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Study finds how premium tea bags leak microplastics

You might be drinking up billions of microplastic particles along with your premium tea.

A recent study showed that tea that comes in packaging made of plastic threads are leaking microplastics as it steeps in your cup.

Canadian researchers have found that certain premium tea bags are shedding high levels of microplastics in hot water. Microplastics have been the talk of the town recently, as scientists have found they these particles are finding their way back to us. In our drinking water and including certain foods, BBC reports.

According to the research, a single plastic tea bag released about 11.6 billion microplastic in water heated to 95C. Along with that comes 3.1 billion smaller nano plastic particles. All of which cannot be seen by the naked eye.

Back in August, the World Health Organization says that microplastics found in tap and bottled water don’t come with serious health risk. But WHO noted that further and extensive research on the effects of microplastics on the human body still needs to be done.

Who admits that their findings were based only from “limited information.”

McGill University researchers from Montreal, who published the tea bag study, echoed WHO’s calling for further investigation on the topic. Microplastics are defined as plastic pieces and debris that are less than 5mm in length.

The new research studied a variation of four commercial brand teas packed in plastic tea bags. While most tea bag material is sourced from paper, premium brands have transitioned to plastic mesh. BBC reports that tea manufacturers opt for plastic to hold the tea bag in a pyramid shape. Companies claim that the shape lets tea leaves infuse into hot water better.