Lab tests show that most popular brands of tea contain pesticides, which can cause a range of illnesses. Tea leaves may also contain lead and aluminum. How do consumers reduce their risk of exposure to these potentially dangerous chemicals?
Tea is often considered as among the healthiest sources of caffeine posing fewer risks compared with soda, coffee and energy drinks. Lab tests, however, have revealed that many tea brands contain chemicals that are potentially dangerous to the body.
A 2014 study by the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) tested several popular brands of tea for pesticides. Researchers found that only one of the tested brands did not test positive for pesticides. Some contain as many as 22 different pesticides and half of the tested brands exceeded the legal limit. Exposure to pesticides may increase the risk for skin infections, cutaneous toxicity and cancer. Consumers can opt for High Quality Organic’s guaranteed organic herbal tea to reduce their exposure to pesticides.
Researchers have found that 32 percent of tea leaves from China exceeded recommended levels for lead. Lead is likely present in tea plants because the latter absorb lead from the environment at a higher rate compared with other plants. Brewed tea, fortunately, does not contain significant amounts of lead because 90 percent of the lead stays in the tea leaf.
Aluminum is naturally present in soil and the roots of the tea plant can absorb this. The aluminum is then deposited in tea leaves. The amount of aluminum present in tea leaves vary depending on several factors. Acid soil, for instance, is associated with excess available aluminum. Aluminum may be less toxic compared with other heavy metals but consuming too much raises health concerns. Some studies, for instance, found a link between levels of aluminum in the brain and Alzheimer’s disease.
Tea may be considered as a healthier source of caffeine but consumers should be aware that it may also contain potentially toxic chemicals such as pesticides, lead and aluminum. Health conscious consumers can choose to buy certified organic loose-leaf teas they can infuse in old-fashioned pot or stainless steel infuser.