Q: Can you microwave old melamine dishes?

ó M.W., Akron

A: You should not, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

Melamine dishes are made from melamine resin, a hard plastic made from the chemical compounds melamine and formaldehyde. Heating the dishes to 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher can cause an unacceptable amount of the chemical melamine to migrate into highly acidic foods, the FDA says.

Nevertheless, itís safe to serve hot food on melamine dishes, the administration says.

Have a question about home maintenance, decorating or gardening? Akron Beacon Journal home writer Mary Beth Breckenridge will find answers for the queries that are chosen to appear in the paper. To submit a question, call her at 330-996-3756, or send email to mbrecken@thebeaconjournal.com. Be sure to include your full name, your town and your phone number or email address.