Image Credit: Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash. This image has been modified.

Where to Buy Tea Low in Lead

China burns about half of the world’s coal, spewing heavy metals such as mercury and lead into the atmosphere that affect the development of neighboring children. What if you don’t live in China or eat anything produced there? You could still be exposed to the mercury that settles in the oceans if you eat fish and other seafood. What if you drink something from China? Tea. China is one of the world’s biggest tea exporters, but their rapid industrialization has raised concerns about contamination with lead, a toxin that can affect almost every organ in the body. The more lead there is in the soil, the more lead there is that ends up in the tea leaves. And, the closer to the highway the tea is grown, the higher the lead levels. This suggests that leaded gas, which wasn’t banned in China until the year 2000, may be playing a role in the contamination of tea grown there.

Just like larger and longer-living fish accumulate more mercury, longer-living tea leaves accumulate more lead. Young tea leaves appear to have two to six times less lead than mature leaves, so the young leaves that are used to make green and white tea have significantly less lead than the older leaves used to make black and oolong tea. As well, the lead in black and oolong tea appears to be released much more readily into the tea water when brewed. This means the health risk from lead may be 100 times lower for green tea compared to oolong and black.

Because certain fungicides may have heavy metal impurities, one might assume organic teas would be less contaminated. However, a study of 30 common teas taken from North American store shelves showed no less toxic element contamination in organic teas than regular teas, though, organic teas would presumably have much less pesticide contamination. In terms of lead, the source of the tea—that is, the country of origin—appears to be the most important factor.

So, how much tea is safe to drink? Based on the most stringent safety limits in the world, such as California’s Prop 65 parameters, and the largest studies of tea lead contamination from around the world, I was able to come up with guidelines I outline in my video Lead Contamination of Tea.

If you’re not pregnant and drinking only green tea, it doesn’t matter where you get your tea. You can drink as much as you want, as long as you’re drinking the green tea and throwing away the leaves or bags. Given the average levels of lead in Chinese black tea samples, however, more than three cups a day would exceed the daily safety limit for lead. What if you’re eating tea leaves—for example, drinking matcha tea, which is powdered green tea—or throwing tea leaves into your smoothie like I do? In that case, two or three heaping teaspoons is the limit. The exception is Japanese green tea, which is so low in lead that you can safely eat 15 spoonfuls per day, but I caution consuming more than 8 teaspoons given the risk of exceeding the daily recommended limit for caffeine intake for adults.

What about children? For a 70-pound 10-year-old, lead isn’t a problem if they’re drinking green tea. But the safe caffeine intake for children is probably around three milligrams per kilogram, which would limit a child to about four cups of green tea per day. For caffeine reasons, I recommend adding no more than two spoonfuls of Japanese green tea to a child’s smoothie. And for lead reasons, children should have no more than one teaspoon of Chinese green tea leaves. When it comes to black tea, children shouldn’t drink more than one cup per day and should not eat the tea leaves at all.

Pregnant women should be able to drink one cup of green tea per day throughout pregnancy, regardless of source. The limit for Japanese green tea is really just the caffeine limit of about four cups per day. I do not recommend drinking black tea during pregnancy or eating any kind of tea leaves, unless you know you’re getting tea from a low lead source.


I’ve long been an advocate of teas, but the information I’ve shared with you here has led me to change my daily diet. If you look at my smoothie recipe in A Better Breakfast, for example, you’ll see I’ve recommended throwing in tea leaves, and Is Matcha Good for You? doesn’t hide the fact that I’ve been a big fan of matcha. I still enjoy both, but am now more careful about where my tea is sourced. As soon as I learned of this, I made announcements on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to inform everyone. So, if you closely follow my recommendations (which I elaborate on extensively in my book, How Not to Die), please make sure to keep an eye on our social media where I can post updates within minutes of learning about the latest news.

I’ve got a whole slew of tea videos, including:

Where else might you find heavy metal risk (besides my music collection :)?

