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Why drinking coffee and tea from paper cups can be dangerous

Views: 103     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-10-30      Origin: Site


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It turns out that disposable paper coffee cups aren't as safe to drink as we thought....

When a barista hands you a steaming cup of coffee in a paper or cardboard cup, it seems innocent enough, right? Not so, according to new evidence.

For years, we've been taking cabs to get caffeine on the way to work, grabbing the latest seasonal drink from our favourite cafe chains and hopping into our local café for a quick pick-me-up on the go.

But little did we know, we'd been merrily sipping our takeaway lattes, teas and mochas without realising what we were also ingesting at the same time

Let's take a look at these shocking new findings and reveal why scientists say drinking hot coffee and tea from paper cups is dangerous, and find out if we should be worried.

What's the problem with paper cups?

The problem with paper cups is that, for obvious reasons, they are not made entirely of paper.

Naturally, we all know that paper and water do not mix. Therefore, in order to effectively contain the liquid, the manufacturer has to line the inside of the paper cup with a thin waterproof membrane.

While this sounds like a pretty clever idea - and it does stop liquids from seeping through and disintegrating your cup into a soggy mess - no one thought to check what happens when you put hot liquid on this coating.

paper cup

So where's the hidden danger?

As it turns out, the negative impact on the environment is not the only threat posed by disposable paper cups.

According to a study published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, billions of microplastics are released into your drink when hot liquids are exposed to the waterproof lining inside the paper cups.

Here's what Dr Sudha Goel, an academic researcher at the Indian Institute of Technology and lead author of the study, had to say

"Within 15 minutes of drinking coffee or tea, the microplastic layer on the cup degrades. An average person drinking three regular cups of tea or coffee a day from a paper cup will end up ingesting 75,000 tiny microplastic particles that are invisible to the naked eye."

Wait, did he just say we're drinking microplastics?

According to the study, yes. But that's not all...

The plastic liners used in paper coffee cups have also been found to release heavy metals and toxic ions such as fluoride, chlorides, sulphates and nitrates when exposed to high temperatures.

Just earlier this year, scientists found microplastics in human blood for the first time in a study funded by the Dutch National Organisation for Health Research and Development.

Shockingly, these tiny microplastic particles were found in the blood of no less than 80 per cent of the volunteers tested.


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