Great, just great. Are there any of our vices left that don’t have a link to cancer? Super-hot coffee was just added to the list of possible carcinogens, along side things like cell phones, bacon, and sunbathing, thanks to a recent analysis concluding that beverages heated above 65 degrees Celsius (149 degrees Fahrenheit) can cause esophageal cancer. If cupcakes are next, we are all doomed.
The findings came about after 23 international scientists reviewed all available data on hot beverages and their link to cancer. They analyzed things like coffee, tea, maté, and other hot drinks, leading to the conclusion that imbibing these beverages at temperatures above 65 degrees Celsius could lead to cancer of the esophagus. Luckily, the type of beverage doesn’t seem to matter as much as the heat. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, who published the study, says drinks at such temperatures are “possibly carcinogenic.” Exposure to gasoline fumes and lead are in the same category.
Industrialized countries in Europe and North America tend to drink their favorite libations just below the “possibly carcinogenic” threshold, yet people in South America, East Africa, and the Middle East often drink theirs at or above dangerous temperatures. Not only is there a possible cancer link at this high heat, but liquids at this temperature can easily burn tongues and scald esophaguses. Luckily, it seems we can still enjoy a cup of joe without fear, as long as we use some self restraint and let it cool down first.