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Dangerous substances in tea bags

Ancient Chinese tradition involves serving tea daily; for thousands of years, aristocrats consumed this beverage for its medicinal properties. However, in those times, leaves were crushed and turned into powder, or they were infused for a long time, so the beneficial substances were preserved in the best possible condition.

Source: Flickr.com
Source: Flickr.com

Nowadays, however, these methods are far from being respected. Many tea processing companies, especially those that sell tea is individual bags, promote the benefits brought by tea and keep quiet about what the bags actually contain: pesticides, toxins, artificial ingredients and genetically modified flavours and organisms.

Also, did you know that tea leaves aren’t washed before they are put into the bags? So, if the plant has been sprinkled with pesticides, these will get into the tea cup as well.

A study performed by Glaucus Research shows that over 91% of tea samples tested contain a pesticide level which surpasses the limit permitted by the health authorities in the United States. For example, a kind of tea promoted to work against insomnia contains Propachlor, a compound with potential carcinogenic effect. In another sort of tea, traces of Propargit, a carcinogenic and toxic substance were discovered.

Aromatic tea is also on the black list: another independent study has revealed that more than half of such products contain Endosulfan, a pesticide that has been banned in the United States, China, European Union and other countries because of its harmful effects including infertility and congenital malformation.

More than that, aromatic teas have artificial flavours shown on the list of ingredients, which are produced as a result of a chemical process, in which coal tar has been used. Who wants such a thing in a tea cup? Natural flavours are often added only to hide the questionable quality of a tea product.

Do you believe that tea is the last product possible that may contain genetically modified organisms? Think again! During the manufacturing process, corn and soy powder are used, which are genetically modified to have an increased resistance to pests.

As about the bags themselves, the ones that look like plastic don’t deserve any praise either. According to an article issued in Atlantic, these bags are manufactured from terephthalate polyethylene, which, even though considered safe under normal circumstances, can have its molecular structure modified at high temperatures, and phthalates may end up in the water, which is known for having devastating long term effects.

Paper bags are not safe either. The majority of them are treated with Epichlorohydrin, a substance that, once in contact with water, decomposes into molecules called 3-MCPD; this substance caused cancer, infertility and the weakening of the immune system in lab rats, writes csid.ro.