Dear ETR: “How come there’s fluoride in tea?”

“Kelley Herring’s article ‘Brewing Up a Pot of Fluoride‘ came as a nasty surprise. I’m aware that there’s fluoride in tap water, but it never occurred to me that this toxin exists in tea as well. How come?”



Hello A.Y.,

What may come as an even more “nasty surprise” is that the fluoride level in one cup of black tea rivals that of nearly 8 liters of water fluoridated at 1 ppm.

Why? Because the Camellia sinensis plant from which we obtain tea has a unique propensity to absorb fluoride. In fact, it is known to accumulate more fluoride (from pollution in both soil and air) than any other edible plant. What’s more, the fluoride in tea is much higher than the maximum contaminant level (MCL) set for fluoride in drinking water.

As I mentioned in my “Brewing Up a Pot of Fluoride” article, you can stay fluoride-free with green tea extract that has been cleared of fluoride. And here’s another option: Try herbal “teas” like Yogi Detox Tea. Boasting antioxidant-rich cloves, cinnamon, and ginger (with ORAC scores of 314,446, 267,536, and 14,840, respectively), this delicious beverage trumps green tea’s trivial ORAC score of 1,200, without any fluoride contamination.

– Kelley Herring

[Ed. Note: Have a question for Kelley or one of our other ETR experts? Send your query to and we may respond to you in an upcoming issue.]

Comment on this article

  • jacqueline

    Wow Thanks I’m a big green tea drinker for many years thinking I finally found something with absolutely no drawbacks, and here it is something else to be cautious about. It pays to be aware especially when this is my biggest habit.