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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Determination of lead, cadmium and arsenic in infusion tea cultivated in north of Iran

Sakine Shekoohiyan1, Mahboobeh Ghoochani2, Azita Mohagheghian2, Amir Hossein Mahvi234*, Masoud Yunesian2 and Shahrokh Nazmara2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Environmental Research, Center for Social Determinants in Health Promotion, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar-Abbas, Iran

2 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 National Institute of Health Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Center for Solid Waste Research, Institute for Environmental Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

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Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering 2012, 9:37  doi:10.1186/1735-2746-9-37

Published: 31 December 2012

Abstract

Tea is one of the most common drinks in all over the world. Rapid urbanization and industrialization in recent decades has increased heavy metals in tea and other foods. In this research, heavy metal contents such as lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) were determined in 105 black tea samples cultivated in Guilan and Mazandaran Provinces in north of Iran and their tea infusions. The amount of heavy metals in black tea infusions were analyzed using Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP - AES).

The mean ± SD level of Pb in 5, 15 and 60 min in infusion tea samples were 0.802 ± 0.633, 0.993 ± 0.667 and 1.367 ± 1.06 mg/kg of tea dry weight, respectively. The mean level of Cd in 5, 15 and 60 min in infusion tea samples were 0.135 ± 0.274, 0.244 ± 0.46 and 0.343 ± 0.473 mg/kg of tea dry weight, respectively. The mean level of As in 5, 15 and 60 min in infusion tea samples were 0.277 ± 0.272, 0.426 ± 0.402 and 0.563 ± 0.454 mg/kg of tea dry weight, respectively. Also, the results showed that the locations and the infusion times influenced upon the amount of these metals (P < 0.05).

Keywords:
Heavy metals; Lead; Cadmium; Arsenic; Tea