April 11, 2008

Water bottle safety

The NBC Today Show featured a story on the safety of plastic water bottles. I use my Nalgene bottle regularly and have many water bottles made of the same plastic. I have one in my office, I bring one to the gym with me, and I have one at home. It is one way for me to drink lots of water and stay hydrated.

There are several references to this story circulating the internet. Basically, the story talked about the dangers of plastic bottle that are categorized as #3, 6, and 7 (You can find that information on the bottom of them bottle inside the triangle). Many water bottles, like Nalgene bottles, and even baby bottles, have the triangle with the #7 on it. The problem is that the plastic is made of polycarbonate (PC) which is composed of a hormone-disrupting chemical called bisphenol A (BPA). This chemical has been linked to health problems such as as cancer and may even influence infertility. Now that is pretty scary. Some say the chemical is only released when microwaving the bottle or heating it and other say that it is unsafe period.

This article will of course effect the sales of Nalgene bottles and such, since they are in this category of plastic. Some government agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, says that their review of the research shows BPA to have no risk to human health. Nalgene cites this information on their website regarding the safety of their bottles.

Hmm, do I want to take the risk, especially with the incidence of breast cancer in my family. I don't know about that. I think I might have to switch to a different type of water bottle, a Sigg bottle, which is made of aluminum. This one is pretty and I have heard keeps your water cooler. They are a bit pricey but they are more environmentally friendly since they are completely recyclable at the end of their long lives. I do have some dividend money from REI that I need to spend, now I know what I can spend it on, wohoo! Now what do I do with my other plastic bottles, I don't want to toss them, that would not be good for the environment.


  1. My brother in law recently told us about this but hadn't sent us the links to read the articles.

    We recently bought a filter for the faucet so we aren't drinking from water bottles when we are at home.

    Thanks for sharing Sher!

  2. We just got Siggs! They are awesome! The boys love theirs and I adore mine! Definitely the way to go!

  3. The numbers found on plastic containers are not meant to indicate the safe or intended use of a container or product, so they should never be used for that purpose. Different types of plastics must be separated before they can be properly recycled and reused, which is why the U.S. plastics industry created the numbering system in 1988. The resin ID codes were designed simply to help us properly sort our household trash for recycling--that's it. The resin codes do not signify whether or not our local towns will recycle those containers. For more clarification about the numbering system found on plastic containers, please view the plastics industry video recently posted at http://www.youtube.com/user/SocietyofPlasticsInd.

    William Carteaux
    SPI President & CEO

  4. William - Thank you for your comment. I am sure there is so much more to this controversy than the Today Show story. Thank you for sharing this information with me, it is really important to look at all aspects.

  5. Hi Sher,
    I have a kleen Kanteen. they come from Northern Cali in Chico. i like mine a lot. I think REI sells them, too.


    Danielle =)