Home » Does Plastic Tea Bags Cause Cancer? What Experts Say

Does Plastic Tea Bags Cause Cancer? What Experts Say

by Debamalya Mukherjee
Does Plastic Tea Bags Cause Cancer? What Experts Say

When you go to the market, you will see packets of paper tea bags and plastic tea bags. They are often offered in restaurants too. However, you must be wondering which tea bags are safer and which one to buy.

If you are here to learn the answer to your thoughts, then read this post till the end. Ensure you 

What Are Tea Bags (If You Don’t Know)?

What Are Tea Bags (If You Don't Know)?

Tea bags come in containers, as their names imply, but loose-leaf tea does not. The biggest benefit of tea bags over loose-leaf tea is their convenience, according to the overall comparison of the two types of tea. People who don’t have enough time to prepare tea might choose tea bags because they are simple to transport, brew, and store.

But there are also clear drawbacks to using tea bags. The majority of the essential oils and aroma of tea leaves are lost since, in most cases, only broken tea leaves can be packaged in teabags due to their sizes. Additionally, the tightly sealed inside of teabags prevents the taste and health benefits from escaping.

Tea Bag Materials

When it comes to tea bags, there are two main types of tea bags – plastic tea bags and paper tea bags.

1. Plastic Tea Bags

Plastic materials, including nylon, thermoplastics, PVC, and polypropylene, are used to make plastic tea bags. And as many of you may already be aware, it has been shown that the chemicals that constitute plastic tea bags and bottles seep into food and drink, creating a range of health risks.

Examples include phthalates, Bisphenol-S (BPS), and Bisphenol-A (BPA). Even though these polymers are among the least likely to leach, when steeped in hot water, the components of these plastic tea bags may still disintegrate and leak out.

2. Paper Tea Bags

Epichlorohydrin, a common treatment for paper tea bags, hydrolyzes when water is applied. In addition, carcinogens like 3-MCPD – connected to food processing, have also been linked to immune system suppression and infertility.

Are Plastic Tea Bags Dangerous?

Are Plastic Tea Bags Dangerous?
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The safety of plastic tea bags, some of which have elaborate pyramid designs intended to let the tea leaves unfold during infusion, has recently come under scrutiny in various research. You probably haven’t even given plastic tea bags a second thought. However, some of the more modern plastic tea bags are really produced of different types of polymers. 

These plastic tea bags are manufactured of nylon, viscose rayon, thermoplastic, PVC, and polypropylene, among other materials. Anyone worried about drinking tea steeped via hot plastic is certainly aware of the risks associated with plastic chemicals seeping out of plastic bottles and containers.

The additional bad news is that many paper tea bags are coated with epichlorohydrin. It’s a substance primarily used in the creation of epoxy resins, which is as hazardous as plastic tea bags. Epichlorohydrin is a pesticide that the NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) has classified as a possible carcinogen. It enters plastic tea bags, coffee filters, water filters, and sausage casings, among other products. 

Epichlorohydrin hydrolyzes to 3-MCPD in the presence of water, which has been found to induce cancer in animals. Additionally, it has been linked to immune system suppression, infertility, and spermatozoic effects in male rats.

This substance is already a well-known “process contaminant” connected to contemporary food manufacturing. The AOCS (American Oil Chemicals Society) claims that 3-MCPD may also be found in varying concentrations in refined vegetable oils, which is another justification to stay away from them and switch to organic coconut oil.

Which Tea Bag Should You Use?

Which Tea Bag Should You Use?
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After reading through this post so far, by now, everyone can say that plastic tea bags are bad for health. Therefore, the next time you go to a store to buy tea, try to purchase loose tea leaves. They are purer and better in taste since they are mt tainted by the refining and processing process using plastic. 

However, if you wish to purchase tea bags only, then go for ta bags that are not plastic. Since paper tea bags are also equally carcinogenic as plastic tea bags, your best bet here is to purchase tea bags after looking at its label. If you see that it’s made out of plastic, don’t buy it. If you have to buy it, buy paper ones or ones that are made out of muslin.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Tea lovers have various questions regarding the use and dangers of plastic tea bags. Here are my answers to their questions.

Q1. Which Plastic-Free Tea Bags USA Are Good?

Ans. When it comes to plastic-free tea bags, Higher Living Tea bags are pretty good health-wise. Other tea brands include Stash and Yogi tea bags plastic.

Q2. Can You Prevent Microplastics In Tea Bags?

Ans. There is only one way to switch from plastic tea bags to prevent microplastics in your tea – buying loose tea. They are healthier and taste better as well!

Q3. Does Boiling Water Get Rid Of Microplastics?

Ans. No, you cannot get rid of microplastics by boiling it in water. Boiling water only helps in killing the bacteria in it. 

Q4. Are Tea Bags Compostable?

Ans. Plastic tea bags are not compostable. On the other hand, paper tea bags are compostable since the paper is biodegradable and, therefore, easily compostable. 

Final Verdict

Tea lovers should get loose tea leaves from organic or natural sources, which is what I recommend. Plastic tea bags businesses like Lipton and Celestial Seasonings can purchase tea from various tea stocks all around the world. It’s impossible to believe the fact that they make it taste the same continuously without adding any chemicals. 

I recommend avoiding these contaminants and switching to tea made from natural sources so you may benefit from the phytochemicals and antioxidants that are present there naturally. It’s one more easy step you can take in the direction of a better and healthier way of life.

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