extensive tests to ensure the melamine resin can’t accidentally cause any health problems. (However, remember to never put plasticware in a microwave because the melamine resin could melt.)
Are There Any Side Effects?
Now you know how melamine resin is used and why it’s safe—but many things are deemed safe that still have potential side effects. Well, like all good things, moderation is key. Melamine is sometimes misused as an illegal additive to foods and beverages to artificially increase their protein count. Consuming high levels of melamine may cause issues such as kidney stones or outright kidney failure. Luckily, though, that won’t be an issue with melamine resin because most of the melamine compounds are eliminated during the manufacturing process.
To sum it all up, high levels of melamine can cause health issues, but melamine resin will never contain enough of it to hurt you.