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


76 responses to “Where to Buy Tea Low in Lead

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  1. As a big tea drinker, I find this this very useful information. I must admit that I prefer black tea but as far as that is concerned I only drink Ceylon tea which is less problematic. Anyway, many thanks for this information.

    Off topic, I see that a new meta analysis paper has just been published on supplement use. In essence it concludes that there is no evidence of benefit except perhaps from folic acide on stroke risk, and that we should concentrate on eating plant foods to obtain such nutrients

    ‘In the absence of further studies, the current data on supplement use reinforce advice to focus on healthy dietary patterns, with an increased proportion of plant foods in which many of these required vitamins and minerals can be found (5,93).’
    http://www.onlinejacc.org/content/71/22/2570

    It does however also state that some marginal benefit was seen from multivitamin use i will continue to take mine (even though Dr G does not recommend multivitamin use).

    1. Well, now that you mention it TG; How did we get along for all those millions of years without the multivitamins that just appeared on the scene during the last century? If my understanding is correct, the foods have the nutrients. It’s when they started being processed and refined that nutrient deficiencies started. So if we eat a WFPB diet as opposed to industrialized food, there’s no need for supplements. The nutrition has always been in the plants. Here’s one of my old favorites.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/great-grain-robbery/

      1. Blair: I’ve seen research – sorry, I don’t have the reference – that has found that the nutrient density of whole raw plant foods have been going down during the recent years. The authors ascribed this to climate change.

    2. Tom,

      I go back and forth on the Multivitamin subject.

      Mainly, because of cost of the things I am supplementing individually versus the cost of buying one multivitamin.

      Some doctors have recommended getting the multivitamin and just taking it every other day or, where they tell you to take 4 pills, just take two.

      Still trying to figure out what will work best for me.

      I know that I would want a whole food one without iron or copper.

      I had been alternating between More Than a Multiple and Vitamin Code

      Honestly, I was buying it as a cheaper way to get my B12, Omega 3 and D and to have assurance about iodine and selenium.

      We live in a world where every single decision is so complicated.

      1. #Tom, Dep, Nancy…. and all the others.
        If you read the book of Dr. Greger, Dr. Fuhrman and others carefully, you will find between the lines or totaly open (by Dr. Fuhrman) some hint’s that even you eat a WFPB diet it is not for sure you get all Vitamins and (more important) all minerals in a sufficient amount. Of course you can get Omega 3 fatty acids from walnuts, Flaxseed or chia but only ALA, not DHA/EPA, so even Dr. Greger wrote on page 410 you should take a supplement. Vitamin B12 is out of discussions. But what about zinc? It is nearly impossible to get enough if you only eat a normal WFPB diet and if you not stuff tonns of dark green every day into your mouth, there will be a chance not to get enough ferric.
        In addition, what I learned at more then 7 years of eating WFPB, there are some combinations of food, which hinder the best resoption rates – think about coffee, a glas of red wine and more. And, last but not least, the poor conditions of the soil nowadays – the whole fucking factory farming and the GMO farmers destroying more and more the soil and the water quality.
        Dr. Greger starts his article whit the information of Chinese goal burning…hahahaha…do you realy think that is the biggest problem? What about the alluminium mills, the big ships crossing the oceans and burning heavy oil, what about the old fuel elements of the nuclear power plants – you have 65 in the USA. What about the slurry seas all over the USA and the world…. and, and, and….
        So in my convictions it is a good idea to take some supplements from time to time…

        1. Yes, hunter gatherers probably eat several hundred different types of plant foods and the occasional animal/fish and possibly insects and grubs.

          I doubt that most Western WFPB eaters can match that variety. I know that I don’t and therefore regard a multivitamin as insurance. There is no evidence of harm from multivitanib use to my knowledge and the limited evidence suggests that it may be of some benefit even if small.

