Are there hidden dangers in tea?

Posted at 5:21 PM, Feb 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-28 08:53:40-05

Sipping tea is a daily routine for Marjorie Apel.  She says, "It's soothing, flavorful, and delicious."

Audrey Flannerry, the owner of Serenity Tea House and Restaurant, says that tea is so popular, she sees people of all ages visiting for her variety of teas.

Medical expert Dr. David Soria points out there are health benefits too.

"(It can) prevent hypertension, it can lower cholesterol, it has flavenoids in it that are a powerful antioxidant," said Soria.

But before you make your next cup of tea, do you know what's in it?

Soria says certain independent studies indicate not all teas are created equally.

"Unfortunately, there may be some truth in it. The independent organization that actually did an analysis on teas did find pesticides in those teas, varying from a few to up to 23-24 pesticides," said Soria.

A lot of U.S. and foreign markets don't rinse off pesticides before manufacturing tea bags.

"Tea is a crop just like corn or sugar or any other crop, so it is susceptible to pesticides," said Beth Johnston, who owns "Teas Etc."

She imports up to 20 tons of tea a year. She's an expert who advises you should know what you're brewing.

"You first have to define what tea is. Herbs come from a variety of plants, all different botanicals, chamomile, peppermint. Tea, in true sense of word, comes from one plant called Camellia sinensis," said Johnston. "So, susceptibility to pesticides depends on type of ingredients in it."

Johnston goes on to say, "If you think about it, a cup of tea, with trace amounts of pesticides, versus a soda, with coloring and flavoring in it, I think tea is a good choice"

If you aren't sure about your tea, try this.

"Make sure you dip it in boiling water for 30 seconds to one minute, then pour out that water and steep it again," said Soria.

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