Estimation of Heavy Metals in Some Indian Black Tea Leaves by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) and Associated Health Risks

DOI: 10.18805/IJARe.A-5429    | Article Id: A-5429 | Page : 181-186
Citation :- Estimation of Heavy Metals in Some Indian Black Tea Leaves by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) and Associated Health Risks.Indian Journal Of Agricultural Research.2021.(55):181-186
Vishal Rohilla, Gambheer Singh Kathait, Don Biswas, Prashant Thapliyal, Bharti Ruhela
Address : Department of Instrumentation Engineering- USIC, H.N.B. Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal, Pauri-246 174, Uttarakhand, India.
Submitted Date : 16-10-2019
Accepted Date : 16-01-2020


Background: Some of the heavy metals are considered beneficial, if intake of them is within permissible trace amount and some other are highly toxic even in trace amount. So, heavy metals intake is one of the major concerns. Heavy metals enter into body via air, water, food, clothing and some of them gets accumulate in body organs this leads to many disorders and causes life threatening diseases including cancer. All of our food comes from plants directly or indirectly. Tea the highly consuming beverage after water comes from the leaves of plant/shrub Camellia Sinensis.
Methods: Aim of the present work is to determine the elements present in Tea brew (Chai, boiling the Tea leaves in water) made from black Tea leaves of major brands available in local Indian market, more specifically heavy metals Cobalt (Co), Arsenic (As), Silver (Ag), Cadmium (Cd), Indium (In), mercury (Hg) and Lead (Pb). Total eleven samples were investigated with the instrument Perkin Elmer NexIon-300x Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS).  
Result: Results have shown that Cobalt, Arsenic, Cadmium, Indium and Lead were present in all samples. Cobalt concentration varies from lowest 71.9 µg/kg to highest 214.3 µg/kg; Arsenic concentration varies from lowest 1.2 µg/kg to highest 53.7 µg/kg; Cadmium concentration varies from lowest 15.4 µg/kg to highest 75.03 µg/kg; Indium concentration varies from lowest 0.054 µg/kg to highest 0.70 µg/kg; Lead concentration varies from lowest 61.0 µg/kg to highest 2404.3 µg/kg. Mercury was present in two samples only in S9 and S11 with concentration 6.2 µg/kg and 1.4 µg/kg respectively; Out of eleven samples only seven samples have shown the presence of Silver its concentration varies from lowest 10.3 µg/kg to highest 193.0 µg/kg; Samples S2, S7, S8 and S10 were shown the absence of Silver and Mercury; Lead was found to be most abundant with concentration 2404.3 µg/kg and Indium was found to be least abundant with concentration 0.054 µg/kg.


