What is melamine and how does it affect the human body?

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giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Producers and consumers have been alerted that hundreds of tonnes of milk powder produced in China and used as an ingredient in the manufacture of baby milk formulas, but also as an ingredient in various food products for humans or animals contained melamine, added to falsifying chemical protein content from milk . Thus,  producers get a "quality"commodity, without costs and their profits were high.

Chemical, melamine, is used in tanning the skin and affect the reproductive and urinary sytems, even in animals, and in this case was used by the chinese company to increase protein amount that the milk powder would have to bear, to pass the quality protein tests. Because the product is the cheapest of the Chinese market, extremely poor consumers are no longer bringing food safety issues.

Six people died and more than 300,000 needed hospital treatment after poisoning with melamine. Physio-chemical characteristics of melamine  fostering the enter in the urinary system, causing obstruction and preventing the proper disposal of urine, experts explained. Thus, not only urine is not removed properly from the body, nor blood flow within the kidney is not in normal parameters.

In adults, ingestion of melamine is not as dangerous, although it is hard to do long-term predictions, just as there are no data to show how each body will react. European Union has set a maximum tolerable daily dose of 0.5 milligrams of melamine per kilogram body weight. In other words, for most adults there are no risk beyond that threshold, however, not all people react the same and it can not be said that is absolutely safe.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Melamine is a white, crystallized, organic compound.  In manufacturing it is often mixed with formaldehyde to create a resin.  It has been used to make dishes, white boards in classrooms, and for many other commercial items.

I 2007 concerns about its use in manufacturing dishes became a concern after a large population of dogs became ill and many died as the result of using dog bowls made from melamine.  The chemical had absorbed into the food.  :

Concern about Melamine in food contents in recent years began when the babies in China died from milk that was over laced with melamine content.  The producers of the milk products had been adding it to the formula in order to make it appear that the formula had higher protein content. 

“Harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Chronic exposure may cause cancer or reproductive damage. Eye, skin and respiratory irritant.”

 

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sapon | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

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Thanks to all teachers who answered!

For the last response, I was talking about MELAMINE, not MELANIN!!!

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versatilekamini | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Melanin  is a pigment found in human beings, plants and in animals. In human beings melanin is responsible for skin colour and also found in hair, the pigmented tissue underlying the iris, the medulla and zona reticularis of the adrenal gland, the stria vascularis of the inner ear, and in pigment-bearing neurons within areas of the brain stem, such as the locus ceruleus and the substantia nigra. 

Dermal melanin is produced by melanocytes, which are found in the stratum basale  of the epidermis. Some individual animals and humans have very little or no melanin in their bodies, a condition known as albinism.

Both pheomelanin and eumelanin are found in human skin and hair, but eumelanin is the most abundant melanin in humans, as well as the form most likely to be deficient in albinism.

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