Exposure to melamine and its derivatives in Chinese adults: The cumulative risk assessment and the effect on routine blood parameters

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2022 Aug:241:113714. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2022.113714. Epub 2022 Jun 2.


Melamine (MEL) and its derivatives, ammeline (AMN), ammelide (AMD), cyanuric acid (CYA) are widely existed in environmental media. Animal studies have reported the cumulative risk assessment (CRA) of simultaneous exposure to MEL and its derivatives and explored the associations between exposure and routine blood parameters. Such information is largely unknown in human studies. In this study, we detected the urinary concentrations of MEL and its derivatives in 239 Chinese adults to conduct the CRA by evaluating their hazard quotients (HQ) and hazard Index (HI), and also explored the possible associations between exposure and measured routine blood parameters in study population. The detectable frequencies of MEL, AMN, AMD and CYA were 96.65%, 41.00%, 97.91% and 97.07%, respectively. The median values of creatinine (Cr)-adjusted MEL, AMN, AMD, CYA and the total concentrations of MEL and its derivatives (∑MEL) were 11.41 μg/g Cr, not detected (ND), 2.64 μg/g Cr, 15.30 μg/g Cr, 35.02 μg/g Cr, respectively. There were 9 (3.77%) participants with estimated daily intakes (EDIs) of CYA exceeding the tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 2500 ng/kg bw/day, and 12 (5.02%) participants with HI of ∑MEL exposure exceeding 1 based on the strictest TDI value. Urinary concentrations of MEL and its derivatives were positively associated with specific routine blood parameters, including hematocrit, hemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, mean corpuscular hemoglobin, white blood cell, neutrophil count (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, exposure to MEL and its derivatives increased the risk of red blood cell abnormality (P < 0.05). Our study is the first study to provide evidence-based data on the CRA of exposure to MEL and its derivatives in Chinese adults, and to propose a possible association between such exposure and routine blood parameters in human.

Keywords: Cumulative risk assessment; Hazard index; Hazard quotient; Melamine and its derivatives; Routine blood parameters.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • China
  • Food Contamination* / analysis
  • Humans
  • No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level
  • Risk Assessment
  • Triazines* / analysis
  • Triazines* / toxicity


  • Triazines
  • melamine