Carcinogen Heavy metals ICP-MS Indian Black Tea


  1. Acharyya S.K. (2002): Arsenic contamination in ground water affecting major part of the southern West Bangal and parts of Western Chhattisgarh: Source and mobilization process. Curr. Sci. 82: 740-744.
  2. Adrian Demayo, Margaret C. Taylor, Kenneth W.Taylor, Peter V. Hodson and Paul B. Hammond (1982). Toxic effects oflead and lead compounds on human health, aquatic life, wildlife plants and livestock. C R C Critical Reviews in Environmental Control. 12:4: 257-305.
  3. Anil Kumar Singh and Sunil Kumar Pathak (2018). Potassium in tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] cultivation from soil to cup quality-A review. Agricultural Reviews. 39(1): 40-4.
  4. Antonio Moreda, Pin eiroa andrew Fisherb, Steve J. Hill (2003). The classification of Tea according to region of origin using pattern recognition techniques and trace metal data. Journal of food composition and analysis. vol. 16, no2. pp. 195-211.
  5. Apaydýn FG, Baþ H, Kalender S, Kalender Y. (2016). Subacute effects of low dose lead nitrate and mercury chloride exposure on kidney of rats. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 41:219-224.
  6. Aronson S.N.(1994). Arsenic and old myths. R. I. Med. 77: 233-234.
  7. Agency for Toxicological Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) (1990). Toxic Substances Portal: Silver, Public Health Statement for Silver, CAS#: 7440-22-4.
  8. Agency for Toxicological Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) (2004). Toxicological profile for cobalt. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service.
  9. Chonan T., Taguchi O. and Omae K. (2007). Interstitial pulmonary disorders in indium-processing workers. European Respiratory Journal. 29: 317-324.
  10. Dabanoviæ V., Šoškiæ M., Ðuroviæ D. and Mugoša B. (2016). Investigation of heavy metals content in selected Tea brands marketed in podgorica, montenegro. Int J Pharm Sci Res. 7(12): 4798-04.
  11. Dartmouth;Toxic Metals Research Program, Center for Environmental Health Sciences. Hanover, NH. <”’vgmfsK:2>.
  12. David R Wallace (2017). Expanding the Role of Cadmium in Pancreatic Cancer. EC Pharmacology and Toxicology ECO.19-21.
  13. Fako V.E., Furgeson D.Y. (2009). Zebraûsh as a correlative and predictive model for assessing biomaterial nanotoxicity; Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 61: 478–86.
  14. Farhana Zahir, Shamim J. Rizwi, Soghra K. Haq, Rizwan H. Khan (2005). Low dose mercury toxicity and human healt. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. Sep. 20(2): 351-60.
  15. Gagan Flora, Deepesh Gupta, Archana Tiwari. (2012). Toxicity of lead: A review with recent updates. Interdiscip Toxicol. 5(2): 47–58.
  16. Guidotti T.L., McNamara J., Moses M.S. (2008). The interpretation of trace element analysis in body fluids. Indian J Med Res. 128: 524–532.
  17. G.K. Saikia, A.C. Barbora and M.K. Deka (2014). Pest, disease and weed incidence and crop yield as influenced by organic culture in tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) o. kuntze]: Agric. Sci. Digest. 34 (2): 119 - 122,
  18. Homma T., Ueno T., Sekizawa K., Tanaka A. and Hirata M. (2003). Interstitial pneumonia developed in a worker dealing with particles containing indium-tin oxide. Journal of occupational Health. 45: 137-139.
  19. Hiscock S.A. (1983). Trends in the Uses of Cadmium (1970-1979); Ecotoxicolgy and Env. Safety. 7: 25-32.
  20. Idris M.A., Kolo B.G., Garba S.T.,Waziri I. (2013). Pharmaceutical industrial effluent: heavy metal contamination of surface water in Minna, Niger State, Nigeria. Bull Environ Pharm Life Sci. 2(3):40–44.
  21. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk to Humans. (2006). Cobalt in hard metals and cobalt sulfate, gallium arsenide, indium phosphide and vanadium pentoxide.
  22. International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC (1979). Monographs on the Evaluation of the Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicals to Humans; IARC, Lyon, pp. 1-20, 27.
  23. Jorgenson J. D., George M. W. (2005). Indium. Open-File Report 2004–1300.Reston, VA: U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved from http://minerals.usgs/gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/ indium/.
  24. Kalia K, Flora S.J. (2005). Strategies for safe and effective therapeutic measures for chronic arsenic and lead poisoning. J. Occup Health. 47: 1-21.
  25. Manju Mahurpawar (2015). Effects of heavy metals on human health; Int. Jou. of res. Granthaalayah; Social Issues and Environmental Problems.
  26. Nrashant Singh, Deepak Kumar, Anand P. Sahu (2007). Arsenic in the environment: Effects on human health and possible prevention. Journal of Environmental Biology April. 28(2): 359-365.
  27. Nakamura S., Mukai T., Senoh, M. (1994). Candela-class high-brightness In-GaN/AlGaN double-heterostructure blue-light-emitting diodes. Appl. Phys. Lett. 64:1687–1689.
  28. Olivier Barbier, Grégory Jacquillet, Michel Tauc, Marc Cougno, Philippe Poujeol, (2009). Effect of Heavy Metals on and Handling by, the Kidney. Nephron Physiol. 99:p105-p110.
  29. Olivieri G., Novakovic M., Savaskan E., Meier F., Baysang G., Brockhaus M., Muller-Spahn F. (2002). The effects of estradiol on SHSY5Y neuroblastoma cells during heavy metal induced oxidative stress, neurotoxicity and beta-amyloid secretion. Neuroscience. 113(4): 849–855.
  30. Pratt, J. M. (1972). Inorganic chemistry of vitamin B12; Inorganic chemistry of vitamin B 1972 pp.ix+347 pp.
  31. Paustenbach D.J. Tvermoes B.E., Unice K.M. (2013). A review of the health hazards posed by cobalt. Crit Rev Toxicol. 43(4): 316-362.
  32. Prasad Dharmasena and G. Hitinayake (2012). Yield damage functions for tea sector in Sri Lanka and India: An Empirical estimation. Agric. Sci. Digest. 32 (2): 133 - 136, 201.
  33. Prodan L. (1932). Cadmium Poisoning: The History of Cadmium Poisoning and Uses of Cadmium, Journal of Industrial Hygiene Vol. 14 pp.132-55 ref.58.
  34. Rajeswari T.R. and Sailaja N. (2014). Impact of heavy metals on environmental pollution. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 3:175-181.
  35. Robert L., Ziegfeld B.S. (1964). Importance and Uses of Lead. Archives of Environmental Health, An International Journal. Vol. 8, Iss. 2.
  36. Sabi Gogoi, Gaurav Mishra and A. K. Deka (2016). Soil nutrient dynamics in tea agroforestry ecosystem of Golaghat district of Assam, India. Agric. Sci. Digest. 36 (3): 185-19.
  37. Strachan S. (2010). Trace elements. Curr Anaesth Crit Care. 21 (1):44-48.
  38. Siripitayakunkit U., S. Lue, C. Choprapawan (2000): Possible effects of arsenic on Visual Perception and Visual-motor Integration of children in Thailand. 4th International conference on Arsenic exposure and Health effects, San Diego, CA,June 18-22, p. 22.
  39. Siripitayakunkit U., A. Thonghong, M. Pradipasen, T. Vorapongsathron (2000). Growth of children with different arsenic accumulation, Thailand. 4th International conference on Arsenic exposure and Health effects, San Diego, CA, June 18-22. p. 150.
  40. Smith I.C., Carson B.L., Hoffmeister F. (1978). Trace metals in the environment. Volume 5: Indium. Ann Arbor, MI: Ann Arbor Science.
  41. Snyder R.D. (1971): Congenital mercury poisoning. New Engl. J.Med. 71. 284: 1014-1016.
  42. Tanmoy Karak, Ranjit Kumar Paul, Funso Raphael Kutu, Aradhana Mehra, Puja Khare, Amrit Kumar Dutta, Krishnamoni Bora, Romesh Kumar Boruah (2011): Comparative Assessment of Copper, Iron and Zinc Contents in Selected Indian (Assam) and South African (Thohoyandou) Tea (Camellia sinensis L.) Samples and Their Infusion: A Quest or Health Risks to Consumer, Biol. Trace Elem. Res DOI 10.1007/s12011-016-0783-3.
  43. Thabet M.Tolaymat, Amro M. El Badawy, Ash Genaidy, Kirk G. Scheckel, Todd P. Luxton, Makram Suidan (2010). An evidence-based environmental perspective of manufactured silver nanoparticle in syntheses and applications: A systematic review and critical appraisal of peer-reviewed scientific papers. Science of the Total Environment. 408: 999-1006.
  44. Tolcin A.M. (2015). Mineral year book: cadmium. US geological survey.
  45. Thomas W. Clarkson (1997). The Toxicology of Mercury. Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences. 34(4): 369-403. 
  46. Tan M, Parkin J. (2000). Route of decomposition of thiomersal (thimerosal); Int J Pharmaceutics. 208: 23-34.
  47. Vladimir Djordjevic, Djordje Knezevic, David R. Wallace, Slavko Matic, Nemanja Zaric, Ivana Pavlovic, Zeljko Radojkovic, Marko Bogdanovic, Sanja Jovanovic, Slavenko Ostojic, Mirko Kerkez (2017). Cadmium and human pancreatic cancer-Is there a connection? ; Pancreatology Volume 17, Issue 3, Supplement, July Pages S10.
  48. Wild P. Bourgkard E., Paris C. (2009). Lung cancer and exposure to metals: the epidemiological evidence. Methods Mol Biol.472:139-16.
  49. Wood S.A., Samson I.M. (2006). The aqueous geochemistry of gallium, germanium, indium and scandium. Ore Geol. Rev. 28(1): 57-102.

Global Footprints