    3. Tom, do you take the multi-vitamin for your eyes? I know some of the eye formulas out there include a lot of other vitamins & minerals. If so, do you mind my asking which kind you use? I’d like to know for my mother, who takes them as well.

      Personally, I’m relying on berries, including gojis & black currants, to take care of my eye for now.

      1. Hi Nancy No, I started taking a multivitamin when I gave up eating fish. As well as omega 3s, fish contain a lot of things like vitamin D, calcium, iodine, zinc, B12, selenium etc. which aren’t always that easy to obtain consistently from plants. For example, here in the Philippines I can’t buy nuts (other than peanuts which are actually legumes anyway) or berries without going to great efforts and spending a small fortune. I currently take the MegaFood Men over 55 formula (although it lacks iodine).

        The 7th Day Adventist mortality study showed that, overall, pesco-vegetarians had the lowest mortality risk …. although among men, “vegans” edged ahead of pesco-vegetarians with 72% of the mortality risk of meat eaters/omnivores versus 73% for pesco-vegetarians..

        For my eyes, I now take blackcurrent extract, AREDS2 and Ginkgold. I also eat grapes every day with my morning porridge (oatmeal). Maize is possibly even better and spinach is good too.
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1722697/

        However, you may want to target supplements if your mother has a single condition. In my case though I have glaucoma, early stage cataracts and early stage AMD, plus dry eyes syndrome so anything demonstrated to benefit eye health is of interest to me.

        I am currently working my way through the Life Extension protocols and magazine articles on eye health. They are baisically in the business of selling supplements but they do a good job of assembling all the studies showing supplement benefits for specific conditions (but perhaps a less good job of identifying the downsides of specific supplements).
        http://www.lifeextension.com/Protocols/Eye-Ear/Eye-Health/Page-01

        1. Thanks, Tom. I like the MegaFood brand because it’s a whole food source. So is Garden of Life.

          My mother has WMD, and I give her Macular Protect Complete Areds2 from ScienceBased Health – https://www.sciencebasedhealth.com/default.aspx. Her retina specialist recommended it. It’s not a whole food source but it has a lot of other things in it that make it like a multivitamin.

          The list of foods rich in lutein & zeaxanthin is interesting, although it’s a shame it didn’t include goji berries & papayas. Thanks for sharing that & the Life Extension article. Much appreciated.
          BTW, I usually eat my gojis & black currants together. I soak them in a little water first so they don’t stick to my teeth, then add some raw cacoa powder & a tbsp of almond butter to help boost absorption of the carotenoids.

          1. Thanks Nancy. Yes, I too have a supply of red Goji berries and black Goji berries (courtesy of a recent trip to Hong Kong where they are much cheaper).

            I usually just put them in my morning porridge – oats are pretty high in fat so I don’t worry adding some other fatty food to aid absorption (although walnuts would be nice if I could buy them here).

            The AREDS2 product I buy is the official NIH approved supplement.
            https://ph.iherb.com/pr/bausch-lomb-preservision-areds-2-formula-eye-vitamin-mineral-supplement-120-soft-gels/68945

            It seems to be significantly cheaper than the one you are buying. I had a look at the site you linked to – perhaps they pay a trailing fee/commission to the referring physician and that’s the reason it is expensive?

            1. Yes, Tom, I got her the Preservision brand for a while because it was cheaper. But she wanted to go back to the one her doctor recommended. I may suggest going back to the Preservision again.

              Thanks again. Stay well.

              1. Aah OK. I suspect that the doctor only recommended it because s/he gets a kickback.

                After all, why recommend a copycat product of unknown quality when the original NIH approved product is available for little more than half the price?

                Reminds me of Dr G’s recent video and blog … but the website probably operates as a cut-oot between the doc and drug ciompany concerned
                https://nutritionfacts.org/video/find-out-if-your-doctor-takes-drug-company-money/
                https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/04/19/find-out-if-your-doctor-is-on-the-take-with-just-two-clicks/

        2. TG, I’m just being nosy; don’t answer if you feel like it.

          Do you plan to live in the Philippines for the rest of your life?

