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Ethylene Oxide in the recalled instant noodles is considered harmful to human health by experts and should not be used in food.
So what is this Ethylene Oxide substance, does it affect our health and how does it affect us. Let’s find out with Cfis.edu.vn now!
What is Ethylene Oxide?
Ethylene Oxide, also known as oxirane , is a flammable, water-soluble gaseous organic compound with the molecular formula C2H4O.
This substance is used in many industries , including the manufacture of Ethylene Glycol , a product used as an antifreeze and in the production of polyester . As the main raw material for the production of packaging, plastic bags, …
Besides, a small amount of Ethylene Oxide is also used in insecticides and insecticides. It is also an ingredient in textiles, detergents, solvents and adhesives.
Ethylene Oxide is also used as a highly effective disinfectant and fumigation product . Some countries allow the use of Ethylene Oxide for the purpose of insect control in some agricultural products, food sterilization.
According to Ms. Ly Kim Chi – President of the Food and Food Association of Ho Chi Minh City (FFA), Ethylene Oxide is also used to kill bacteria in spices such as pepper, turmeric, ginger powder, … seasoning packages. mixed … or cakes with nuts such as cashews, walnuts, chestnuts…
Due to possible health effects if used for a long time, Ethylene Oxide is banned from use in food in Europe . So recently, a number of instant noodle products for export from Vietnam have been recalled by Ireland due to the presence of this substance in the product.
People at risk of exposure to Ethylene Oxide
We can be exposed to Ethylene Oxide through inhalation or ingestion in the work environment or by purchasing products containing it. Groups of subjects who may be exposed to Ethylene Oxide include:
- Workers in factories use Ethylene Oxide to produce solvents, antifreeze, textiles, detergents, and polyurethane foaming agents.
- Factory workers work in factories that produce Ethylene Oxide.
- Farmers use Ethylene Oxide in agriculture to control insects, pests, and minimize crop damage.
- Hospital staff use to disinfect medical equipment and supplies.
How does Ethylene Oxide affect health?
According to the FSAI – Food Safety Authority of Ireland , consumption of products contaminated with Ethylene Oxide does not pose an acute health hazard but can cause cancer if used regularly for a long time . Therefore, consumers need to limit their exposure to this substance.
In Europe, Ethylene Oxide is classified as a pesticide product, banned from being used in food because it can affect health if used for a long time, specifically:
Can cause cancer, infertility
Ethylene Oxide is classified by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) as a mutagen, carcinogen and a toxic substance that causes infertility.
Specifically, this substance, when infected with the body, will disrupt the structure of protein and DNA macromolecules, thereby creating a basic carcinogen, leading to lymphoma, breast cancer, and cancer. brain, lungs,…
Causes acute poisoning
Inhalation of high levels of Ethylene oxide by workers can lead to acute reactions such as nausea, vomiting, neurological disorders, bronchitis, pulmonary edema, and emphysema.
Skin or eye contact with Ethylene oxide solution causes skin and eye irritation in humans.
According to some experts, although there are many harmful effects, the main way of causing harm is through inhalation and air. So when eating noodles, it is recommended to leave the bowl of noodles/glasses open for 3-5 minutes , not completely covered , or cook noodles on the stove with the lid open because EO is very volatile and will be diluted in the air. , not capable of causing harm.
What do food experts say?
According to Mr. Vu The Thanh, food expert : “Ethylene oxide is not a food additive to put into processing. In fact, this substance is used to spray on agricultural products such as nuts and beans to kill bacteria and mold. . “
Mr. Thanh said, it is possible that the residual Ethylene Oxide in instant noodles comes from the source of ingredients ordered from outside such as pepper, chili onion powder, etc.
According to Mr. Thanh, currently there is no way to completely remove Ethylene oxide . Therefore, there is a phenomenon where there is water that bans this substance, and there is water that does not. Even countries that ban the use of Ethylene oxide in agricultural products must set the maximum allowable level. For the Vietnamese market, currently, there are no regulations allowing or banning the use of this compound in agricultural production or limiting EO residues in food.
The above article has explained what Ethylene oxide is and its hazards to human health. Cfis.edu.vn hopes to have brought a lot of useful information to you.
Source: Health & Life Newspaper, Tuoi Tre Newspaper
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