Have you wondered that drinking something as common as tea or coffee from a paper cup can be hazardous for you? The latest research has revealed that while drinking from a paper cup, a person is at the risk of thousands of microplastics.
A report in The Daily Mail mentions that a study states that a hot drink can contaminate the tiny plastic particles in only a few minutes. Moreover, these cups have an inner lining that makes them waterproof. This is not only harmful for the health, but is also harmful for the environment as it is almost impossible to recycle it.
For carrying out this research, hot water was poured in 100ml paper cups and the cups were left for 15 minutes. After this, the hot water was checked under a strong microscope. The researchers discovered that an average of 25,000 microplastic was found per cup. Harmful metals like zinc, lead and chromium were also found in the water. If the researchers are to believed, then these toxic metals were found from the same plastic lining. The particles that were found in the water were as big as a micron.
Dr Sudha Goel, the lead author of the study from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur in West Bengal, said, “An average person drinking three regular cups of tea or coffee daily, in a paper cup, would end up ingesting 75 thousand tiny microplastic particles which are invisible to the naked eye.”
This study is published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials. Dr Sudha also mentioned that “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.”
However, till now there is no evidence regarding the harmful effects on health of plastic found in food packaging.