Bamboo mats from China, Vietnam containing toxic methanol found in Taiwan

Methanol could have adverse health effects

Bamboo mats that contain methanol (BSMI photo)

Bamboo mats that contain methanol (BSMI photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A number of bamboo mats made in China and Vietnam have been found to contain excessive levels of methanol that could pose threats to human health, according to Taiwan’s Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI).

The products in question include one produced in Vietnam and four from China, BSMI said in a press release on Friday (Nov. 8).

The report is based on a spot check involving 20 bamboo mat products collected from Taiwan’s supermarkets and retailers in the first half of 2019. The contaminated products have since been removed from shelves.

Methanol is a pungent chemical compound, exposure to which can cause headaches, skin irritation, coughing, choking, swelling of the throat and painful lungs, among other adverse health effects.

Consumers are advised to purchase only clearly-labeled bamboo mats free of pungent smells. To reduce chemical residues, clean the mats with water and dry them out in airy places after purchase, suggests CNA.