BPA in Water Bottles
How to Buy BPA Free Water Bottles
Bisphenol A also known as BPA has, once
again been in the news. In a nutshell,
the articles listed below share the following:
- A plastic containing the chemical
BPA is used to line most food and drink
cans as well as used in the production
of the popular polycarbonate “clear”
(many do have a color added) water bottles.
- The chemical can leach into the contents
of the product or drink.
- It seems that heat (such as leaving
the bottle in a car) and harsh detergents/hot
water (placing bottles on the lower level
of the dishwasher or using a commercial
dishwasher) increase the amount of “leaching.”
- Unacceptable levels of BPA have been
found in laboratory animals causing possible
- Canada will be banning the use of BPA
in baby bottles.
- The majority of bottles w/ #7 on the
bottom contain BPA.
- Safer alternatives are bottles (and
other plastics) that have #1, #2, or
#4 on the bottom.
As the studies are more recent and more
individuals are now using the bottles in
question, therefore resulting in additional
exposure, longitudinal studies will need
to be conducted before concrete results
are gleaned. There are differing
opinions amongst the various scientists
representing the plastic industry and the
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
How Plastic Bottles are Made
Bottled water does not imply a specific treatment process or better process than tap water or another water source. Some bottled water is simply tap water bottled and sold. In the United States, the FDA regulates bottled water whilst the EPA regulates the quality of tap water and has created 90 maximum contaminant levels for drinking water and 15 secondary maximum contaminant levels.
The major criticism of bottled water concerns the bottles themselves. Individual use bottled water is generally packaged in Polyethylene terephthalate (PET). According to a NAPCOR study, PET water bottles account for 50% of all the PET bottles and containers collected by curbside recycling, and the recycling rate for water bottles is 23.4%, an increase over the 2006 rate of 20.1%. PET bottled water containers make up one-third of 1 percent of the waste stream in the United States.An estimated 50 billion bottles of water are consumed per annum in the US and around 200 billion bottles globally.
Bottled water is drinking water packaged in plastic or glass containers. The dominant form is water packaged in new Polyethylene terephthalate bottles and sold retail. Another method of packaging is in larger high-density polyethylene plastic bottles, or polycarbonate plastic bottles, often used with water coolers.
Another bad choice for water bottles, reusable or otherwise, is plastic #3 (polyvinyl chloride/PVC), which can leach hormone-disrupting chemicals into the liquids they are storing and will release synthetic carcinogens into the environment when incinerated. Plastic #6 (polystyrene/PS), has been shown to leach styrene, a probable human carcinogen, into food and drinks as well.
Safer choices include bottles crafted from safer HDPE (plastic #2), low-density polyethylene (LDPE, AKA plastic #4) or polypropylene (PP, or plastic #5). Consumers may have a hard time finding water bottles made out of #4 or #5, however. Aluminum bottles, such as those made by SIGG and sold in many natural food and product markets, and stainless steel water bottles are also safe choices and can be reused repeatedly and eventually recycled.
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