Drinking tea that is too hot can lead to cancer, study says

A new study uncovers a correlation between hot tea and cancer, but you probably don't have to worry if you drink your tea at a reasonable temperature.

The American Cancer Society report found drinking two cups of tea at more than 140 degrees almost doubles your chance of esophageal cancer.

That temperature is key.

The link between hot tea and cancer has been found in previous studies, but this study published Wednesday, in the International Journal of Cancer, is the first to pinpoint a specific temperature.

Scientists pinpointed it by looking at 50,000 people in Iran, where tea is typically consumed at much higher temperatures than the U.S.

It is thought the heat may damage the esophagus, creating repeated injuries that lead to cancer in the same way smoke, alcohol and acid reflux do.

An expert at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine says consuming anything hot enough to cause esophageal injury will likely lead to an increased cancer risk.

According to the University College of London, hot drinks in general are an established risk factor for cancer.

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 13,000 new cases of esophageal cancer will be diagnosed in men and nearly 4,000 new cases in women in the United States in 2019.

The bottom line is you can likely keep drinking your tea, coffee and cocoa without a problem, just keep the heat down.
Copyright © 2019 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.