Bubble Tea's Tapioca Pearls May Cause Cancer

Yikes: not only are the 'bubbles' a choking hazard, new research shows they contain carcinogens


Would you like a dash of polychlorinated biphenyls in your bubble tea? Yikes — that's what German researchers are saying is in there, warning bubble tea lovers that the tapioca balls at the bottom of your drink may contain carcinogens. 

Researchers from the University Hospital Aachen in Germany analyzed those "bubbles," or the tapioca balls (called pearls) found in bubble tea, reports the New York Post. And the list of chemicals they found in the pearls is a mile long, and kind of disturbing: polychlorinated biphenyls (called PCB's), acetophenone, and brominated substances. None of these should be in food, say the researchers; and those PCB substances? They're a known carcinogen, as defined by the EPA, the Environmental Working Group, and other public health advocates. 

There's been no word which bubble tea chain the tapioca pearls came from, except that they were made in Taiwan. We think our love affair of bubble tea may have burst.


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