Sunday, September 28, 2008

China Milk Scare 2k8

I know of you guys know this "Milk Killers" reported that 4 infants were killed after drinking milk from China. And causes that the milk has melamine. Here's a short information about the chemical and I removed chemistry based information so other readers may understand and provided linkages for further information regarding this article.

What is Melamine by the way, According to Wikipedia, Melamine is a chemical substance and if mixed with formaldehyde it results to melamine resin or a plastic.

Uses, a very durable thermosetting plastic, and melamine foam, a polymeric cleaning product. Some of it are countertops, dry erase boards, fabrics, glues, housewares and flame retardants. And it is one of the major components in Pigment Yellow 150 or in short colorant in inks and plastics.
It use also in food packaging and tableware and insecticide used on animals and crops.

Melamine derivatives of arsenical drugs are potentially important in the treatment of African trypanosomiasis.

BFAD is right, Melamine is sometimes "illegally" added to food products in ored to increase the apparent protein content.

Melamine by itself is "nontoxic" in low doses, but when combined with cyanuric acid it can cause fatal kidney stones.

Involved problems in society,
2007 animal feed recalls (visit here)
2008 Chinese Milk Scandal (visit here )

When did China started to produce Melamine,
Between the late 1990s and early 2000s, both consumption and production of melamine grew considerably in mainland China. In the United States Geological Survey 2004 Minerals Survey Yearbook, in a report on worldwide nitrogen production, the author stated that "(mainland) China continued to plan and construct new ammonia and urea plants using coal gasification technology."

By early 2006, melamine production in mainland China is reported to be in "serious surplus". In April 2007, DSM's melamine industry update painted a grave global picture. Between 2002 and 2007, while the global melamine price remained stable, a steep increase in the price of urea (feedstock for melamine) has reduced the profitability of melamine manufacturing. Currently, China is the world's largest exporter of melamine, while its domestic consumption still grows by 10% per year. However, reduced profit has already caused other joint melamine ventures to be postponed there.

The synthesis of melamine produces large amounts of ammonia gas. Therefore melamine production often co-occurs with urea production (which uses ammonia as feedstock). Crystallization and washing of melamine generates a considerable amount of waste water, which is a pollutant if discharged directly into the environment. Because of the high weight of waste water, the discharge may be concentrated into a solid (approximately 70% melamine, 23% oxytriazines (ie ammeline, ammelide and cyanuric acid, and 0.7% polycondensates (ie melem, melan and melon)), which is easier to dispose of. This production has been described as also producing "melamine scrap" which is not "pure melamine but impure melamine scrap that is sold more cheaply as the waste product after melamine is produced by chemical and fertilizer factories here.” ~ from Wikipedia.

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