I have a filter coffee maker with a plastic coffee drip holder inside (e.g. K-cups). This almost boils the water as it drips through.

There are concerns that these plastic coffee containers may leach BPA and other toxic chemicals into the coffee.

For example: The Mommy Illuminati:

But now there are K-cups- a fresh cup of plastic, er- I mean coffee, brewed into your cup every day. Hot water temperatures and acidic ground coffee amplifying the leaching effects to new heights.

It goes on to warn of dire results from overdosing on such chemicals.

Do these coffee machines release toxic chemicals from the plastic (ignoring the regular contents of a cup of coffee)?


1 Answer 1


Well, BPA is classified by the IARC as group 3 carcinogen - Not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans. It is still less probably harmful than cell phone radiation and coffee itself (group 2B). Link to the full list (In my opinion, if there is a problem, the Bisphenol-A is not the problem, but the coffee is.)

A 2008 report by the Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction within the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP), which is within the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, reported:

For adults, the Expert Panel has negligible concern for adverse reproductive effects following exposures in the general population to Bisphenol A. For highly exposed subgroups, such as occupationally exposed populations, the level of concern is elevated to minimal.

that's from Wiki and here's the report

Now to the components of your coffee maker: You may find something here. Companies (some at least, obviously) are aware of a possible problem and do avoid plastics in hot environments.

  • You say that coffee is classified as 2B and that it is a problem. However, the IARC list that you linked to in support of those claims does not support them: it lists coffee as class 3 (not 2B), and states, "There is evidence suggesting lack of carcinogenicity in humans of coffee drinking for cancers of the pancreas, liver, female breast, uterine endometrium, and prostate. Inverse associations with coffee drinking have been observed with cancers of the liver and uterine endometrium." (My emphasis.) I.e. re: liver and endometrial cancers, coffee drinking appears to be beneficial.
    – user1802
    Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 17:30
  • N.B. I have neither downvoted nor upvoted you. Ideally, I would downvote for the flawed conclusions you drew, but also upvote for your effort to cite sources and provide a thorough answer. So, the two cancel each other out :)
    – user1802
    Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 17:33
  • @sampablokuper I agree coffee is now classified as class 3. Note that I answered this question back in 2014 and coffee may have been reclassified (the "in prep." in the year column is an indication of this), although I wouldn't rule out that I just misread the source back then.
    – chaosflaws
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 7:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .