Monitoring and risk assessment due to presence of heavy metals and pesticides in tea samples

Abstract Tea is one of the most consumed beverages after water, but unfortunately the application of pesticides and heavy metals in crops make it unsafe for use. This research was conducted to evaluate the risk of heavy metals and pesticides in samples of natural source tea (gardens) and different local market brands. High Performance Liquid Chromatography was used to detect pesticides, Bifenthrin, Lambda chalothrin, Imadachloroprid, Dichlorovas, Glyphosate and Emamectin. Heavy metals such as Zinc, Iron, Chromium, copper, manganese and cobalt were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy. The value of HRI and THQ was still calculated for some exceeded samples. From results obtained some of the tea samples were contaminated from with heavy metals i.e., cobalt and manganese and pesticides as: dichlorovas, imacloroprid, bifenthrin, emamectin, glyphosate, difenaconazole and lambda above the allowed limits. The assessments revealed the potential for potential health risk for the consumers. The results of the study suggested that risk assessment and monitoring should be done at source that is at the production and processing area so that toxic effects are not passed on to the consumers or to the environment.