Your Take-Out Coffee Cup May Shed Trillions of Plastic ‘Nanoparticles’
A thin plastic film is used to line the inside of paper coffee cups helps keep the coffee hot and prevent it from leaking through the cardboard. But there’s concern about the tiny particles of plastic — called microplastics — that leach into the coffee and may have adverse health effects. Recent lab test results published in the research journal Environmental Science and Technology find the lining releases more than 5 trillion plastic nanoparticles per liter when hot liquid is poured into a 12-ounce single-use cup. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering, says these nanoparticles are small enough to slip into our bloodstreams and get lodged in the body’s tissues and organs. At present, Halden says, researchers lack the tools to measure precisely what is happening with the ingested plastic particles and to be certain where the particles are going and what they may be doing. One recent study, however, raises hope for a new method designed to reveal the impact of these microplastics. The article is also published in HealthDay.