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Tea Bad Effects: Teabags Found Releasing Billions Of Microplastics Into Your Drink

The U.S. currently is the third largest importer of tea in the world, following Russia and Pakistan. Estimates show that there are more than 159 million Americans drinking tea every day, according to nonprofit organization TeaUSA

To date, tea ranks as one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated to be present in nearly 80 percent of all households. 

Americans consumed more than 3.8 billion gallons of tea in 2018 and the country imported 263 million pounds of black and green tea in the same year. The figures are expected to grow amid the increasing popularity of tea, hot or cold, in the country. 

Are you one of those tea lovers? Do you enjoy this hot beverage every morning or during a break at work? Tea has been proven to be offering a number of health benefits but researchers have also been discovering some of its bad effects. 

A new study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, shows that drinking hot tea could expose the body to billions of microplastics. These tiny plastics come from new teabags being used by manufacturers.

The study comes amid efforts of companies to replace traditional paper bags with plastic materials. Researchers said in statement they wanted to see the potential effects of the recently introduced plastic teabags. 

Plastic packaging are long known to produce microscopic particles in food supply and the environment. For the study, researchers used four different commercial teas and heated plastic teabags to simulate brewing conditions.

But they removed the tea leaves and washed the empty bags to see how it would produce tiny plastics during the brewing process. Through electron microscopy, researchers found that a single plastic teabag released 11.6 billion microplastic and 3.1 billion nanoplastic particles into the water. 

They said such levels are thousands of times higher than other foods with plastic packaging. Researchers then tested the teabags with water fleas.

The organisms showed anatomical and behavioral abnormalities after the exposure to the micro and nanoplastics in the water. Researchers said further study is required to see if the tiny plastics may also affect the health of humans.

Tea The U.S. currently is the third largest importer of tea in the world and more than 159 million Americans are estimated to be drinking tea every day. Pixabay