Correlle dishes and Melamine--safe to use? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 01-20-2006, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am working on converting our plastic filled home to safer alternatives. What this means at the time is I am getting rid of all the "bad" plastics and only keeping the "safer" plastic. Sometime I will then hopefully get rid of all plastic together, but it's babysteps for me for now

I called "The First Years" company that makes the hard bowls and plates my son is using, and they said there is no plastics code because it is "Melamine" (sp?). What it real I tried to find information on that material, and even though I have heard of it before, I couldn't find anything on what it really is. It does say on the bottom that it is NOT microwave safe (something I didn't realize--big OOPS!). Anyone have some research on Melamine?

Now, how about Correlle dishes? According to their website, they are glass that is laminated with glass? http://www.corelle.com/index.asp?pageId=61
Something like that, which is hard to understand. But why are they nearly breakproof? Are they part plastic or laminated with plastic perhaps? I called the 1-800 number and the wait time to speak with someone was over 10 minutes--UGH--so I hung up. No time for that! I was thinking of they really are safe to use, then I could use them for my 3 year old son and pitch his plastic stuff altogether. The website says they are even over safe--since they claim they are glass--so that would mean they are oven safe too? I only need to warm up chicken nuggets, etc. for 15 seconds.

Please share your knowledge!

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#2 of 30 Old 01-22-2006, 02:14 PM
 
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I love my Corelle! I use the whole line exclusively. I use them in the microwave, so not sure about oven. I have had them for over a year and none have broken. My mil and sil use them exclusively for a decade and have had no problems. Not even a shatter. I'm not sure about chemicals, I thought they were glass as well.

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#3 of 30 Old 01-23-2006, 12:52 AM
 
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I don't have answers to your questions but many people think microwaving food is extremely dangerous and unhealthful, so perhaps you shouldn't even do that (?).
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#4 of 30 Old 01-23-2006, 12:58 AM
 
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Most of mine are broken now. I got them as a wedding gift but didn't start using them until 4-5 years ago.

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#5 of 30 Old 01-23-2006, 01:08 AM
 
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Corelle is not breakproof. And if you have ceramic or porcelain tile floors, it is not shatterproof either.
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#6 of 30 Old 01-23-2006, 04:01 AM
 
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Yes, corelle can be used in the microwave- but then it ruins some of the break-resistance.

It's not really intended to be used in the oven but mine have survived the self-cleaning cycle of the oven when I was re-kashering my kitchen. They withstood the slow heating up and cooling down but I think they'd shatter easily if they were suddenly taken out of a hot oven and placed on a cold table.

I'm not sure about melamine. I have some (that I bought years ago and found when unpacking dishes I forgot I had) and I'll only use them for cold food, not hot, since I'm not sure what they're made from.

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#7 of 30 Old 01-23-2006, 09:37 PM
 
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Hmm, I was told by my ils who have used them for years that they never chip and in the ten + years they have been using them they have never shattered or broke on their ceramic floor. But good to know. I know everything is not as wonderful as seems in the beginning. I agree that microwaving may not be good, but with 2 children, a small out of home business to run, a household to run and a husband who is gone 70% of the time, I do not have all day to wait around for the oven or a slow cooker. I think reheating a burrito is not going to kill me ( knock on wood ).

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#8 of 30 Old 01-23-2006, 09:53 PM
 
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Melamine is DW safe, but NOT microwave safe. I have some really cute william sonoma melamine mixing bowls and those were the guidelines that came with the set. As for the correlle, I don't like it, b/c it's ugly. HOWEVER, I got a few dishes for my toddler to use, b/c like you, we need something microwave safe (and he already broke two of my regular plates). They have these nice divided dishes that are not quite the size of a regular dinner plate that are perfect for my toddler. I also have some small correlle bowls for the toddler too. My biggest problem with the correlle (other than it's butt ugly) is that it does NOT clean well in the DW, it always seems to have a little bit of food residue on it. : I know it's not my DW, b/c my non-correlle plates come out fine. So, I handwash the correlle.
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#9 of 30 Old 01-23-2006, 10:12 PM
 
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There are somethings, like cheese that do not come off easy for me either. I know Corelle has several lines, but we use the all white line so everything is the same, never goes out of style, and I can suplement more popular dishware platters and serving pieces. That way if they brake or I need to add to the collection, I know I can always find them. Whereas most dishes go out of style and you might not be able to replace them individually

Aidan 8/11/99 Bryn 9/7/04 Jardin is here! 8/23/10 ~Kindness is My Religion~ Dalai Lama
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#10 of 30 Old 01-28-2006, 01:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I know melamine is NOT microwave safe, but is it safe to eat off of? Meaning, is it one of the bad plastics like #3, #6, #7 ?

