The aim of this study was to determine the levels of fluoride in commercial teas and to estimate the contribution of tea consumption to the fluoride recommended daily allowance. A total of 558 tea products in 6 categories, green tea, black tea, oolong tea, pu'er tea, white tea, and reprocessed tea, were collected in the period from 2010 to 2013. The levels of fluoride in infusions of these teas were determined by a fluoride-ion selective electrode. The mean fluoride level in all of the tea samples was 85.16 mg/kg. For each category of tea, the mean fluoride levels were 63.04, 99.74, 52.19, 101.67, 159.78, and 110.54 mg/kg for green tea, black tea, white tea, pu'er tea, oolong tea, and reprocessed tea, respectively. The fluoride content of tea from 4 tea zones in descending order were Southern tea zone (111.39 mg/kg) > Southwest tea zone (78.78 mg/kg) > Jiangnan tea zone (71.73 mg/kg) > Jiangbei tea zone (64.63 mg/kg). These areas produced teas with lower fluoride levels than available foreign-produced tea (161.11 mg/kg). The mean chronic daily intake (CDI) was 0.02 mg/(kg•day) or 1.27 mg/kg. Generally, consuming tea from these 6 categories does not result in the intake of excessive amounts of fluoride for the general population.
Keywords: Monte Carlo simulation; fluoride; fluorosis; risk assessment; tea.
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