Research: Drinking Coffee or Tea from Cardboard Cups Seriously Harms Your Health
For many people, the day does not start until they drink their first cup of hot coffee. No matter what you drink to keep warm on a cold morning, a new study finds that a cup you chose can pose a serious health hazard, “Study Finds” reports.
Researchers in India have revealed that drinking coffee and other hot drinks from paper cups can release tens of thousands of potentially harmful plastic particles into your drink.
"For 15 minutes necessary for the consumption of coffee or tea, the microplastic layer on the cup gets broken. It releases 25,000-micron particles into the hot drink," explains the study's lead author Dr. Sudha Goel. "An ordinary person who drinks three ordinary cups of tea or coffee daily from a paper cup swallows 75,000 miniature microplastic particles that are invisible to the naked eye."
Researchers say these almost invisible microplastics are becoming a major threat to human health.
Earlier this year, a team from the US first discovered microplasticity in human organs. They fear that this contamination could lead to cancer or infertility. The researchers also note that microplastic contamination can cause inflammation in animals.
About 264 billion paper cups were produced last year, many of them going to people consuming tea, coffee, hot chocolate and even soups. This number is equivalent to 35 paper cups per every person on the planet.
Demand for disposable products is fueled by a growing number of delivery services around the world. Many people are looking for ready-to-eat meals to fit into their increasingly hectic lifestyle. Paper cups also do not require cleaning and usually do not create the environmental problems as plastic and styrofoam containers do. However, Dr. Sudha says a price has yet to be paid for this convenience.
"Microplastics act as carriers of contaminants such as ions, toxic heavy metals like palladium, chromium and cadmium, as well as organic compounds," adds the researcher from the Indian Institute of Technology, Karagpur. "When ingested regularly over time, the health consequences can be serious."
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