A new study adds drinking tea to the list of stuff pregnant women shouldn’t do

A new study adds drinking tea to the list of stuff pregnant women shouldn’t do

(Image: Cycletours Holidays) (Image: Cycletours Holidays)
 

Being pregnant may have long-term payoffs (namely, babies), but it sometimes seems like one big list of buzz-kills: no cocktails, no blissfully stinky cheese, and now—according to a new Canadian study—no relaxing cups of tea. Researchers from the University of Alberta analyzed 30 popular brands of tea bags and found that all of them contained alarmingly high levels of lead. High enough, in fact, that just three to four cups per day could apparently cause serious neurological damage to developing fetuses.

The study’s authors think that lead-containing pollutants are absorbed by tea plants prior to harvest (this is consistent with the fact that the study’s most tainted teas were from China, where levels of lead-containing emissions are known to be particularly high). Still, Michael Brauer, an expert on environmental health from the University of British Columbia, offers expecting mothers some words of assurance: “I don’t think there’s cause for alarm,” he said. “[But] if you drink a lot of tea when you’re pregnant, that’s probably not a good thing, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of rhyme or reason as to which teas are higher or lower.” How very comforting. [National Post]