Monday, July 30, 2007

Water Bottles, How Safe Are They?

A few weeks ago, Karen, asked me about the safety of water bottles and bottled water. It's a question that is more complicated than it seems, and I won't try to answer it completely now. But the truth is I love those pretty sporty bottles and used to carry them everywhere. Just looking at them made me thirsty. And they went well with my pink yoga mat and sweat shirt. I mean, how cool is that? And those bottles are pretty in a plastic kind of way . . .

But there's some worrying research that suggests Nalgene bottles, at least the pretty colored ones (with a # 7 on the bottom), are a health risk. They are more suspect than those soft plastic ones (the safest ones have #2, #4, or #5 on the bottom) you don't reuse and that are causing a huge garbage problem in our country. Some Nalgene bottles and other sport water bottles are clear and are #2s or 4s as well, and are probably safer.

If you are confused as to why you don't know this, so am I. But it's seems that the plastic industry is fighting to minimize our awareness of the risks associated with plastics.

Mothers are particularly upset because tests on the most popular brands of plastic baby bottles demonstrate that the bottles leach chemicals after being put in the dishwasher regularly. California is moving towards a ban on such baby bottles.
Below are two quotes to start you wondering.

"Polycarbonate water bottles (labeled #7) contain bisphenol A (BPA), which leaches from the plastic even at room temperature and has been linked to chromosome damage and hormone disruption. These are the types of plastic Nalgene water bottles found in sports stores. Commonly, the bottled water you purchase is in #1 PET or PETE bottles (polyethylene terephthalate) , which may leach DEHA, a known carcinogen, if used more than once."

"The ubiquitous polycarbonate water bottle is the canteen of the 21st century. But these colorful plastic vessels, made by companies like Nalgene and GSI Outdoors, have been embroiled in a controversy for the past two years, ever since a researcher at Case Western Reserve University said they may pose health risks.

Dr. Patricia Hunt, a geneticist working with laboratory mice, noticed a spike in chromosomal abnormalities after a lab worker cleaned a set of polycarbonate mouse cages with a harsh detergent, leaching a chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA) into the animals' environment. Hunt's findings, which were published in the journal Current Biology, were used by Sierra magazine and other media to perpetuate - somewhat haphazardly - a scare that polycarbonate or Lexan water bottles potentially could leach similar nasty chemicals..."

So what are the safest water bottles? Sigg water bottles, I think they are called. And Greenfeet has some good alternatives as well. Click here and check them out.

1 comment:

aka Leonardo Likes Gulls said...

This was good to read today since we just bought new SIGG bottles at REI for our family.

We are all convinced the water tastes better from them.