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Plastic coffee cups may threaten health - study reveals

 Plastic coffee cups may threaten health - study reveals

One-time coffee cups are already known to be an environmental disaster, because of the thin plastic lining that makes recycling extremely difficult.

But a new study revealed something even more serious: hot beverage cups receive trillions of microscopic plastic molecules in the beverage

Researchers at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology analyzed hot single-use beverage cups wrapped in low-density polyethylene (LDPE), a soft, flexible plastic layer often used as a water-resistant lining. It turns out that when these cups are exposed to water at 100 degrees Celsius, they emit trillions of nanoseconds per litre of water.

to penetrate cells

Chemist Christopher Zangmeister, a lead researcher in the study, said it is not yet known whether it has adverse health effects on humans or animals, but microscopic particles are found in the billions of litres of drink. "In the past decade, scientists have found plastics everywhere they look in the environment," he said.

According to Zangmeister, examining the ice lake floor in Antarctica, tiny plastic particles larger than about 100 nanometers were found, meaning they were probably not small enough to enter the cell and cause physical problems. He explained that the results of the new study were different "because the nanoparticles [found in coffee cups] were too small and could be inserted into the cell, which could disrupt its function."

Indian study

A similar study, conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology in 2020, found that a hot drink in a one-time glass contains on average 25,000 pieces of fine plastic, as well as metals such as zinc, lead and chromium in water. American researchers believe that the results came from the same plastic lining.

US researchers also analyzed nylon sacks for packing food such as bread, and transparent plastic sheeting in baking pots to create a non-adhesive surface that prevents moisture loss. They discovered that the concentration of nanoparticles emitted in the hot nylon food water was seven times higher than that of single-use beverage cups.

Zinsmeister said the results of the study could help efforts to develop such tests to minimize any adverse effects on human health.

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