A UN health working group in line with the WHO Technical Report Series 916 on Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases, came to a conclusion that people should not consume drinks when they are at a scalding hot temperature because it could cause esophageal cancer. Evaluation of research done in several countries reveal that the content of the hot beverages like coffee or maté were not the primary risk factor, rather the temperature at which they were drunk. A correlation was seen between hot drinks and esophageal cancer in countries like China, Iran and Turkey where coffee is usually drunk at very high temperatures. Animal research showed similar results.
Other risk factors for esophageal cancer are smoking and alcohol (more on the subject: Mesothelioma causes). Esophageal cancer is the 8th most common cancer worldwide and one of the main causes of cancer death, with approximately 400,000 deaths – or five per cent of all cancer deaths – recorded in 2012.
source: UN Newsroom