China to tackle people's high aluminum exposure

2013-03-16 00:50:18 GMT2013-03-16 08:50:18(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, March 15 (Xinhua) -- China is considering further limiting the use of aluminum-containing food additives to lower the health hazards posed by high aluminum exposure.

The Ministry of Health on Friday publicized a draft amendment to the nation's food additive standards to solicit public opinions.

Under the standards, aluminum-containing additives are prohibited from being used in puffing food, as a risk evaluation shows Chinese children aged between 7 to 14 consume too much aluminum through such foodstuffs.

Moreover, swelling agents made of aluminum potassium sulfate or aluminum ammonium sulfate cannot be used in fermented flour products.

Chen Junshi, a researcher with the National Expert Committee for Food Safety Risk Assessment, said last year that 32.5 percent of Chinese consumed an amount of aluminum that exceeded safe levels.

Aluminum-containing additives are believed to be the major cause of the problem, as many Chinese staple foods, such as noodles and steamed buns, are made with additives that contain aluminum.

High aluminum intake is believed to be harmful to the central nervous system. It is known to have an effect on the development of children's nervous systems, which can affect their mental development.

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