25,000 plastic particles in one cup: Drinking tea or coffee from paper cups can increase the risk of cancer from swallowing microplastics, experts warn
- The researchers poured hot water into paper cups and let them stand for 15 minutes
- This is the time most people prefer to finish their drink
- Scientists found an average of 25,000 microplastics per cup
Drinking coffee or tea out of a paper cup is not only wasteful, but also carries the risk of swallowing thousands of microplastics, scientists warn.
According to one study, a hot take-away drink can become contaminated with the tiny plastic particles within minutes.
These come from the inner lining of the cup, which makes it waterproof – and makes recycling difficult.
The researchers poured hot water into 100 ml paper cups and let them stand for 15 minutes.
According to surveys, this is the time most people prefer to have their drink.
When the researchers checked the hot water under a powerful microscope, they found an average of 25,000 microplastics per cup.
Not only is drinking coffee or tea out of a paper cup wasteful, it also carries the risk of swallowing thousands of microplastics, scientists warn
Metals like zinc, lead and chromium were also found in the water. According to the researchers, these came from the same plastic lining.
"The average person who drinks three normal cups of tea or coffee in a paper cup a day would end up ingesting 75,000 tiny microplastic particles that are invisible to the naked eye," said Dr. Sudha Goel, lead author of the study by the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, a city in West Bengal.
The plastic particles identified were about the size of a micrometer. 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 such as ions, toxic heavy metals such as palladium, chromium and cadmium.
If taken regularly over time, the health effects can be severe. & # 39;
There are growing concerns about plastic in food packaging, but little evidence of how it affects human health.
The Mail & # 39; s Curb the Cups campaign showed that only a fraction of takeaway cups are recycled.