What is the danger of small strands of stainless steel coming off the wire filter and being ingested?

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    Is the filter very old, or damaged in any way?
    – Erica
    Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 15:37
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    Steel has a density of about 7g/cc compared to 1g/cc for water. Any released steel is likely to end up in the grounds under the mesh. I'be used French Press for decades, and never had trouble with the steel mesh breaking. You're talking a very low probability event here. Commented Jan 20, 2019 at 3:43

1 Answer 1


Short answer: your probability of injury is less than 0.0002%

Long answer: per the estimates in this answer, approximately 360,000 Americans use a French Press. In the last few years, zero consumers have reported injuries due to drinking metal fragments from their press. There have been several reports of messes and even injuries due to broken glass carafes, but zero for anything to do with the wire mesh.

So whatever the incidence is of punctured internals due to French press use, it's clearly less than 1 in 360,000. We'll only be able to assign it a specific number when it actually happens. You are more likely -- at least 30 times more likely -- to be struck by lightning.

Of course, if you are using an old, second-hand knockoff carafe with a visibly damaged mesh, your personal danger is higher than that. It's also easily solved, buy a new mesh.

In the meantime, be careful with that carafe!

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