A research study, published in the Journal of Toxicology advises expectant and nursing mothers to “severely limit” their consumption of many teas due to the presence of small amounts of lead.
Even very small amounts are harmful, according to a study by the University of Alberta. The 30 teas tested were leading brandspurchased in local supermarkets. Researchers found the greatest concentration of heavy metals in tea from China and speculated that lead-containing emissions from the country’s coal-fired power plants are to blame.Women exposed to lead risk disrupting the neurological development of fetuses, whose brains are particularly susceptible to foreign substances, according to a report in the National Post of Canada.
“We were quite surprised,” said Dr. Gerry Schwalfenberg, the Edmonton physician who co-authored the research. “If you drink three or four cups a day, which a lot of people do, you’re getting too much [lead] for baby,” he told the newspaper. In expectant mothers, heightened levels of lead in the blood have been linked to hypertension, spontaneous abortion, low birth weight and neurological problems, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Researchers found that 73% of the 30 teas tested and 83% of those brewed for 15 minutes had lead levels in the liquor that exceeded .5 micrograms per liter, the limit deemed safe for pregnant and nursing women. Dr. Schwalfenberg said most non-pregnant adults need not worry.
Source: National Post