Study detects toxic pesticides major Tea brands in India
As per a study conducted by Greenpeace India, pesticides have been detected in leading brands of tea sold in India, both national and international. These include pesticides that the WHO has categorized as both highly and moderately hazardous.
The NGO examined a sample of 49 branded packages of tea from eight of the 11 major tea producing companies in India and which also export tea. The samples were taken from Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore, and sent to a certified laboratory in Europe for testing.
It was found that DDT (Di-chloro Di-phenyl Tri-chloro ethane) was present in almost 67% of the tea samples, even though it is no longer registered for use in agriculture.
The tests also detected in several samples the presence of Monocrotophos—a pesticide that took the lives of 23 students in a Bihar school; it was present in their meal. The Food and Agriculture Organization urged developing nations todiscontinue its use after the incident.
Hazards of Pesticides:
The pesticides can cause both acute and chronic toxicity. Acute toxicity occurs due to direct contact with the pesticides, and is seen in farmers and tea cultivators who experience body ache, respiratory and skin problems. Chronic toxicity occurs with exposure to low doses over a longperiod of time. Pesticides consumed in this manner can be potentially carcinogenic, affect hormones as well as the reproductive system.