Can I drink hot coffee in a styrofoam cup?

In this article, we will answer the query “Can I drink hot coffee in a styrofoam cup?”. In addition, we will discuss the effects of hot drinks in styrofoam containers.

Can I drink hot coffee in a styrofoam cup?

It’s not recommended. The chemicals found in Styrofoam are possibly carcinogenic and can contribute to a number of different cancers, including breast and prostate, but cancer is not the only type of health problem associated with polystyrene. 

Amounts of styrene present as well as various other additives in polystyrene products migrate into the food, which increases significantly in hot liquids. Although each individual dose may seem very low, imagine the cumulative effect! How many coffee cups or microwave fast pasta packs, both made of polystyrene, have we consumed and discarded?

In addition to being considered as a possible carcinogen, styrene is also considered a neurotoxic and bioaccumulative in fatty tissues. Adverse health effects associated with styrene exposure include fatigue, reduced ability to concentrate, increase in abnormal lung function, endocrine disruption (including thyroid), headache, and eye and nose irritation.

Excessive exposure to styrene can affect the central nervous system causing fatigue, irritation, headaches, kidney problems and depression. In addition, styrenes can disrupt the menstrual cycle. In addition, prolonged exposure to styrene can cause gastrointestinal problems, dermatitis, blood problems, and chromosome abnormalities.

What is the relationship of styrofoam with the release of substances for hot drinks?

Styrofoam cups are often used for hot liquids or liquid meals such as soups. While Styrofoam is extremely practical, there are some concerns about the potential health risks associated with the material. The heating of styrofoam is very harmful to health and some cases associated with the development of cancer have been reported, as well as other health problems.

Styrofoam is actually a trade name, but the term ended up being used to define any food or beverage packaging made from polystyrene. Polystyrene is used for serving hot liquids like soups or coffee as it protects liquids from heat loss and keeps it cool outside, preventing the consumer’s hands from getting burned. 

Unfortunately, hot liquids or microwaves can cause the styrofoam to melt or lose properties, causing the chemicals benzene and styrene to leak into the liquid in the container, which can cause health problems.

Is there a risk of burns when putting hot coffee in a styrofoam cup?

No matter what type of packaging you are using, care should always be taken of the possibility of burns involving the hot liquid inside the cup, both to yourself and others. As polystyrene cups stay cold on the outside, it’s easy to forget that there’s an extremely hot liquid inside. 

In addition, because they are flexible, it is easy to cause spills when holding the cup too tightly or when trying to cover them with a plastic lid. Be careful not to spill your cup while drinking a hot liquid. Also keep your styrofoam cup away from children and animals.

What alternative materials to put in hot coffee?

When possible, the best alternative to Styrofoam is a reusable ceramic cup. As these cups can be washed and reused, they have a lower environmental impact and do not release any chemicals into your drink. It must last around 500 years for polystyrene to decompose in the environment.

If polystyrene is burned or incinerated, it releases toxic carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. Whether we burn garbage or have a fireplace, we never, ever burn polystyrene. 

The process of making polystyrene foam also releases harmful hydrocarbons, which combine with nitrogen oxides in the presence of sunlight to form a dangerous ground-level air pollutant called ozone. tropospheric, which is associated with health effects such as throat disorders, shortness of breath, nausea, asthma (asthma) and bronchitis.

Paper cups with a layer of wax to prevent leaks are also a good alternative, because although they don’t keep as cold outside and don’t provide thermal insulation, they also don’t release chemicals.

What is styrofoam?

Polystyrene is a petroleum-based plastic resin and this resin is made with styrene monomer, a synthetic substance classified as a possible human carcinogen (possible human carcinogen).

Around 95% of the final product is air and commonly used to make disposable beverage packaging, ‘styrofoam’ box, tray to pack meat, fish and cold cuts in supermarkets, packaging materials and boxes to pack ‘fast food’ foods. ‘ and ‘deliveries’. 

You can see the number 6 inside the recycling symbol triangle and below this symbol the letters “PS” under all products made of polystyrene.


In this article, we answered the query “Can I drink hot coffee in a styrofoam cup?”. In addition, we discussed the effects of hot drinks in styrofoam containers.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.