          1. Hi. Probably not. I came here first because I needed some dental work and it was cheaper to come here, spend 3 weeks in a 3* hotel and pay for the flights than to get the woek done in Australia. Only $50 cheaper but then I got a 3 week holiday thrown in as well.

            My wife is from the Philippines so it makes sense to spend time here. We have a condo in Australia and a place in the Philippines – housing is significantly cheaper than in Australia. There are upsides and downsides to living here but I can see my eye specialist for $10 AUD (about $8 US) and there’s no waiting for an appointment. There are a lot of Americans living here too and I think there there is even a VA hospital in Manila. Residents on a retirement visa aren’t subject to Philippines tax on their pension income which helps.

            Ideally we will spend 6 months of the year in Aus and 6 months in the Philippines (during the Australian Winter). But we are planning a trip to Malaysia soon to visit friends. Malaysia has a retirement second home programme as well. My wife’s friends say Malaysia is even cheaper than the Philippines when it comes to housing and cost of living.

            Because housing is cheap in these places, I can keep up my condo in Australia – I don’t even bother renting it out. I find that the additional cost of housing here is offset by the lower cost of living generally so it’s more or less the same cost as living in Aus all year round. I think a lot of Americans also do the same thing in certain South American countries that welcome retirees to live there. The key thing when you are older is having confidence in the local medical and dental services and I am reasonably happy about the services here. And I can get back to Aus fairly quickly if I need to.

  2. Did I miss something? If I understand the article correctly, it says don’t buy tea from China because of excessive lead, but I guess I missed where it says “where to buy tea low in lead”. Guess I was just expecting some sources. I drink only green tea from Numi and Traditional Medicine based on recommendations from my wellness doctor.

      1. Traditional Medicinals claim to put all of their ingredients through 9 tests, including heavy metals.

        Unless they are lying, I would choose them between those two.

  3. What about Rooibos tea? It is processed differently and therefore does not have lead contamination? Nor does it have caffeine. It is my favourite tea!

  4. I stop by McDonalds daily for a large unsweetened tea: I’m told it’s a mix of orange pekoe and pekoe black tea. I tried to google the country of origin but hit a road block. Does anyone know where this tea is from? Thanks.

  5. Where DO we buy tea that’s low in lead? I didn’t see that information listed in this article. Have you tested brands such as Traditional Medicinals or Numi for lead and other toxins?

  6. Change the headline please… I find it misleading and disappointing and I DO LOVE YOU… I’d like to know where to buy matcha? Right now I buy it in bulk from my Co-Op, organic and I think it’s from Japan… what’s your source?

  7. I agree – the article doesn’t address the issue raised in the headline. I buy green tea from Japan — any better??

    1. Do you buy directly from Japan or do you go someplace like Whole Foods or a Co-Op or Tea shop and look on the boxes?

      Just curious.

      1. Wegmans in the Northeast sells “Just Tea” from Japan.

        Gary A. Giovino, PhD, MS Professor and Chair Department of Community Health and Health Behavior (716) 829-6952

        Thank you for supporting UB’s smoke-free campus environment. For more information, go to wellnessed.buffalo.edu/tobacco.

  8. Please answer the question in the title of this blog post… WHERE to buy tea low in lead? PS. Love your videos and information!

  9. I have always had a question about “Yerba mate.” It is a popular drink of a large part of South America. Is there a Dr. G comment about it?

    1. Geoffrey,

      Our SAD diet being worse than most countries doesn’t mean that the heavy metals and toxins are not bad.

      When I look up what lead does to health, it is pain, cognitive problems, emotional problems, high blood pressure, miscarriages, hearing loss, seizures, developmental delay, etc.

      Some of those things could kill people, but it is more of a make your life miserable for a long time list.

