The food we eat daily may contain harmful chemicals. It may not get detected, but surely if the body contains it in big amount, it will affect our health. (Also see List of Food Preservatives & Types and Examples) Not only the chemical can endanger human’s health, it can also pollute the entire environment and disrupt natural process. As precaution, many countries issue statement regarding harmful or toxic chemicals circulating in their countries.
Malaysia is no exception. Through Occupational Safety and Health (Classification, Labelling, and Safety Data Sheet of Hazardous Chemicals) Regulations, here are some of the chemicals that are banned or severely restricted in Malaysia.
Department of Occupational Safety and Health website publishes page specifically for asbestos as chemical severely restricted in Malaysia. Asbestos is often used for insulation, roofing, ceramic, and automotive industry. The ministry ban asbestos and all elements associated with it as the chemical is highly toxic and can cause many serious health problems.
Workers exposed to asbestos in the long run may experience severe illness like lung cancer, liver problem, and for worse, can cause death. Therefore, International Labour Organization urged countries to ban this product.
Calcium cyanide is a white-colored chemical with compound formula CA(CN)2. Calcium Cyanide is a very toxic chemical in which long-term exposure to it can cause many bad side effects. The chemical is often used for cyanide replacement because it costs lower than the pure cyanide. People used this as rodenticide in the past due to its toxicity. (Read List of Toxic Chemicals Severely Restricted for Import and Export) That’s one of many list of banned chemicals in Malaysia.
However, calcium cyanide can affect health through inhalation, dermal (skin contact), and digestion. Animals and humans exposed to it will get their internal organ severely damaged. a nerve disfiguration can also occur when the chemical is exposed heavily to the brain. The danger calcium cyanide can cause makes this chemical banned in Malaysia.
The Human Resourch Ministry through Occupational Safety and Health Regulation bans any tributyltin compound (TBT) due to the toxicity nature of it. TBT is organotin compound made of three butyl compounds. It is often used as ship fouling since it has low solubility and high durability. However, when the fouling paint leeches out and release the TBT, it is very toxic to the marine organisms exposed to it. When it gets attached to sediment, the chemical become highly insoluble and can cause bioaccumulation.
The danger TBT exposes is water organism poisoning. It can kill the organisms if it is contaminated in their bodies in high amount of contamination. For worse, if it gets accumulated, the toxin will go the next level in food chain and eventually reach human who consume marine fish. The elevated hazard it can cause makes this chemical banned in many countries. Other related banned chemical is explained in Harmful List Of Banned Food Additives In Many Countries.
Many chemicals in pesticide are found later to be hazardous to environment. Sodium Pentachloropenate is one of them. Originally was used as insecticide and perservative, this chemical with molecular formula of C6Cl50Na is found to be highly toxic. When organisms get exposed to it through skin absorption, inhalation, or ingestion, the toxicity of sodium pentachloropenate will trigger harmful effect to body.
Sodium pentachloropenate can cause damage to internal organs such as lungs, liver, and heart. Even though sodium pentachloropenate is water soluble, if it accumulates within one’s body, it is highly possible to be carcinogenic. The latter danger can happen when human or other organisms consume products in which the sodium pentachoropenate is used as perservative (Related to List of Food Ingredients Banned in Europe are Revealed). As the chemical is toxic, it is banned in Malaysia.
The list of banned pesticide in Malaysia listed Chlorobenzilate to be among the banned chemicals. The molecular compound formula is C16H14Cl2O3 with color ranging from transparent to pale yellow. Chlorobenzilate was often used to get rid of mites, especially on fruit trees. Yet, further research later discovered the toxicity of this chemical.
The reason why Cholorbenzilate is toxic to environment is because it is only soluble in small elements and mostly it stays within the environment. Its persistence will affect the organism exposes to it and lead to bioacummulation. A study to mice found the chemical to cause carcinogenic tendency. Thus, cholorbenzilate is also highly possible to be carcinogenic to human. Since the chemical is risky, it is listed as banned in Malaysia’s chemical regulation.
Captafol is a chemical with molecular formula of C10H9Cl4NO2S. It was used as fungicide for vegetables until US government stopped the use as research proved captafol to be highly toxic. Other countries followed suit and the chemical is globally banned. The white crystalline chemical is not water soluble and also hard to decompose. Because of its persistent nature, the elements staying on environment will cause a chained danger.
The research proved captafol to be carcinogenic, see 11 Usual Signs of Overexposure to Hazardous Chemicals Include to be aware of dangerous chemical exposure. It does not only affect organisms in the lower food chain but is also dangerous for human. Constant exposure to it will trigger the growth of carcinoma or cancerous cell. The chemical can reach through body from inhalation, skin absorption, or ingestion. Because of this risk, no countries allow the use of captafol anymore, including list of banned chemicals in Malaysia.
Heptachlor is chemical formed from seven organochlorine compounds and was used against insects in food crops. This chemical is persistent and highly stable as water hardly can break down the element. The Heptachlor can also travel easily as it gets accumulated within one’s body with almost no change after it reaches the farthest party. As this nature is hazardous, heptachlor is banned and severely restricted.
Water organisms exposed to it will experience disfiguration that leads to depopulation. It travels in almost all kind of exposure from inhalation to indirect contamination in food. Therefore, this chemical is also dangerous for human. Study found the chemical to heighten the risk of getting diabetes type II.
Thus, it is only logical to minimize the damage by banned its use. (Also see: Hazardous List of Banned Chemicals in Textiles) Indeed, be careful of list of banned chemicals in Malaysia.