Same thing with Correlle stuff. Is it really all glass, or does it have some sort of toxic plastic coating I need to be worried about?

And trust me, Correlle plates are much better looking than Elmo plastic plates anyday! These would just be for my 3 year old, who currently ony has realaly ugly plastic kids plates

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#11 of 30 Old 01-28-2006, 03:11 PM
 
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That is a good question about the melamine. I always assumed it was not, "regular" plastic. I think most of the plastics you need to watch for that aren't safe for eating with are typically the disposable kind, and I always figured that since melamine seemed like a pretty hard plastic that it was one of the, "safer" ones. I think the corelle is ok, a LOT of MDC mamas are a fan of it and I know many have researched this stuff quite throughly. Lol, I think the melamine kiddie bowls my toddler has (has cute little fish on it) are cuter than the corelle, and we even have the plain white corelle too. I wouldn't mind using it as our everyday set for the whole family, but I can't find a pattern that I like and even though I typically like simple styles the white one looks too plain and kind of generic looking for my taste. Yeah, I am weird.
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#12 of 30 Old 01-28-2006, 03:38 PM
 
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We have only broken one peice of Correlle and thats just because a table fell on it.

I am a sucker for the Ivy design.

We bought Correlle because of having kids. They help us clear the table and cant quite reach the bottom of the sink.
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#13 of 30 Old 01-28-2006, 03:50 PM
 
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Corelle is not breakproof, it is just chip-proof because of the way the glass set. My dd1 had broken a few pieces of it and it just explodes with small pieces everywhere. We have tile flooring. It might fare better with linoleum.

Corelle is so popular that when a piece breaks I can usually find a replacement at the thrift store.

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#14 of 30 Old 01-29-2006, 02:22 AM
 
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I really like my Corelle. It is not break-proof, but it is break-resistant. I also like that it is lightweight (easier for dd to handle) and thin (makes for smaller stacks).

I use a Corelle bowl with a plate as a lid instead of plastic containers.

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#15 of 30 Old 01-29-2006, 05:02 AM
 
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I have some plastic lids that came with one of my Corelle sets- they fit perfectly on the soup/cereal bowls. I'm not sure what kind of plastic they are but most of the food is touching the corelle, not the lid. I use those for food storage quite frequently, and they're stackable that way. The only problem is that I can't see what's in the bowls (unlike the glass jars I also use.)

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#16 of 30 Old 01-29-2006, 11:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bendmom
There are somethings, like cheese that do not come off easy for me either. I know Corelle has several lines, but we use the all white line so everything is the same, never goes out of style, and I can suplement more popular dishware platters and serving pieces. That way if they brake or I need to add to the collection, I know I can always find them. Whereas most dishes go out of style and you might not be able to replace them individually
We received a set of the plain corelle from my mil for our bridal shower and I think my mom went and bought us the rest of it to finish it. That was almost 10 years ago. Between both sets of parents, they have about 75 years of Corelle use between them. MY mom liked ours so much, she went and replaced her plain white ones for a more updated plain white one and then bought them for her FL house as well

In all the years, only one of my moms plates broke in the early 80s. I thinks she was so PO, she sent it back and they sent her another one. Ours is made in the USA, I do not know if they still do this. I have seen our plate style at the outlets though and if I see a piece one of the Moms does not have that I do and they like, I can pick it up for them.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#17 of 30 Old 01-30-2006, 12:40 AM
 
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I think my dh told me that corellle, and pyrex, are glass that is "cured" differently than regular glass. So it's not that it's a different material, it's just made a little differently. (he worked in a glass-factory for a while in school, so I figured he knew what he was talking about...)


