Tea bags….The poison that no one feared

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It seems that hot cups of tea prepared with tea bags do not contain tea, water, and sugar, contrary to what everyone thinks. A recent study by researchers at McGill University in Canada found that a single tea bag can release billions of tiny plastic particles into a hot cup of tea.

The details and results of the study were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science and Technology at the end of September. She explained that when preparing a hot drink using a single tea bag, it releases 11.6 billion fine plastic particles with 3.1 billion nano-plastic particles in the drink.

Billions of particles

The main objective of the study, as Natalie Tovinkji, a professor of chemical engineering and a member of the research team, explains, through the press release, is whether plastic tea bags can be released from plastic particles of precise and nano sizes in hot beverages during the preparation process or not.

Photo : Pixaby
To answer this question, scientists used plastic tea bags from different companies and boiled them at 95oC for 5 minutes. They then examined the water used by the preparation using an electron microscope, to discover the existence of billions of particles of nylon and polyethylene ter-phthalate (PET) plastics in micro-sizes ranging from 100 nm and 150 micrometers, released by the tea bags during the preparation.

It should be noted that plastic can not decompose completely in nature, but is divided into smaller and finer parts in micro and nano sizes. This caused it to accumulate in the environment around us, then infiltrated our food and drink without knowing it. This has been confirmed by several recent studies that revealed that an individual consumes a huge number of plastic nanoparticles, estimated between 74,000 and 121,000 a year.

Hot beverages prepared from hot tea bags join the menu of foods and beverages containing tiny fine plastic particles. Unfortunately, the levels of plastic particles in these drinks are thousands of times higher than those of plastic particles detected in other foods.

Particle effects

Researchers have not only remained in their discovery, as they have been trying to study the effects of these fine plastic particles and nano-particles on living organisms and the environment. They showed the water chip used as a typical organism in environmental studies for different doses of fine plastic particles and nanoparticles caused by tea bags. Although these organisms survived, they showed abnormal anatomical and behavioral changes.

As for the impact of these tiny plastic particles on human health, Laura Hernandez, co-author of the study, said in a press release: “More research and studies are needed to determine if microplastics have confirmed or chronic effects on humans. In any case, hot drinks can always be selected using herbs that are not packed with plastic bags or those packed with paper bags.

Source : Aljazeera