Drinking coffee in paper cups is a habit of many people, especially busy people. A new study recently published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials by scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology has shown that this is a habit that is harmful to health.
Accordingly, the findings show that drinking coffee, tea and hot beverages from paper cups with plastic film liner can cause microplastic particles to enter the body and affect health.
From there, the researchers recommend drinking coffee in porcelain or glass cups to get the benefits of coffee.
How are microplastics found in paper cups?
The researchers poured hot water into a 100ml paper cup and let it sit for 15 minutes. According to the survey, this is the time when most people will finish their cup of coffee.
Indian scientists found microplastics in paper cups. Illustrated photo.
Then, the researchers examined the glass of water under a microscope and discovered there were about 25,000 microplastic particles in it. Metals including zinc, lead and chromium are also found in these beakers. The researchers suggest that these are substances derived from the plastic lining in paper cups.
Lead author of the study, Dr Sudha Goel, explained: “A person drinking three cups of tea or coffee in a paper cup per day means they have ‘ingested’ 75,000 microplastic particles.”
“Within 15 minutes after tea or coffee is poured into a paper cup, if you don’t drink it right away, the microplastic on the cup will degrade.”
How do microplastics affect health?
Microplastics are very harmful to health. Illustrated photo.
Microplastics are microscopic pieces of plastic or synthetic fibers, about a micrometer in size, 25 times smaller than a human hair.
Many reports show that microplastics have been found in water bodies and in the oceans. They are not only a threat to aquatic animals but also to human health.
Experts have sounded the alarm about the potential dangers that microplastics can pose to human health. Accordingly, they believe that inhaling or ingesting microplastic particles can cause diseases, even cancer.
A research team from Arizona State University (USA) found traces of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to make plastic, in the bodies of study participants. BPA is known to have potential health effects.
Dr Varun Kelkar of Arizona State University told The Guardian: ‘We are concerned that these non-biodegradable materials could penetrate, accumulate in the tissues of the body and cause hazards. What’s more worrying, these materials are everywhere in our lives.”
According to information published in the Journal of Consumer Reports, BPA can cause many health problems such as negative effects on the reproductive system, obesity, gastrointestinal problems or growth retardation in children. children.
Is drinking coffee out of a paper cup dangerous?
In their study of drinking coffee from paper cups in India, the scientists noted that most of the paper cups in their study contained a film lined with plastic. “What we mean by this is that these plastic films will degrade when exposed to hot water between 85 and 90 degrees Celsius. When these films decompose, ions such as fluoride are released,” the scientists stress. , chloride, sulfate and nitrate will be released into the tea or coffee contained in these cups”.
From there, to limit accidentally eating/drinking/inhaling microplastics, Indian scientists recommend that people should:
– Limit bottled water.
– Do not heat food in plastic containers.
– Keep the place clean, vacuum regularly.
Use products that are packaged in glass instead of plastic.
– Do not reuse disposable plastic bottles or containers.
– When buying plastic boxes, it is necessary to carefully check the information about the composition of the box.
Paper cups are increasingly popular in the food industry. Illustrated photo.
There is growing concern about microplastics found in food packaging, but there is little evidence about how it affects human health.
According to a spokesperson for the Paper Cup Alliance, the paper cups used in this study are the ones used in India. Therefore, these reports represent only paper cups in this country.
(Source: Eat This, Not That, Daily Mail)
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