Plastics In Your Coffee – Where Is The Evidence?
Plastic cups have good heat retention capabilities. They keep hot liquids warm for longer periods than glass or ceramic cups. On the other hand, plastic cups leach toxic chemicals into beverages. In the following discussion, we review medical research on the health effects of plastic cups.
What Is BPA?
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical hardener. It is used in the manufacture of plastics – including food and beverage containers – like coffee cups. BPA leaches into food through the lining of plastic containers. The rate of leaching increases at high temperatures. Thus, hot beverages like coffee leach BPA faster than cold beverages.
What Are The Health Effects of BPA Plastics?
In animals, recent studies confirm low-doses of BPA cause cancer, congenital malformation, obesity, and early puberty. In humans, many studies suggest BPA has a potential to cause liver damage, disrupted pancreatic function, thyroid hormone disruption, obesity, early puberty, miscarriage, fetal malformation, low sperm quality and other reproductive problems. The potential for endocrine disruption is particularly high in babies and infants.
What About BPA-Free Plastics?
What about BPA-free plastic cups? Are they safe? BPA-free does not translate into safe or non-toxic. BPA-free plastics may still contain substitute additives or residual components with harmful health effects. Recent research shows food containers made from Styrofoam – a BPA-free plastic – leach styrene into food and beverages.
Plastics, Glass Or Ceramic – Which Mug Is Best?
Based on the foregoing, BPA plastics presents a significant public health risk. Plastics marketed as BPA-free are not risk-free because they also leach toxic chemicals into food and beverages. Given a choice of coffee mug between plastic, ceramic and glass mugs, the healthy choice is not plastic. Ceramic and glass mugs are healthier choices than plastic mugs.
In our next blog, we will look at the global environmental degradation resulting from plastic waste. In the meantime, check out our featured collection of glass and ceramic mugs. You can also make your own mug to show off your in-depth knowledge and rational choice in matters of health related to coffee mugs! Do not forget to drop us a line in the comment section below and like our Facebook page.