Fluoride Action Network


Some Tibetans in Sichuan Province in southwestern China have been suffering from fluorosis, due to drinking and eating tea with high fluoride (F) and aluminium (Al) contents. Tea plants, soils of tea plantations and tea products from Yaan, Gaoxian and Yibin Cities in Sichuan Province were investigated to evaluate the factors affecting F and Al contents in tea products. The F and Al concentrations of four commercial brands of brick teas were significantly higher than those of 11 brands of green teas. Chemical analysis indicated that total and available F and Al concentrations in tea plantation soils in Yaan and Gaoxian were within the normal range compared with acid soils in South China and tea soils in Fujian Province. Edaphic conditions did not contribute to the high F and Al concentrations in brick tea. Analysis of raw materials of brick tea indicated that old leaves were the major contributors to the high F and Al contents contained in brick tea. There were also great variations among different tea varieties in accumulating F and Al, and concentrations of F and Al in tea variety of Qianmei 303 were about 2-3-fold higher than the other three varieties. Selection of appropriate varieties would be important to lower F and Al contents in tea products.