Home U.S Microplastics from paper cups for hot drinks may raise cancer risk

Microplastics from paper cups for hot drinks may raise cancer risk


25,000 particles of plastic in a cuppa: Drinking tea or coffee from paper cups may raise risk of cancer from swallowing microplastics, experts warn

  • Researchers poured hot water into paper cups and left them left for 15 minutes
  • This is the time that most people prefer to take to finish their drink
  • Scientists found an average of 25,000 microplastics per cup 

Drinking coffee or tea from a paper cup is not only wasteful but also puts you at risk of swallowing thousands of microplastics, warn scientists.

A takeaway hot drink can become contaminated with the tiny plastic particles in just minutes, according to a study.

These come from the cup’s inner lining that makes it waterproof – and also makes it difficult to recycle.

Researchers poured hot water into 100ml paper cups and left them left for 15 minutes. 

This is the time, according to surveys, that most people prefer to take to finish their drink.

When the researchers checked the hot water under a powerful microscope, they found an average of 25,000 microplastics per cup. 

Drinking coffee or tea from a paper cup is not only wasteful but also puts you at risk of swallowing thousands of microplastics, warn scientists

Drinking coffee or tea from a paper cup is not only wasteful but also puts you at risk of swallowing thousands of microplastics, warn scientists

Metals including zinc, lead and chromium were also found in the water. These, researchers suggested, came from the same plastic lining.

‘An average person drinking three regular cups of tea or coffee daily, in a paper cup, would end up ingesting 75,000 tiny microplastic particles which are invisible to the naked eye,’ said Dr Sudha Goel, lead author of the study from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, a city in West Bengal.

The plastic particles identified were around the size of a micron. The width of a human hair is 25 times this size.

Dr Goel, whose study was published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, added: ‘Microplastics act as carriers for contaminants like ions, toxic heavy metals such as palladium, chromium and cadmium. 

When ingested regularly over time, the health implications could be serious.’

There is growing concern about plastic found in food packaging, but little evidence on how it affects human health.

The Mail’s Curb the Cups campaign has highlighted how only a fraction of takeaway cups are recycled.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Is bad breath a sign of diabetes? The symptom you should watch out for in your mouth

"The dentist will be closely monitoring the advancement of gum disease, a failure to heal properly following dental procedures or an infection that...

Is bad breath a sign of diabetes? The symptom you should watch out for in your mouth

"The dentist will be closely monitoring the advancement of gum disease, a failure to heal properly following dental procedures or an infection that...

COVID-19 at record levels in Georgia on eve of Trump rally

COVID-19 is at record levels in Georgia on the eve of President Trump’s planned visit to the state on Saturday. Officials had hoped that...

San Francisco Bay Area to begin month-long COVID-19 lockdown

Health officials in the San Francisco Bay Area have ordered lockdown for the region’s 8.5 million residents beginning Sunday night and lasting into...

Recent Comments