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Are China’s Coal Plants Tainting Tea?

A study shows some teas contain enough lead to make them dangerous for pregnant and nursing women, Canada’s National Post reports.

The University of Alberta researchers found teas from China contained more lead than others and hypothesize that tea plants absorb pollution, such as the lead-containing emissions from China’s coal-fired power plants.

There isn’t enough evidence to say the lead does mostly comes from Chinese coal plants, however.

The study says pregnant women should “severely limit” their tea consumption — the metal poses a risk to the neurological development of fetuses — and recommends authorities consider public-health warnings and industry regulation, the newspaper reports.

Last week Beijing became the third Chinese city to launch a carbon trading program while the world’s second-biggest carbon market will start this month with the launch of a cap-and-trade system in China’s Guangdong province.

China has a strong policy framework in place to transition to a green economy, but significant challenges — including pollution problems — stand in the way, according to a study sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection.



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