      I am going to tell you that I had such horrendous cognitive problems and when I was young I had emotional problems and I know it was that I was totally lacking nutrition and was taking in so many toxins.

      The thing is, taking in these toxins versus not taking them in can be the difference between being remembering things or having positive emotions.

      That is enough reason to be careful.

    1. Hi Rob! Many herbal teas come from places other than China, so do not pose the risk of being contaminated with lead. To be on the safe side, I would recommend double checking your herbal teas to make sure they are not grown in China!

    1. Japan’s fukushima melted down nuclear plants continue to spew radioactive particles via air and water as well as into the Pacific. There is no known solution to this continuing problem. This really concerns me. What is your take Dr. Greger?

      1. Good question, Mel. Fukushima was, is and will continue to be an ecological nightmare that should warn any consumer to be extremely circumspect regarding any food product coming out of Japan. The clean-up has been estimated to take up to 40 years, according to the Japanese government. Tons of “hot” water have been dumped into the ocean, and it continues to date.

        For anyone who thinks such concern is hyperbolic, let me recommend the Wikipedia article entitled, “Radiation effects from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.” It goes into individual food items and the most recent reports of radiation contamination.

        1. I didn’t even think about that.

          Do you have a sense that it is going to become so difficult to eat and drink eventually?

          It already is challenging to keep track of all the possible toxins.

          Glad that plants are still so effective that people are outliving the toxins.

  10. What about the hibiscus tea drink that you say in your book that you drink everyday? I use the Celestial Seasonings zinger teas and drink a pitcher of it everyday. Do these also contain lead?

  11. This isn’t the first time that Dr. G has posted an article with a misleading title, but I’ll put my two cents in and recommend The Boulder Tea Company. It is a little more expensive, but they list where they get the tea and they have so many options! I love the Jasmine Pearl tea..drinking a cup right now. I order online, but someday I hope to visit their tea house. It looks wonderful!

  12. It seems the high radioactivity levels in tea from Japan following the Fukushima nuclear disaster is a bigger problem than lead. Sadly, it might be a matter of “pick your poison”.

  13. My favorite teas are Darjeeling green & white, so I’m guessing it’s not a problem. I usually buy it in India or in Paris from Mariage Freres. I’ve also bought it online from Arbor Teas.

  14. It would be nice if tea companies would say WHERE they get their leaves. Certainly someone has done this research. Does anyone know of a list?
    Bigelow?
    Celestial?
    Lipton?
    etc.

  15. I am laughing, because I listened to the Plant Powered and Thriving class tonight and they put down Fiji water.

    I have no problem with their logic, except that I wonder if there is a different way for me to get Silica water for my 12 weeks of trying to clean aluminum out of my brain.

    Their bottles use Chinese plastic.

    Would Volvic be the exact same problem?

    Arrggggg.

    Wondering if the edible clay would work instead.

    (And if that comes from some stupid toxic source, somehow, that I won’t find out about until after I start, too.)

    Can I drink the Fiji water and then eat the clay to get the Chinese plastics out? LOL!

    I am genuinely frustrated.

    1. I read a study on Fiji Water and if it was transported without refrigeration – it can sometimes have bad bacteria. Not always.

      Bad bacteria and Chinese plastic and sometimes Arsenic.

      Can I add silica drops to my own water? Is that any safer?

      I saw an article that hinted that there might be other minerals, which also might take Aluminum out of the brain, and I wonder if I can figure that part out.

      Maybe I can just filter my water over minerals?

      They were also talking about not using Aluminum pans, which I believed I have covered, because I bought Stainless Steel recently on purpose, but I decided to look up my pans that I bought, just to make sure and it said Stainless Steel with Aluminum core. Does that core stay in the core? If the pans get beaten up, will I suddenly be back to Aluminum pans again?

      1. I thought I found “bananas” as an alternate source of silica, but somehow it didn’t absorb, but green beans did increase it.

