Paper cups revolutionized the coffee industry, after the widespread American wave of coffee culture achieved globally, when coffee was transferred from ceramic cups that are slowly drunk in the conversation of cafe-goers, and attached to fast food packaged in paper cups, to be drunk in a hurry in offices and roads Advertised on the trademark of its makers, and expressing the social identity of its holder.
2.5 billion of these hot paper cups warm hands annually in the UK alone, sparking debate for years about the impact of their use in coffee and hot drinks on human health, and then turn into tens of thousands of tons of hard-to-recycle waste.
If you drink your coffee walking, here is a study published by the British newspaper Dailymail last month, which showed that paper coffee cups may contain thousands of harmful chemical particles that seep into your drink, through the thin waterproof plastic layer lining the cup.
Paper cups are not paper
Dr. Sudha Goel, the supervisor of the study conducted by a team of academic researchers at India Institute of Technology, which is the latest in highlighting the dangers posed by unintentionally consuming microplastic particles, said, “A quarter of an hour it takes us to drink coffee or tea. Long enough time for the plastic lining of the cup to dissolve, so that about 25,000 micro-particles, including minerals such as zinc, lead and chromium, leak into the drink and then into the body.A person who drinks his coffee in a paper cup 3 times a day is exposed to ingesting 75,000 invisible particles With the naked eye. “
Goel explained, “The aim of this study is to monitor the degradation of this plastic layer as a result of exposure to hot water at 85 to 90 degrees Celsius, and what its decomposition releases of ions such as fluoride, chloride, sulfates and nitrates in the drink in the paper cup,” after the research team noticed that “Most of the cups are not paper. Rather, they are lined with a plastic inner cover to make them waterproof.”
Where is Bisphenol A dangerous?
The main reason for warning against consuming coffee and other hot drinks in paper cups lined with a plastic layer, lies in the ingredients that these cups are made of, especially Bisphenol (Bisphenol A), symbolized by the symbol (BPA), a chemical substance used in the manufacture of Plastic pots since the 1960s, in addition to the myriad of products we deal with daily, including car tires, clothing and beauty products.
And the particles of this substance leak into the hot liquids due to the heat that heats the thin plastic layer lining the cup, causing many health damage.
A research team from the University of Arizona had detected traces of this virulent chemical in every sample of human tissue that they tested, such as the lung, kidneys, spleen and liver.
Dr. Varun Kelkar – one of the team members – commented on these results to the British newspaper The Guardian, saying, “We never want to be panicked, but it is worrying that these ubiquitous non-degradable substances may enter and accumulate in human tissues, and we do not guarantee.” The potential health effects of this. “
Serious health damage
Although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that Bisphenol is safe if very little of it is leaked into foods and drinks, some research has shown that exposure to BPA is of concern because of its potential effects on the brain and prostate gland health of infants and children, in addition to its effect. On children’s behavior.
Additional research is also concerned with a possible link between the substance and high blood pressure.
Bisphenol may affect hormones and cause disturbances in the development and growth of the brain, as well as its effect on the level of glucose and diabetes, according to what was published by the Journal of Open Biotechnology (Benthamopen).
Other studies have also shown that having high levels of BPA in the body can be very dangerous for pregnant women and fetuses alike, and it can lead to breast cancer.
3 steps to reduce risk
If you are concerned that BPA is leaking into your food and drink, Mayoclinic advises you to take these steps to reduce your risk:
1. Use cups with affixed proof that they are BPA-free. Some companies are now manufacturing more products that are free of them. If the product does not clearly state this, be aware that some plastic products marked with the 3 or 7 recycling symbols may be manufactured with BPA.
2. Minimize the use of metal containers and canned foods. And use alternatives, such as glass, porcelain, or stainless steel containers to place hot foods and liquids, instead of plastic containers.
2. Avoid heat. Do not put plastics in the microwave or dishwasher, because heat may lead to cracking over time, and allow BPA to seep into foods.