My 4 and 3 yr old unload the dishwasher and clear the table after meals, and they have yet to break one (and it gets dropped pretty regularly, on wood floors, no tile) so I consider it pretty much unbreakable. It's warrantied for a year.
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#18 of 30 Old 01-30-2006, 12:14 PM
 
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ive dropped my correlle, and it bounced, :
i love it, and mine says is dishwasher, micro and oven safe. not for stovetops or broilers
we had the thin stuff for years, it actually belonged to dh's mom, who died when he was a kid, but now we have some of the big heavy "hearthstone" stone wear

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#19 of 30 Old 01-31-2006, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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UPDATE:

After a long wait on hold with the Correlle company, I spoke with a representative who told me that Correlle dishware is 100% glass, that has been tempered for strength...no plastic in them whatsoever.

Hooray! Now I can buy some without my obssessive-compulsive tendencies wondering if they really are safe or not

Amy ~ SAHM to DS (9) DD (5) and DS (2) And  expecting a  stork-girl.gif  late May 2012!


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#20 of 30 Old 02-01-2006, 02:52 PM
 
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good to know Daisy- I remember going to a Bridal shower at a woman's house and she had all the food on these really pretty Malamine dishes. She kept nagging about how we couldn't scratch them, put them in the dishwasher, etc. I felt like, if you have to be that carefull about your dishes and they aren't even china, what's the point?

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#21 of 30 Old 02-03-2006, 04:24 AM
 
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this definition of Melamine is from Wikipedia -- can't verifiy he accuracy, but raises a cause for concern:

Melamine is a strong organic base with chemical formula C3H6N6, with the IUPAC name 1,3,5-Triazine-2,4,6-triamine. It is primarily used to produce melamine resin, which when combined with formaldehyde produces a very durable thermoset plastic. This plastic is often used in kitchen utensils and is the main constituent of Formica®.

SO if they contain formaldehyde they would be potentianlly off-gasing, an heating would increase the processes (hence no microwaving)
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#22 of 30 Old 02-03-2006, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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EEEEW! Formaldehyde?! Gross! I do wonder if that's any worse than other plastics though. I wonder how bad it is to use them for dry food like sandwiches, but not in the microwave?--I have sworn off using any kind of plastic in the microwave, period.

But I will definetly be shopping for some Correlleware this week!

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#23 of 30 Old 03-28-2008, 01:28 PM
 
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Melamine won't release BPA, which is the chemical to be concerned about in polycarbonate plastics, commonly marked with a number 7. Melamine is a nitrogen-containing chemical that is used as a fire retardant and when combined with formaldehyde forms a resin. Melamine products are not known to release formaldehyde gases and as far as we know are safe for food. But melamine dishes should not be used in the microwave. Before putting ANY dishes in the microwave, you should check the bottom to see if they are microwave safe and not marked with a number 7.

Here's more information about plastics in the microwave, if you're interested:

http://www.simplesteps.org/content/view//334/37

I work for NRDC, an environmental organization. This information is from NRDC's website, www.simplesteps.org, and has been vetted by our staff scientists and doctors. I hope it was helpful.

Thanks,
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#24 of 30 Old 03-28-2008, 08:35 PM
 
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melamine on it's own is considered "mildly toxic" but in order to make it into a plate, you mix it with a formaldehyde resin. so although they may claim it is non-toxic - do you want your kids eating off formaldehyde?

"It has been six years that Kazakhstani doctors fight against Chinese products made of toxic materials: dishes made of poisonous melamine, toys of cadmium and child clothes containing formaldehyde.

The centre for emergencies and hygienic expertise, Ministry of Health of RF, studying melamine established that rats that ate from melamine plates got allergy, cancer and started mutating.

Ten years ago melamine plates were used as disposables in planes and restaurant coaches of trains. Now doctors find them in kindergartens, schools, military barracks. Melamine products ooze huge quantities of the formaldehyde tars. Their presence in the food then exceeds acceptable norms by tens or even hundreds of times. And depending on dyes the melamine excretes heavy metals - lead, cadmium, manganese.

