Hard Plastic Water Bottle Leaching and Polycarbonate BPA companies have voluntarily removed polycarbonate bottles from their line of products, even though the FDA continues to deny the problem. Leaching Alternative Plastic Bottles Reusable, non-plastic alternatives are the safe option
Dangers of hard plastic bottles
It appears that polycarbonate containers have a tendency to leach out the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA), an estrogen mimetic that has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s syndrome, and reproductive problems.
Harder may be better when it comes to firewood and muscle, but it isn’t necessarily the case with plastic water bottles. As early as 2007, Canada’s largest sports retailer took all robust plastic bottles made of polycarbonate off the shelves, following the example of US retailer Patagonia. It appears that polycarbonate containers have a tendency to leach out the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA), an estrogen mimetic that has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s syndrome, and reproductive problems. These leading retailers apparently thought the risks were so great that they no longer wanted to push the products, even though the FDA still states that the amount of washout is well within the safe range. You can find polycarbonate plastic (# 7) in those blue water bubbles that are so common in offices, baby bottles, wine barrels, dental sealants, and feed liners. This could explain why a 2004 study by the CDC found that 95 percent of Americans have the chemical in their urine.
Which plastic is safe for drinking water?
Well, with tough plastic bottles out there, what can a thirsty person do when they’re on the go, away from the home filter? If you can’t use your sturdy plastic drink container, should you lug a bottle of spring water in a container that is malleable enough that you can dent it with your little finger?
Oops! That might not be enough either. Studies have shown that plastic # 3, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), leaches out ugly chemicals including dioxin, a known carcinogen, and phthalates, which are hormone disruptors. Plastic # 1, polyethylene terephalate (PET), releases antimony trioxide, which has been linked to respiratory and skin irritation, menstrual cramps, miscarriages, and developmental delays in children. Plastic # 6 triggers styrene, another likely carcinogen.
That’s what stays with Plastics # 2, 4, and 5. While industry and regulators are promoting these as safe alternatives, just sniff the water in your # 2 bottle after you’ve left it in your hot car for an hour. Does it smell of the mountain spring from which it supposedly originates, or rather of the plastic factory where it was bottled? You will know from your own nose that the plastic is breaking up and seeping into your water. Leaching increases if you expose this bottle to the sun, heat it in the microwave, clean it with detergent, leave it for a long time, or reuse it. and there aren’t enough studies to prove that everything in these so-called safe plastics is actually harmless.
Think about it: By 2002, the FDA called plastic packaging “Indirect Food Additives” (they have now switched to the more euphemistic “food contact substances”). In other words, the FDA openly acknowledged this until a few years ago all Plastic seeps into anything it comes in contact with. Reusable alternatives without plastic are the safest option.
What to drink when traveling
That brings us back to the million dollar question: what can you do when you’re traveling and thirsty and haven’t brought a non-plastic container? Well, you can try bypassing a traveler’s filter and purifying your water on the go. You can drink tap water. However, if you’re in a hotel, be sure to watch this video first for an inspiring look at how hotel staff typically clean your water glasses. You can do what the early American settlers did when they couldn’t find any drinking water – chug a whiskey. Or you can just tell that you are screwed and like Dr. Emoto in The Hidden Messages in Water suggests: Stick one of these cheerful stickers with the words “Love” or “Joy” on your water bottle to transform the inner energy – and drink it up!