Is Melamine Safe?

A reader asked this as I was just looking into this myself. It looks like they are not the safestAnother mom has also researched this.

You cannot heat melamine plates/bowls in a microwave, because that’s wear the melamine can break down and leach toxins. My question is, if I reheat something on this plate for 20 seconds, it does not get that hot, so why is it safe to put these in a dishwasher where I know for a fact it gets heated more than my microwave???

Melamine dishware is often a combination of melanine and formaldehyde. Melamine is also suspected to be what contaminated pet food and caused kidney failure in so many pets last year. So, it’s not looking so good for melamine. And formaldehyde?? Well, that’s just not good either.

Melamine has also been found in our food supply.  It is sometimes used as a protein source in food additives.  The FDA says melamine is safe, but they were surprised by the pet food contamination, we also know they claim the safety of BPA, which we now know is not safe. So, in my opinion, they are not exactly a reliable source these days.

Looks like I will be looking for new dishware, as we do use melamine plates for our 2 year old. *sigh* It just never ends. I likely will just get a few small Corelle plates — all glass and hard to break. Plus you can run them through the dishwasher, microwave, etc. Or I will get the plastic ware from IKEA, but from a non-toxic standpoint, Corelle gets my vote.

Related articles:

BPA Free Bottles and Sippy Cups
FDA: Lead found in vitamins

BPA cheat sheet
US Government says BPA is harmful
Pregnant women told to avoid BPA
Today Show report on BPA & plastic safety
Canned foods and BPA

BPA is found in infant formula

BPA and other plastic safety

Z Recommends: The Z Report on BPA In Infant Care Products, Third Edition
Environmental Working Group: Guide to Baby Safe Bottles & Formula
Environmental Working Groups Report on BPA in Baby Formula
Breastmilk contains stem cells
Breastmilk cures
Can breastmilk cure cancer?

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14 responses to this post.

  1. I LOVE my Corelle. It’s been fantastic — cleans beautiful, survives falls, etc. I also have some plastic plates from Target. But I prefer the Corelle — the glass just seems safer to me.

    Reply

  2. Posted by DS on May 8, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you so much! This helps tremendously. I was going to order some personalized plates for my little one but I guess I will look for something different!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Penny on June 1, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    oh my gosh. I’m with you on this SIGH!! I will have a big shopping list that grows with every article I read. Thankyou b

    Reply

  4. [...] if this is the same melamine, he sent me to Google, where I found this blog talking about the potential hazards of melamine. The author’s points make sense, and the bowls will, sadly, go back to the store, as well. I [...]

    Reply

  5. Posted by alan on March 11, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Any toxins from using disposable plastic forks, knives, spoons with hot food? Stirring fresh out of the microwave to distribute the heat; could this create uric acid kidney stones, gout?

    Reply

  6. Posted by Trisha on March 11, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    alan. good question and though i have not specifically done any research on plastic utensils, studies show that anytime plastic is heated, there will be some amount of leeching.

    i am a little confused on your second question as to if you are still referring to using plastic utensils?

    Reply

  7. Posted by AMK on October 26, 2009 at 12:44 am

    I’ve read some opposite comments about Corelle, like “I have had Corelle dishes shatter into zillions of tiny, sharp shards when they were dropped. It doesn’t happen often but…” I’ve never owned Corelle, so I cannot speak for good or bad. I was just wondering if you’ve found another alternatives.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Alex on December 21, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    I’ve done a quite a bit of research on this and I think this post is misleading. Melamine is not safe to ingest, but perfectly safe for tableware. Melamine is a problem when its in the food supply, not plates. Its toxicity is similiar to table salt or wine.

    Reply

  9. this is helpful. i’ve been seeing melanie products marketed as “green,” but i’ve come to be suspicious of all plastics, too. thanks.

    Reply

  10. http://www.preserveproducts.com/products/kitchen/mixing-bowls.html

    This was suggested to me – seems all around good – I think I’ve seen their products at whole foods.

    Reply

  11. Posted by bill k on March 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    What ignorance! Melamine dishes do not “contain” melamine, not do they “contain” formaldehyde. No more than salt “contains” chlorine, a corrosive poison.

    Melamine is NEVER used as a “protein source” in food. Unscrupulous processors add it to food to cheat on the protein test. This is what happened in China. The FDA NEVER said melamine (the chemical) is safe as a food additive! What nonsense!

    Virtually everything the poster says is false, or at best half true. If ignorance is bliss you all must be very happy.

    Reply

  12. Posted by amomsblog on March 14, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Bill K, if you have sources, please site them. Mine are included in the article. The FDA has a “safe level” for melamine. If it was not in the article above, I will have to go back and find it. It’s been quite awhile since this article was written. However, I still do not feel safe using melamine dishware, there are many other options and if there is a possible risk, why not go for an alternative that I know is safe?

    Reply

  13. Posted by Bjava on April 26, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I can’t understand how a material made from formaldehyde and urea can be safe for anyone to eat off of. I think the best, safest, unbreakable plastic for contact with food would probably be Polystyrene since it’s naturally occuring in some plants, or Polypropylene because it’s so inert.

    Reply

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