        “A significant increase in serum Si concentration was also observed following the ingestion of green beans (P=0·04) but, interestingly, not with bananas (250 g) (P=0·43) despite their high Si content (Fig. 2(b)).”

        Sorry, melting down, because I have been so happy and now I have to figure something else out.

          1. Thanks Tom.
            Beer and green beans for dinner.

            Sad tonight.
            My dog has a high fever.

            The vet asked if I wanted to put him down.

            I spent the $1000 on blood tests and 3 antibiotics and a night in the hospital, but there is a good chance that I will be asked the same question tomorrow.

            1. Very sorry to hear that Deb. I have lost a couple of dogs myself – it is heartbreaking.

              If there is no obvioius pain or distress though, you and your dog will probably want to continue enjoying your time together. My thoughts and best wishes are with you both.

          2. I am laughing, because I kept searching for sources of silica and I found a Belgian study and they said: For vegetarian foods rice and barley revealed high silicon levels. And oats was in another of their studies.

            The Americans get it from beer and bananas and antacids and green beans?

            The Belgians from oats, rice, barley.

            The UK did this analysis.

            “A total of eighteen foods contained high levels of Si (.5·0 mg/
            100 g). The majority of these foods (eleven items) were from
            the breads and cereals group and related cereal products, with
            oat-containing products having the highest levels of all cereals
            and oat bran having the highest Si content of all items analysed.
            The remaining items were from the vegetables group (namely,
            Kenyan beans, green beans, runner beans, spinach and coriander)
            or were dried fruits. When results were expressed in terms of Si
            content per portion, those foods with a high Si content were predominantly
            beers (seven out of twelve items).
            There was considerable variation in the Si content of vegetables,
            legumes and fruits. With respect to vegetables and legumes, as noted
            earlier, the richest sources of Si were Kenyan beans, French beans
            and runner beans, spinach and red lentils. The majority of other vegetables
            contained low or undetectable amounts of Si (,1·0 mg per
            100 g). With respect to fresh fruits, the highest levels of Si were
            found in the banana, mango and pineapple.
            Of the non-alcoholic beverages, drinking chocolate provided the
            highest mean Si content, although this is probably due to the
            addition of particulate silicate additives rather than a high natural
            Si content (Lomer et al. 2004). Tap water contained more Si per
            100 g than the carbonated soft drinks while sparkling mineral water
            waters contained more Si than the still water samples. The Si content
            of juices (for example, orange, apple and pineapple juice) corresponded
            to the content of the fresh form of the fruit with apple
            and orange juices having low levels and pineapple juice showing
            higher levels. With respect to the alcoholic beverages, beer had
            higher mean Si content than wine, and cider had the lowest Si content,
            again corresponding to the Si contents of the major raw
            materials, namely barley, grapes and apples respectively.”

            1. That gives me confidence that I can do it with foods.

              I am eating oats, beans, rice, barley, red lentils, grapes, pineapple, bananas, spinach, and green beans.

              Upping those sounds better than eating clay.

              1. I am really down tonight.

                I haven’t had depression in so long and this process has been so packed with information that it is stimulating, rather than depressing.

                But I find out in 5 hours if I lose my dog and that is genuinely depressing.

  16. Thank you for this exciting article! As a tea enthusiast I wonder if having oolong/black tea after a meal, and specifically a fiber-rich whole food plantbased meal, will not drastically reduce the absorption of lead from the tea.

  17. Ok, so where do we buy tea from then?? Why make the headline different than the article? I sadly received nothing from this post. I was sure hoping that you would actually say from where we could purchase tea.

    1. Cynthia,
      Thank you for your question, I’ll try to clarify. Japanese green tea appears to be the safest tea to drink. If you can only find green tea from China, its still within the safety guidelines but not as good as Japanese green tea (and do not consume the leaves).

