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Incidents of food safety still catch the headlines in China, this time in the problem of plasticizing substances in Chinese alcoholic drinks. Is this a real danger or is it ridiculous to mention plasticizers in drinks (mainly baijiu) where the concentration of alcohol is already a menace to health?!

近日,媒体曝出酒鬼酒 (Jiuguijiu, a brand of Chinese alcoholic beverages)"塑化剂(plasticizers)含量超标[1]260%"引起社会关注。11月20日,针对酒鬼酒遭遇"塑化剂风波[2]",中国酒业协会(Chinese Alcoholic Drinks Association)声明称,通过对全国白酒[3]产品大量全面的测定[4],白酒产品中基本上都含有塑化剂成分,其中高档白酒含量较高,低档白酒含量较低。

塑化剂到底对人体有何危害? 记者采访了海南省人民医院(The People's Hospital of Hainan)的有关专家。据了解,长期摄取[5]塑化剂会干扰内分泌(endocrination),造成孩子性别错乱[6],使女孩性早熟[7],使男性生殖器[8]变短小。有研究表明,塑化剂还会增加肝肾负担[9],对免疫系统(immune system)造成慢性伤害[10]。

海南省人民医院内科(department of internal medicine)的李医生表示,长期摄取塑化剂确实对人体有危害,但白酒中对人体危害最大的还是酒精[11]。酒精对人体具有强烈的麻醉[12]作用,尤其是酒精含量较高的白酒对人体的毒害更大。

A caricature of the latest 'plasticizing' incident

In recent days, the incident of 'plasticizers that exceed the standard by 260%' in products of jiuguijiu (a brand of Chinese alcoholic beverages) has caught society's attention. On November 20, concerning the 'plasticizers disturbance' of jiuguijiu, the Chinese Alcoholic Drinks Association announced that according to national regulations for 'baijiu' (spirits distilled from sorghum) products, these products basically all contain plasticizers. High quality baijiu contain a high concentration, low quality baijiu contain a small concentration of plasticizers.

Do plasticizers cause any harm to people's health? Reporters interviewed a relevant expert at the people's hospital of Hainan. According to this investigation, long-term consumption of plasticizers can cause endocrination. It can disturb the sexual development of children, lead to early sexual maturity in girls or lead to small sexual organs in men. Research shows that plasticizers can also cause burden on the liver or cause chronic damage to the immune system.

Dr. Li from the department of internal medicine at Hainan's people's hospital, said that long-term consumption of plasticizers can indeed harm the human body, yet the major risk in consumption of baijiu still lies in alcohol and other components. Alcohol has a severe poisoning effect on the body, particularly baijiu, that has a high alcohol level.

Original article published by 南海网

[1] 超标 chāo biāo - above standard

[2] 风波 fēngbō - disturbance

[3] 白酒 báijiǔ - baijiu, spirits distilled from sorghum, usually of high alcohol concentration, that are very popular in China

[4] 测定 cèdìng - measurements, regulations

[5] 摄取 shèqǔ - consumption

[6] 性别错乱 xìngbié cuò luàn - disorder in sexual distinction

[7] 早熟 zǎo shú - early puberty

[8] 生殖器 shēngzhí qì - reproductive organs

[9] 肝肾负担 gān shèn fùdān - burden to the liver

[10] 慢性伤害 mànxìng shānghài - chronic harm

[11] 酒精 jiǔjīng - alcohol

[12] 麻醉 mázuì - poisoning