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What to check for heavy metal leaching?

Discussion in 'Science' started by ck_psy, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. ck_psy

    ck_psy Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Sydney, NSW

    I am getting into tea and ordered a yixing clay pot.
    It is from a semi-reputable source.

    The idea of a yixing clay pot is that over time since the pot is unglazed, the tea will impart some flavor into the pot and the pot will further enhance the tea.

    Anyway I am thinking of getting the sample tested at a lab.
    Any ideas?

    I was going to use the fluid that's left over after I season the pot as the sample to send off for analysis.

    Any suggestions as to what heavy metals I should check for?
    Is it worth checking for?

    I was going to check for lead and cadmium.

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  2. Queenie

    Queenie Member

    Oct 4, 2010
    You aren't going to get any reasonable samples to test until you've made a brew in this thing every day for a few years, so I'd hold off.

    But on the subject of heavy metals, a cursory search says not many know, unless you wanna dig through journal articles about historical teapots.

    Perhaps calcium, personally, because that would be of most detriment to the taste apart from yeah, your go-to's lead, cadmium.
  3. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

    Jan 24, 2008
    I would say it's just not worth it. Even if the clay contains heavy metals the compounds of them in the clay will be quite insoluble in water unless it's acidic. I don't know how acidic your tea is going to turn out but a bottle of universal indicator to check the pH is pretty cheap. Testing for heavy metals is pretty expensive. More confusing is how do you know if heavy metals are detected if they came from the clay pot or the tea? Then there's he question of how much are you going to accept in your tea as "safe".
  4. slavewone

    slavewone Member

    Jul 9, 2002
    B.Mtns2774 Status:Unhappy
    Lead crystal can leach detectable numbers in hours. But the teapot would need to be as “contaminated” to do the same although hot water would speed it up leaching until it cooled down. Sitting the liquid in it for an extended time would be much more likely to leach out anything leachable.

    I guess you could grind some ceramic off and test that too.

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