If your daily routine involves turning on the sink to boiler and then heat up that water to make teaHere’s news that might surprise you: In a new study that looked at consumer brands of tea like Lipton and Twinings, scientists identified a chemical interaction when those teas were typical tap. encountered water.
A group of biochemical and environmental scientists in the US and China has published a study in the peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Science and Technology. The scientists teamed up to discover that when boiled tap water is used for brewing tea, the small amount of chlorine added to the water system to clean it can react with compounds in the tea to produce an effect known as “disinfection byproduct exposure”.
The Washington State Department of Health offers an insightful explanation of what: by-products of disinfection to be:
“Water systems add chlorine to drinking water to kill or inactivate harmful organisms in a process called ‘disinfection’. During this process, chlorine also reacts with naturally occurring organic compounds that may be present in drinking water. During this chemical reaction, chlorine disinfection byproducts can form. (DBPs).”
The scientists who conducted this study recognized the possibility that since most teas contain notable chemicals (many of which) benefit health), chlorine could also be a player in your cuppa.
They looked for this effect by testing tap water on Twinings green tea, Lipton tea, and an undisclosed brand of Earl Gray tea. As a result, they report: “In many cases measured [disinfection byproduct] levels in tea were lower than in the tap water itself.”
To be more specific, the addition of standard chlorinated tap water brought up disinfection byproducts in those tea samples by 12%. The byproducts that emerged included dichloroacetic acid, a chemical in some medications, and chloroform, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say can lead to liver and kidney problems if consumed in large quantities.
It may sound serious, but just to be clear, this doesn’t strongly suggest that you should ditch that tap water-infused tea altogether. In fact, the researchers argue that more research needs to be done to better understand the interaction between tea and tap water.
Still—especially given the realization that some drinks can drug interaction we take – the purity of your water in a drink you drink every day might be something to keep in mind.
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