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Goodplus 29 Jul 2021

Will the use of disposable paper cups harm our health ?

Recently, many people have long been sceptical about the safety of paper cups. They believe that the disposable water cup looks clean but it is not. There are many safety hazards when it is used to hold hot water. Especially when it is filled with boiling water, the toxic substances in the cup will be dissolved out, which will pose a serious threat to the health of consumers, which is carcinogenic.
First of all, let’s start with the material of the paper cup. The most widely used disposable paper cups are ‘paper-plastic cups’. The outside of this paper cup is a layer of ordinary paper and the inside is a layer of coated paper. The material of the membrane is cohesive vinyl.
It is safe to use the inner polyethylene material that meets the standard to make the coating of the disposable water cup. Only when the temperature exceeds 200 ℃, the inner polyethylene will decompose and produce harmful substances, and the hot drinks we hold are generally not above 100°C, it will not cause the decomposition of the inner polyethylene, so the disposable paper cups made of this standard material for holding hot water will not cause safety problems.

Will the use of disposable paper cups harm our health ?
Many people think that in order to make paper cups look beautiful, some manufacturers may use additives such as bleach or fluorescent powder. These substances can cause harm to our health and even cause cancer.
In fact, this understanding is not comprehensive. To achieve the carcinogenic effect, two conditions must be met: one is that the amount of fluorescent agent used exceeds the standard, and the other is that the paper cup with the fluorescent agent exceeding the standard is used for a long time. Carcinogenicity is only possible if both of these conditions are met.
At present, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China has issued relevant regulations that the sale and use of paper cups that have not obtained the QS safety mark are prohibited. In other words, if the paper cup has the QS mark, it means that all the indicators of the production materials are qualified, and there is no need to worry about the problem of the fluorescent agent exceeding the standard.
Some consumers think that the ink printed on the outer layer of the paper cup may not meet the standard, and it may contain carcinogens such as benzene or toluene.
The manufacturer and the quality inspection department certainly consider this issue, so when printing, the pattern on the outer layer of the paper cup has a certain safety distance from the cup mouth. According to the requirements of the national standard (GB/T 27590-2011) for the printing position, it is stipulated The printed pattern on the outside of the paper cup should have a clear outline, uniform color and no obvious stains, but "the cup should not be printed within 15mm from the cup body and 10mm from the bottom of the cup". Therefore, during normal use, the mouth will not touch the printed pattern, so there is no need to worry about carcinogens in the ink being taken into the body.So in general, as long as you buy qualified products from regular manufacturers, they will not cause cancer.
First, when buying a paper cup, you can take the cup to illuminate it under a fluorescent lamp. If the cup is blue under the lamp, it proves that a lot of fluorescent agent has been added. Consumers should buy it carefully.
Second, check whether there are QS safety signs. Generally, products with QS signs are safe products.
Third, if you are still not at ease, you may wish to use your own sensory testing to judge the quality of the paper cup.
First of all, look at the color of paper cups. Don’t choose a paper cup that is too white, because there is the possibility of excessive addition of chemical substances such as fluorescent agents. At the same time, you must also look at the pattern printed on the outer layer of the paper cup. Choose fewer patterns, lighter colors, and a distance from the cup. paper cup making machine.

Will the use of disposable paper cups harm our health ?
Secondly, smelling. If there is a peculiar smell, it means that this paper cup is likely to use inferior ink or be contaminated by bacteria, so don't buy it. Then, pinch the hardness, and gently squeeze both sides of the paper cup. The cup body is too soft and tears and breaks are mostly substandard and shoddy products. Choose a paper cup with a certain thickness and a stiff body. Finally, if you are still worried about the adhesion of harmful substances before using the disposable paper cup, you can also rinse it with clean water before using it.
All in all, if you want to buy disposable paper cups, you must buy paper cups with quality assurance. Don't be greedy for cheap. Unqualified paper cups are generally very soft and easily deformed after pouring water. Some paper cups have poor airtightness, and the bottom of the cup is prone to water seepage, which can easily burn hands with hot water.
What's more, if you gently touch the inside of the paper cup with your hand, you can feel the fine powder on it, and the touch of your finger will also turn white. This is a typical inferior paper cup. Buy paper cups with incomplete signs, let alone “three-no” products.

Disposable paper cups can be seen everywhere in life. They are thrown away when they are used up, which is hygienic and convenient. However, there are endless safety controversies about whether it contains carcinogens, whether it can hold hot drinks, and whether it can be used repeatedly.

The reporter's investigation found that there are roughly three types of disposable paper cups on the market: one is made of white cardboard, which is mainly used to hold dry food such as popcorn and fried chicken, and cannot hold water; the second is waxed paper cups, there is a layer of paraffin wax on the inner wall for waterproofing, which can be used to hold frozen drinks, carbonated drinks, etc., but the holding temperature cannot exceed 40 degrees Celsius; the other is a "paper-plastic cup", which is a layer of paper on the outer wall of the cup and a layer of polyethylene or Polypropylene coated paper, both cold and hot drinks can be used. Many people think that disposable paper cups cannot hold hot water, or make tea or coffee.

Ji Junhui, director of the National Engineering Research Center for Engineering Plastics, said that polypropylene coated paper cups produced by regular manufacturers do not have this problem. Polypropylene itself is non-toxic, has strong temperature tolerance and high purity, and hardly contains any chemical additives. However, some unscrupulous merchants choose low-quality polyethylene materials. When this paper cup is poured into hot water, it will have a strange smell, and makes harmful to health in a long term. Some people use waxed paper cups to drink hot water.

Ji Junhui said that this is very dangerous. If the temperature of the drink is too high, the paraffin on the inner wall of the paper cup will melt and the paper cup will absorb water and deform. The paper cups produced by regular manufacturers use food-grade wax, which has little effect on health. However, there are still illegal companies in the market that use lower-cost industrial paraffin for coating, which may be harmful to health. All in all, waxed paper cups are best not used to hold hot drinks. As for whether you can drink with disposable paper cups? In fact, as early as 2012, China national standards put forward higher requirements than industry standards for the raw materials, packaging, and printing of disposable paper cups, and stipulated that disposable paper cups must be clearly marked with "no alcoholic beverages".

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At the same time, the printing position of the cup body pattern is restricted, and it is required that “the cup mouth should not be printed within 15 mm from the cup body and the cup bottom should not be printed within 10 mm from the cup body”, and environmentally friendly ink must be used to avoid benzene, toluene, etc. contained in the ink Harmful solvents are harmful to the body. When buying disposable paper cups, first of all, you must understand the scope of application of the paper cup, whether it is suitable for cold or hot drinks. Secondly, choose a cup with a certain thickness and a stiff body, and gently squeeze both sides of the paper cup. The cup body is too soft and is often torn as unqualified products.

Once again, smell whether there is a peculiar smell, the smell is big, indicating that the possibility of using inferior ink is high. Finally, it is best not to choose a paper cup with a color that is too white, as it may be added with chemicals such as fluorescent agents. It is best to rinse with water before using disposable cups to reduce the adhesion of harmful substances and bacteria.

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- Emily Pan
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Emily Pan

Marketing manager in goodplus. professional in food packaging machinery industrial.

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