BEIJING, June 2 -- A recent report shows that white, disposable chopsticks can pose a health risk.
The Guangzhou Consumer Council warned people to pay attention to the color of disposable chopsticks and avoid ones without manufacturer data on the packaging.
An expert from the Council says some small factories use inferior woods to those species usually used in the manufacture of disposable chopsticks.
The inferior woods are darker, so to lighten the color of their chopsticks, some factories will bleach them. The bleaching process leaves sulfur dioxide on chopstick surfaces, which can cause people to cough or even lead to asthma.
The expert says people can protect themselves by sniffing and discarding chopsticks that have a bleach smell. If a pair of chopsticks smells fine, but you are still worried, you can wash them before use, and avoid putting them in hot liquid like soups, which can speed up sulfur dioxide decomposition.