Collectors have a special concern. Hard plastic melamine dishes have been made since 1937. The first really popular melamine dinner set was designed by Russel Wright in 1944. By the 1950s most people referred to melamine dishes by the brand name Melmac. They were unbreakable but scratched and stained and were out of favor by the late 1970s. But they are collected now and used. Are they safe? Does the hard plastic have any of the problems of the gluten mixture? Is it dangerous to heat Melmac dishes in a microwave or dishwasher? Our advice--- For now, use ceramic or stainless steel dishes for your pets and the family.

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#25 of 30 Old 04-06-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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melamine on it's own is considered "mildly toxic" but in order to make it into a plate, you mix it with a formaldehyde resin. so although they may claim it is non-toxic - do you want your kids eating off formaldehyde?

"It has been six years that Kazakhstani doctors fight against Chinese products made of toxic materials: dishes made of poisonous melamine, toys of cadmium and child clothes containing formaldehyde.

The centre for emergencies and hygienic expertise, Ministry of Health of RF, studying melamine established that rats that ate from melamine plates got allergy, cancer and started mutating.

Ten years ago melamine plates were used as disposables in planes and restaurant coaches of trains. Now doctors find them in kindergartens, schools, military barracks. Melamine products ooze huge quantities of the formaldehyde tars. Their presence in the food then exceeds acceptable norms by tens or even hundreds of times. And depending on dyes the melamine excretes heavy metals - lead, cadmium, manganese.

Collectors have a special concern. Hard plastic melamine dishes have been made since 1937. The first really popular melamine dinner set was designed by Russel Wright in 1944. By the 1950s most people referred to melamine dishes by the brand name Melmac. They were unbreakable but scratched and stained and were out of favor by the late 1970s. But they are collected now and used. Are they safe? Does the hard plastic have any of the problems of the gluten mixture? Is it dangerous to heat Melmac dishes in a microwave or dishwasher? Our advice--- For now, use ceramic or stainless steel dishes for your pets and the family.


:: running to get rid of my kids' melamine set ::
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#26 of 30 Old 04-06-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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I have some plastic lids that came with one of my Corelle sets- they fit perfectly on the soup/cereal bowls. I'm not sure what kind of plastic they are but most of the food is touching the corelle, not the lid. I use those for food storage quite frequently, and they're stackable that way. The only problem is that I can't see what's in the bowls (unlike the glass jars I also use.)

I have the same set. I never heat up the lids, but I like being able to cover leftovers. I try to heat up stuff like canned soup, instant pasta/rice dishes in a corningware dish.

melamine gets really hot when it's in the microwave, like too hot to pick up, yet the food on the plate is cold. I've had plates get blisters from being too hot. I've had several set. One decades old from my grandparents.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#27 of 30 Old 04-07-2008, 02:47 AM
 
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Yeah - on microwaving melamine - I had one melt once : ... didn't think that could happen...
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#28 of 30 Old 04-07-2008, 03:03 AM
 
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Corelle is not breakproof, it is just chip-proof because of the way the glass set. My dd1 had broken a few pieces of it and it just explodes with small pieces everywhere. We have tile flooring. It might fare better with linoleum.
It's all about angle of impact and velocity, I think. The only time we've ever broken one of our Corelle plates, it happened in the living room... DS tossed it from standing on the couch, and it hit the (wooden) coffee table and exploded all over the room. We lived in an apartment with a tile kitchen floor for five years and never broke a Corelle plate on it, though.
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#29 of 30 Old 04-07-2008, 08:22 PM
 
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I've been obsessivly researching plastic dinnerware replacements and have decided on Corelle. At first I was hoping to find wood(or possibly bamboo) but needed something that could withstand the dishwasher well.... my grandmother still uses the same Corelle set she has had since before I was born(26 yrs ago). Not sure if any broke over the years (probably) but she still has plenty and they have special memories to me

Tiffany , mama to my 2 spirited girls, natalee (8/05) and scarlett (5/09)
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#30 of 30 Old 08-13-2014, 03:59 PM
 
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I grew up eating off of melmac plates, and I'm fine. I just recently ordered some off of Ebay, to replace my heavy ceramic plates, because they are a pain to wash, (I handwash my dishes) and take up so much room in the cupboard. The salad plates I ordered are used, but a set of dinner plates and a tray I ordered are from the sixties, but someone bought them, kept them in the original boxes, and never used them. So I'm not worried about toxins from them. Anyway, if I die, I die. We've all got to go sometime. LOL
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