You probably think decaffeinated coffee is much better for you? Wrong! Most coffee lovers who drink decaf coffee probably do not know the dangers of the toxic chemicals used to extract caffeine.
The most popular chemical process used to decaffeinate coffee is direct extraction. It uses direct soak of green coffee beans in a solution of water and a chemical solvent, methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. After the solvent performs its chemical reaction, the beans are rinsed with water.
The chemical process treats coffee beans with methylene chloride or ethyl acetate.
Heres the definition of methylene chloride from http://www.osha.gov:
Methylene chloride, also called dichloromethane, is a volatile, colorless liquid with a chloroform-like odor. Methylene chloride is used in various industrial processes in many different industries: paint stripping, pharmaceutical manufacturing, paint remover manufacturing, metal cleaning and degreasing, adhesives manufacturing and use, polyurethane foam production, film base manufacturing, polycarbonate resin production, and solvent distribution and formulation.
This process is repeated several times until enough caffeine has come out of the beans. When Methelyne Chloride enters your body, it gets converted to carbon monoxide which interferes with oxygen delivery. This can lead to severe lung conditions and other health problems.
Ethyl acetate added to beans in the decaffeination process is often a synthetic version which is regarded toxic in amounts of 5620 mg/kg when provided to rats and may cause gastrointestinal irritation when ingested that can worsen liver or kidney disorders
However, if you still decide to drink decaffeinated coffee, make it organic. Organic decaf coffee is made using the Swiss Water Method. It is a much safer, chemical-free, decaffeination process. In the Swiss Water Method, the beans are soaked in very hot water and the caffeine as well as flavors and other constituents are naturally extracted into solution. The caffeine is filtered out and the rest of the filtrate is re-introduced and dried into the coffee bean.