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In India, tea is still the number one beverage, but tea leaf lovers are switching over to tea bags as lives get busier. But could paper or plastic tea bags be bad for our health?

What about paper tea bags?

Good old paper tea bags may not be safe as many are treated with a compound linked to cancer, infertility and suppressed immune function.

In order to prevent paper tea bags from disintegrating or tearing, they are treated with epichlorohydrin, a compound considered a potential carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Epichlorohydrin is also used as a pesticide.

Look for tea brands that clearly specify that they have not used Epichlorohydrin.

Are plastic tea bags bad for health?

These are mostly made from food grade nylon or polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which when subjected to heat starts to break down and can leach into the food.

Chemicals in plastic are known to leach into food and drink, thereby posing a number of health hazards. Examples include bisphenol-A (BPA), bisphenol-S (BPS), and phthalates, which mimic hormones and could be potent endocrine disruptors.

A study conducted in 2009, found that PET plastic water bottles leached oestrogen-mimicking toxins that are linked to cancer.

How can we drink tea and be safe?

There are a great variety of organic teas sold loose in supermarkets and also online which are good for health. Don’t opt for paper or plastic tea bags but have organic teas sold loose which are safe, refreshing and a toast to good health!

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