Very hot drinks are ‘probably carcinogenic’

(CNN)Anyone who likes to curl up with a steaming hot drink should consider letting some of that warmth subside; drinking it could increase their risk of developing cancer.

In a review published today by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, drinking very hot beverages was classified as "probably carcinogenic to humans."
    More specifically, 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.Drinking tea, coffee or other 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.


    Recent studies have linked Western diets with increased risk of colon and prostate cancer. Men eating mostly a Western diet were found to have 2.5 times the risk of dying from prostate cancer. A Western diet is typically considered to be low in fiber and high in refined sugars, saturated fats and animal protein.
    This week, the Environmental Working Group released findings that more than 400 known cancer-causing chemicals have been found in the bodies of Americans during research studies.

    See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

    After a review of more than 1,000 biomonitoring studies, the group found that up to 420 chemicals known or likely to cause cancer have been detected in blood, urine, hair and other human samples. Nine of these was identified to be above safety limits assigned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and posing non-trivial cancer risks in most Americans, according to the review.
    "The presence of a toxic chemical in our bodies does not necessarily mean it will cause harm, but this report details the astounding number of carcinogens we are exposed to in almost every part of life that are building up in our systems," said Curt DellaValle, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group and author of the report. "At any given time, some people may harbor dozens or hundreds of cancer-causing chemicals. This troubling truth underscores the need for greater awareness of our everyday exposure to chemicals and how to avoid them."

    Read more: