The other day I saw a tweet by someone who was aghast that an ingredient found in many sunscreens is also used in some bottled salad dressings. I totally understand the concern but know that a lot of chemicals in the things we eat are also in things we wouldn’t even consider eating. Then I noticed that tea had some components in it that are also in other things, including inedibles. Puts a new perspective on that bottled salad dressing.
Some items in tea that are in those inedibles:
- Potassium — crop fertilizer.
- Calcium — white paint, a component in lead alloys used in bearings, a Reducing Agent, or as a dehydrating agent, in organic chemistry, a cleanser for nonferrous alloys, various other industrial uses.
- Phosphorous — laundry detergents, our bodies, lawn fertilizer.
- Magnesium — an alloying additive to aluminium.
- Manganese — industrial metal alloy uses, particularly in stainless steels.
- Iron — in anything made of steel.
- Sulfur — an oxidant or reducing agent, plant/crop fertilizer, matches, insecticides, and fungicides.
- Aluminum — cooking foil, pots and pans for cooking, airplanes, boats, cars, and electrical wires to name but a few.
- Sodium — as one of the top six abundant elements on the earth, it’s in many things and has uses in industry and biologics such as plant metabolism.
- Silicon — the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust (about 28% by mass) after oxygen; in building clays, sands, and stones.
- Zinc — brass (an alloy of copper and zinc).
- Copper — brass (an alloy of copper and zinc), pennies, electrical wire, plumbing pipes.
Have no fear. The amounts in tea are so trivial as to be inconsequential to your state of health. In fact, most of these actually have beneficial effects on you. I just wanted to point out that things we eat and drink can safely contain elements that are also in things we don’t eat and drink. Thus, our sunscreen can contain the same item that is in bottled salad dressing. Just don’t put sunscreen on your salad!
Okay, end of chemistry lesson. Time for tea. Slurp!
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