A comparison of the potential health risk of aluminum and heavy metals in tea leaves and tea infusion of commercially available green tea in Jiangxi, China

Lanhai Li, Qing Long Fu*, Varenyam Achal, Yonglin Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Heavy metals and Al in tea products are of increasing concern. In this study, contents of Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, and Pb in commercially available green tea and its infusions were measured by ICP-MS and ICP-AES. Both target hazard quotient (THQ) and hazard index (HI) were employed to assess the potential health risk of studied metals in tea leaves and infusions to drinkers. Results showed that the average contents of Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, and Pb in tea leaves were 487.57, 0.055, 0.29, 1.63, 17.04, 7.71, and 0.92 mg/kg, respectively. Except for Cu, metal contents were within their maximum limits (1, 5, 30, and 5 mg/kg for Cd, Cr, Cu, and Pb, respectively) of current standards for tea products. Concentrations of metals in tea infusions were all below their maximum limits (0.2, 0.005, 0.05, 1.0, 0.02, and 0.01 mg/L for Al, Cd, Cr(VI), Cu, Ni, and Pb, respectively) for drinking water, and decreased with the increase of infusion times. Pb, Cd, Cu, and Al mainly remained in tea leaves. The THQ from 2.33 × 10−5 to 1.47 × 10−1 and HI from1.41 × 10−2 to 3.45 × 10−1 values in tea infusions were all less than 1, suggesting that consumption of tea infusions would not cause significant health risks for consumers. More attention should be paid to monitor Co content in green tea. Both THQ and HI values decreased with the increase of infusion times. Results of this study suggest that tea drinkers should discard the first tea infusion and drink the following infusions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number228
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Volume187
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aluminum
  • Food safety
  • Green tea
  • Health risk assessment
  • Heavy metals
  • Tea infusion

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