Q: Are water bottles safe? My daughter told me that if you leave a water bottle in the car, the toxins from the plastic leech into the water. What is a safe plastic to use? ………………... Sonja, NY
A: The controversy about ’safe’ water bottles has been around for 4 or 5 years now. In ’08 it was all about the chemical BPA, which is used to line most food (including baby food, bottles and nipples) and drink cans as well as the production of the popular polycarbonate “clear” bottles like Nalgene. Currently the PET, polyethylene terephthalate is taking all the heat. If drinking something other than tap water is your choice, a safer alternative would be a glass bottle like Voss or Eden Springs.
Most manufacturers phased out the use of BPA (Bisphenol-A) but in the ensuing years other products have taken it’s place, and most of these do not divulge what the ingredients are. The plastic bottles in questions generally have the #7 in the recycle triangle on the bottom of the container. When choosing a reusable container choose one that has #2, #4, or #5 on the bottom, most of which have been deemed safe for long term use. Disposable bottles have a #1, which is good for a one time use only. Perhaps a better choice would be to put your water in a glass or metal container and save the landfill from tons of plastic bottles. Try Kleen Kanteen and New Wave Enviro, and the colorful aluminum bottles from Siqq (the newer versions).
As far as leaving your water in the car and exposing it to the heat of the sun, most experts agree that the PET bottles, #1 in the triangle on the bottom, are safe to drink from, even if they warm up in the car. Bottles with #7 on the bottom, have an indetermined content and you need to check the ingredients before using them this way.
If wondering about the hormonal imbalancing chemicals in the bottles isn’t enough to keep you from using so many bottles of water, perhaps the environmental impact of the water bottles might make a difference to you. It takes two liters of water to make the bottle that holds a liter of water. The energy used each year making the bottles needed to meet the demand for bottled water in the US is equivalent to more than 17 millions of barrels of oil. Enough to fuel over 1 million cars for a year. Only 10% of the one time use bottles ever make it to be recycled, most are put into landfills where it takes a thousand years to biodegrade.
We’ve talked about water bottles today. Next week we’ll look at the actual water itself and see if it’s really necessary to pay more for water than the gasoline we use.
Have a question, or is there something you’ve always wondered about. Ask Madalyn invites your questions.
- Wednesday, 22 February 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Ask Madalyn