Beware of Toxic Levels of Lead in Tea, Particularly Black Tea
re: heavy metals
re: Heavy Metals eg Lead (Pb) in Black Tea, Particularly From China, Fact-Finding
I’m getting a blood draw next week for a heavy metals test (eg blood lead), as my late December tests shows ~16X the typical blood lead level (about 14.6 mcg/dDL).
That, and various other symptoms consistent with lead poisoning have me feeling pretty frustrated—my internist MD has nothing to offer, and web search yields information that is difficult to act upon eg this paper, the best summary I’ve yet found:
Chelation: Harnessing and Enhancing Heavy Metal Detoxification—A Review
Of course, mainstream medicine is largely incompetent and uninterested in this kind of poisoning, short of extreme cases. No money in it.
China emits more carbon than all over developed nations combined, has been burning enormous amounts of coal and is rapidly expanding the practice, polluting the entire country and world with lead, mercury, cadmium, etc. Anything grown in China should be considered suspect from a health perspective, e.g., black tea.
I’ve been drinking a lot of black tea for a few months (eg Taylors of Harrogate Earl Grey Loose Leaf @AMAZON), and so my thoughts went to that as a source. Pisses me off that their tea and their web site say nothing about sourcing, but have all that woke feel-good ESG crap in abundance.
See also: Monitoring of essential and heavy metals in green tea from different geographical origins
The benefits and risks of consuming brewed tea: beware of toxic element contamination
2013-07-30. See PDF.
Methods — Common off-the-shelf varieties of black, green, white, and oolong teas sold in tea bags were used for analysis in this study. Toxic element testing was performed on 30 different teas by analyzing (i) tea leaves, (ii) tea steeped for 3-4 minutes, and (iii) tea steeped for 15-17 minutes. Results were compared to existing preferred endpoints.
Results — All brewed teas contained lead with 73% of teas brewed for 3 minutes and 83% brewed for 15 minutes having lead levels considered unsafe for consumption during pregnancy and lactation. Aluminum levels were above recommended guidelines in 20% of brewed teas. No mercury was found at detectable levels in any brewed tea samples. Teas contained several beneficial elements such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. Of trace minerals, only manganese levels were found to be excessive in some black teas.
Conclusions — Toxic contamination by heavy metals was found in most of the teas sampled. Some tea samples are considered unsafe. There are no existing guidelines for routine testing or reporting of toxicant levels in "naturally" occurring products. Public health warnings or industry regulation might be indicated to protect consumer safety.
...There is an abundance of literature demonstrating the adverse health effects of various heavy metal and metalloid elements on the human organism. By numerous mechanisms, including endocrine disruption , cytotoxicity , mitochondrial dysfunction , and oxidative stress [37, 38], a spectrum of toxic elements is able to disturb cellular and metabolic homeostasis and induce clinical illness. The literature is replete with many common disease processes such as carcinogenesis , insulin resistance , neurodegeneration , and immune dysregulation [42, 43]. These may result from exposure to and bioaccumulation of various heavy metals and metalloids. In addition, recent literature has elucidated that various toxic compounds can have epigenetic effects with the potential for transgenerational damage [44, 45]. Rather than isolated incidents of single exposures, it is apparent that toxic metal contact is a widespread phenomenon  with many potential sources including tainted food and drink, contaminated skin products, and contaminated air...
...Education to medical trainees about exposures to toxic elements and persistent organic pollutants has been limited in most medical centers thus far. Recognizing the escalating problem of toxicant bioaccumulation , it would be prudent to commence education of health professionals, inline with recommendations from the World Health Organization  and other notable health bodies.
[WIND: this is the issue I have run into: total ignornace by doctors about what can be done]
WIND: companies selling poison. If it is unsafe for pregnancy/lactation, it’s unsafe for everyone.
Of course these guys have an interest in selling you tea, but if they test as claimed, seems like time to change sources: CUSA Tea and Coffee: Are You Drinking Lead?
Lead content in tea
...In terms of lead, the tea’s country of origin appears to be the most important factor. Black tea from China has the highest levels of lead. If you are brewing the tea and throwing the leaves away, drinking three cups a day of black tea from China would exceed the daily safety limit of lead consumption. Black tea from India, Nepal, or Sri Lanka has much less lead so those are good choices if you drink a lot of black tea. Green tea has lower levels of lead and if you are throwing away the green tea leaves you can probably drink as much as you want. If you are drinking matcha tea (a special, powdered green tea) you are drinking the entire ground up leaf; be sure your matcha comes from Japan where the lowest levels of lead are found.
WIND: doesn’t rule out high levels of lead from each country, but surely avoiding Chinese-grown anything is the smart move.
As it turns out, black tea not only has far more lead in it than green tea, but lead (Pb) tends to be released into the tea when steeping, at least according to this video. Makes me wonder.
Why doesn’t our feckless fucked-up FDA give us an easy way to find out how much lead a product contains?
Video from NutritionFacts.org.