Last year, Chinese food standards hit the headlines when many young children and infants suffered severe urinary problems after consuming melamine-contaminated infant formula. This prompted an urgent review of melamine and related chemicals by a WHO expert committee, which resulted in the determination of a tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 0.2 mg/kg bw for melamine (applicable to the general population and also to infants). Although the data were considered inadequate for developing TDIs for structurally related compounds such as ammeline and ammelide, “a TDI of 1.5 mg/kg bw for cyanuric acid [had] previously been derived by WHO, suggesting that these analogues would be no more toxic than melamine”. The available data indicated that simultaneous exposure to melamine and cyanuric acid might pose more health risks than exposure to either compound individually, but it was not possible to calculate a health-based guidance value for this co-exposure.

[World Health Organization, 2009. Toxicological and health aspects of melamine and cyanuric acid. Report of a WHO Expert meeting held in collaboration with FAO and supported by Health Canada. Ottawa, 1-4 December 2008. The report can be found on the WHO website (at http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/chem/Melamine_report09.pdf).] {181760}

The above item was taken from the June 2009 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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