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Tea With or Without Plastic?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

tea bags contain plastic

Story at-a-glance -

  • In a recent analysis of tea bags, researchers found that those sealed in plastic release billions of plastic particles with every cup that’s brewed. The plastic caused aquatic organisms to behave abnormally
  • Tea is an ancient beverage, recognized for the positive impact it has on health and the important role it plays in cultures around the world. While tea sold in plastic tea bags increases your toxic load, paper tea bags are not safer because they are infused with a known carcinogen
  • One study found humans excrete microparticles of plastic in stool, which is not removed during processing in wastewater treatment plants. These particles may then end up in municipal water supplies, giving a whole new meaning to recycling
  • There are significant health benefits to drinking tea, so it would be wise to continue the habit, while substituting loose leaf tea for tea bags. Tea may help develop better brain connections and improve cardiovascular health. It’s believed to also reduce beta-amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer’s disease and reduce the development of atherosclerotic plaques

Tea is important to people of many cultures around the world and it has been recognized for centuries as having dramatic and positive impacts on health. It is one of the most popular beverages worldwide, second only to water. There are several easy-to-grow herbs and plants that may be used to make tea at home, but most consumers choose a tea bag to brew their morning or afternoon beverage.

Chances are you've never given the tea bag a second thought. But some bags are made with a variety of plastics; researchers have found these leach out of the bag while it's being brewed. Whether the bag is infused or sealed with plastic, exposure to heat may release microparticles into your tea.

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