      Sri Lanka is not mentioned here but I try to buy green tea that is sourced from Sri Lanka. As you can see from this study it appears to be the least contaminated. Sometimes I find it at outlet stores such as Tuesday Morning…You could probably order online. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3821942/

      1. Tamra,
        Thank you for your question.This article suggests Japanese green tea as a better choice than Chinese green tea. However, if you cannot find Japanese green tea (its not as readily available in the U.S.) then Chinese Green tea is within the safety guidelines.

        Sri Lanka is not mentioned here but I try to buy green tea that is sourced from Sri Lanka. As you can see from this study it appears to be the least contaminated. Sometimes I find it at outlet stores such as Tuesday Morning…or you could order online. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3821942/

  18. Just as curiosity, tea is grown some places in EU (for example, the Azores) and then the stricter environmental regulations apply. It is not excellent, but fairly decent.

  19. Indian tea least cotaminated, Japanese most contaminated?
    Environ Monit Assess. 2016; 188: 183.
    Published online 2016 Feb 22. doi: 10.1007/s10661-016-5157-y
    PMCID: PMC4762913
    PMID: 26899031
    Toxic elements
    Green tea from India had the lowest concentration of Cd (0.003 mg/100 g) and Pb (0.10 mg/100 g) among the samples analyzed. Han et al. (2005) reported higher results for Cd (0.01 mg/100 g). Moreda-Piñeiro et al. (2003) reported a concentration of Pb of 0.21 mg/100 g in Chinese teas, which was lower than the value obtained in the present study (0.73 mg/100 g). According to Santos et al. (2013), it can be explained by the variations in Pb contamination sources of anthropogenic provenance, i.e., batteries, paints, dyes, and heavy industries. Moreover, Souza (2005) implied that 96 % of lead in the atmosphere is of anthropogenic origin. What is more important, it was found that Pb is more bioavailable to tea plants growing in highly acidic soils (Han et al. 2006a, b). Shi et al. (2007) based on analysis of 328 tea samples for Cd (collected from the main tea-producing regions of China during the years 1997 and 1998) report 0.006 mg of Cd in 100 g. However, in 2004, the average Cd level increased to 0.01 mg/100 g, which is comparable with our results. Such increase in Cd levels can be explained by tea contamination both by its accumulation in plants during the growth period and the manufacturing processes. According to the available literature, tea infusions were characterized with low Cd contents (Karak and Bhagat 2010). Indian teas had the highest percentage of Cd leaching (43.8 %) and Chinese tea had the lowest (9.41 %). Japanese tea had the highest Pb contamination (0.84 mg/100 g) and the percentage of leaching of this heavy metal amounted to 12.6 % (Table (Table3).3). Few studies have assessed the concentration of Pb in tea infusions. Jin et al. (2005) observed a restricted leaching of Pb from tea leaves during soaking in boiling water. Karak and Bhagat (2010) suggested that there is a risk of exceeding the World Health Organization (WHO) limit set for Pb in drinking water (0.05 mg/L) by tea infusions (WHO 2003). Therefore, the contamination of tea leaves by Pb remains an issue of concern, and practices should be developed to avoid problems in the future.

  20. Very dangerous & health damaging fluoride in most of our water sources also leaches/uptakes very heavily into the growing tea plant causing numerous major health issues. And also get double dose of it when you brew the tea in fluoridated water. There are very few water filter’s that claim or effective to take this toxin out.

    1. And I’m hoping to see a review of the effects of ingested fluoride in municipal water and other sources, per a personal request I made to Dr Greger about a year ago. Please join me in this request! He seemed to think that a 1959 (I think) study on the subject was sufficient for the numerous people today who have concerns about this.

  21. Dr. G, please consider revising all videos in a topic when you decide on a new strategy based on your research (or at least adding a comment at the end). Otherwise a lot of people who just find any particular article in a search on your website or a search engine, but don’t otherwise follow you, will be reading your original unrevised advice.

  22. Have I missed something? I was under the impression that recommendations for where to buy tea without lead? One comment recommends Taiwanese teas.

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