Melamine: France Classifies Substance as Toxic for Reproduction

Scientists and authorities have put melamine in the crosshairs because of its harmful properties. The French Agency for Food, Environment, and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) has classified the substance as toxic to reproduction (report in French). This finding is controversial because products made from melamine also come into contact with food.

Carcinogenic, Persistent, and Mobile

Melamine is already listed as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) due to its behavior in the environment and its health hazards. The German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has also classified the substance as a high priority because of its significant mobility and high production volumes. According to the newly adopted CLP criteria, melamine is classified as potentially persistent, mobile, and toxic (PMT) and as very persistent and very mobile (vPvM).

In fact, current studies indicate that the half-life of the substance in water is more than 27 years. It is extremely difficult to remove melamine from drinking water, confirms Hans Peter Arp from the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, who was involved in the UBA study.

Melamine is one of the “high production volume chemicals.” Most of it is processed into melamine resin, which is used in the manufacture of camping equipment and children’s tableware, among other things.

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