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Toxic Chinese Tea.

Anyone ever worry about all of the pollutants in China and how many of them might be getting into our tea? I love Chinese tea, but this does freak me out.

13 Replies

It’s something I have thought of before but as long as you buy from a reputable dealer you will be fine. Teavivre are a great Chinese company that offers certificates to show the testing and chemicals found in their tea. :)

They also do a good range of organic tea with the certificates for those too.

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Lala said

I think it is good to consider this when buying tea from anywhere. I don’t think it should be limited to China. Although, China does have a bad track record/reputation for pollutants, other countries also have problems (ie. India).

I also agree with KittyLovesTea about Teavivre.

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That’s good to know about Teavivre. I’ll check them out. I’ve been using Verdant, however their teas aren’t organic . . . but delicious.

Dag Wedin said

Many teas are organically grown but the plantations hasn´t payed for certification.

Lindsay said

Good to know

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K S said

Not trying to be the forum police but for those interested this topic came up a year or so ago: http://steepster.com/discuss/2386-tea-and-pollution

I think high altitude tea is far less likely to be affected than low grown tea.

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Good question, scary thought! Haha

I guess its best to really wash everything before drinking it.

I heard that Japan has radiation in their tea now too….anyone know of this??

cteresa said

Any radiation in tea from Japan (apart possibly from really close to Fukushima and I mean 10 or 20 kms close which I doubt they even grow tea there) would be extremely minor. You would be worse off eating bananas. Or having any food with normal ammounts of iodine.. Nevermind taking a plane trip, which would really up your dosage of exposition to radiation.

@cteresa That’s exactly what I was thinking. Tea from Japan may have traces of radiation but we are exposed to it every day. Talking on your cell phone, using the microwave etc all give radiation and it would probably be more than any tea would be. Plus if you import it then customs would never let through anything that dangerous, it would set off one of their alarms.

I can’t find the article I read, but the 2013 crop is very safe. But overall steeping the tea you don’t get any/or much less radiation. Eating lots of the leaves, however, you’ll get more.

Dr Jim said

there are two different categories of radiation: the cell phone, microwave, etc are at wavelengths long enough to only have thermal effects, so a small dose is totally harmless. Nuclear radiation (including the cosmic rays you get when riding in an airplane) as well as x-rays are short enough wavelengths to potentially cause genetic damage, in which case a single photon can potentially cause the defect so the results are statistical (very rare in any event, but the more exposure you have the greater your odds. Sorry if I’m being pedantic, but feel more info is better than less.

BTW, TeaformePlease1: I like your photo.

Lala said

Because of the 1/2 life of the radiation, there would be very minimal radiation left over from the initial disaster. The only concern I would have is any ongoing radiation leak. But like cteresa posted above, I also do not think there are any tea crops in the area around the nuclear plant.

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cteresa said

Guys, as far as I understand, radiation is of several types – and source matters. You got alpha particles, beta (or plain old electrons of high energy which i guess is also possible) and gamma rays – you get all of those from cosmic rays, and background radiation ( you can not avoid radioactive isotopes, they are everywhere, carbon in the atmosphere, in all potassium, in all iodine). You can also get those from earth materials, either normal surrounding materials (bananas, thyroids, granite rich sands, normal air. EVERYTHING is radioactive, I guess. Apart from pure hydrogen H1 atoms and maybe a few other rare stable nucleii which are indeed rare)

The higher risk than enviromental radiation is ingesting foods (or breathing air, for example like radon) which contain radioactive (or radioactive chain) materials, which will then decay into something inside your body and all energy from that decay be absorbed by surrounding biological tissue. That is totally unavoidable, no matter what you consume, it is natural that there are traces of things like some isotopes of uranium or radium (or potassium. or iodine) try living without that! in food. And safety levels are usually defined many orders of magnitude (hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands) lower than what is probably really safe.

The effects of chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, etc, are probably much more pernicious because those chemicals are meant to interfere with the cell processes of living things anyway and with safety levels much closer to harm´s way, either way.

TLDR : japanese tea is probably much safer than chinese tea all things considered. (and I prefer chinese tea just the same, and drink it just the same).

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