Tea plantations have used many synthetic chemicals to ensure performance and control of pests. This has led to increased contamination of soils and reduced tea growth. We assessed the levels of heavy metals, including Cd, Cr, Pb, Cu, Ni, Zn, Hg, As, and pesticide residues, such as HCHs, biphenyl chrysanthemum ester, methamidophos, imidacloprid, permethrin, in the soil of tea plantations of Taiwan, Tibet, Guangdong, and Fujian. The Potential Ecological Risk Index and the Nemerow comprehensive pollution index were used to analyze the data. The results showed that risk indices in Tibet, Guangdong and Fuzhou were considered as moderate ecological harm level. Ecological risk assessment index of Anxi organic and Anxi conventional tea gardens suggested a “low” risk level. The Nemerow comprehensive pollution indices for soil pesticide residues in the tea plantations of Taiwan, Tibet, Anxi organic and Anxi conventional were considered mild. Guangdong and Fuzhou had values suggesting “slight pollution” levels. According to National Soil Environmental Quality Standard (GB15618-1995), soil in tea plantations in Taiwan, Tibet, and Anxi conventional matched the national first grade of soil quality and those from Guangdong, Fuzhou, and Anxi organic tea garden matched the national second grade.
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