As you know, we here at Abnormal Use have prolifically posted on hot coffee-related topics. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has now given us a novel hot-coffee related topic on which to post. A review published today by the IARC concludes that the consumption of “coffee, mate, and very hot beverages” is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
CNN reports that “the review by a panel of global experts stated that drinking beverages at temperatures above 65 degrees Celsius — 149 degrees Fahrenheit — could cause people to develop cancer of their esophagus, the eighth most common form of cancer worldwide.” The reason being that the drinking of hot beverages “at this temperature can cause significant scald burns in the esophagus when they’re consumed and has previously been linked to an increased cancer risk in this part of the body.” The good news for our U.S. and EU readers is that “beverages are not typically consumed this hot in Europe and North America but are commonly served at, or above, this temperature in regions such as South America, the Middle East and East Africa — particularly when drinking teas.”
Reportedly, “the findings come after a group of 23 international scientists analyzed all available data on the carcinogenicity of coffee, maté — a leaf infusion consumed commonly in South America and other regions — and a range of other hot beverages, including tea. They decided that drinks consumed at very hot temperatures were linked to cancer of the esophagus in humans.”
The new classification for very hot drinks puts them in the same risk group as exposure to gasoline and lead, which are also classified as “possibly carcinogenic” by the IARC. Talcum powder as used in the perineal or anal regions of the body is also within this category.
For more information on carcinogens generally, please see our prior post on the alleged carcinogenicity of certain meats.