PCDD/PCDF, chlorinated pesticides and PAH in Chinese teas

Heidelore FIEDLER, C.K CHEUNG, Ming Hung WONG

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Four samples of Chinese tea (two green teas, and two brick teas) were analyzed for their concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF), chlorinated pesticides and PAH. The infusions prepared from these teas were also analyzed for PCDD/PCDF. The levels of DDT and its metabolites in tea leaves were within the safety limit of 0.2 mg/kg. Rather high levels of total PAH were obtained in brick tea (1048–1162 mg/kg), when compared with green tea (497–517 mg/kg). In terms of PCDD/PCDF, the concentrations of green tea and brick tea differed by a factor of 16, while the concentrations of all infusions were within a factor of 2. The dioxin concentrations in green tea leaves can be explained through uptake of atmospheric PCDD/PCDF. The higher concentrations in the brick tea leaves are due the longer exposure time, and to certain extent, the use of old leaves, branches and roots when making the tea, and additional components such as soil particulates through contamination. Certain Chinese populations drinking a large amount of brick tea (>3 l per day) indicated that individuals of these populations consume more tea than Europeans or North Americans result in a comparably higher intake of PCDD/PCDF. Tea consumption can attribute to up to 10% of the TDI recommended by WHO (only PCDD/PCDF considered, no PCB analyzed). Copyright © 2002 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1429-1433
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2002


Fiedler, H., Cheung, C. K., & Wong, M. H. (2002). PCDD/PCDF, chlorinated pesticides and PAH in Chinese teas. Chemosphere, 46(9-10), 1429-1433. doi: 10.1016/S0045-6535(01)00264-8


  • Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins
  • Polychlorinated dibenzofurans
  • Chinese teas
  • Tolerable daily intake
  • Chlorinated pesticides
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons


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