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Plastic coffee pods could have hormone-altering effects: Scientists

Published: Updated:

Drinking coffee brewed from plastic pods could potentially have hormone-altering effects, scientists from the University of Connecticut say.

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Estrogenic chemicals could leak from the plastic into a cup of coffee when the material is exposed to hot water, as reported by nutrition publication Eat This Not That.

These chemicals that mimic estrogen, responsible for female reproductive health, could be altering the human body’s natural balance of hormones, the researchers say.

Exposure to estrogenic chemicals can cause early puberty in women, reduced sperm count in men, and an increased risk of obesity and cancer, according to a 2014 study published in Environmental Health.

“Coffee brewed from capsule machines may contain estrogenic chemicals migrated from plastic,” scientists said in the publication Current Research in Toxicology.

That being said, research into the estrogenic effects of plastic coffee pods is still in its early stages.

“We are exposed to those chemicals from everywhere these days,” researcher Ock Chun told Eat This Not That.

Because coffee-drinking is a “habitual behavior,” scientists deemed the estrogenic effects of plastic pods worthy of study, said Chun.

She also highlighted plastic disposable cups and receipt paper as other sources of similar estrogenic chemicals.

Estrogenic chemicals can also be released by some plastics that are exposed to the UV radiation found in sunlight.

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