What about Plastic Bottles?
Dr. Don Colbert, MD, author of Toxic Relief
Some bottled waters contain more toxins than tap water and are not as closely regulated as tap water. Two of the biggest bottled water brands, Dasani and AquaFina, are reprocessed tap water from cities around the country. About 1/4 of all bottled waters are from tap water. The other problem with bottled water is that it comes in plastic. Studies continue to show that plastic is not as safe as people believe.
- The very worst plastic is polyvinyl chloride (PVC), it is a known carcinogen that emits pollutants from the moment it is created until long after it is discarded. Studies show that PVCC leaches vinyl chloride and other pollutants, thus disrupting the hormonal balance, causing fertility problems and damaging cells, organs, and tissues.
- Another common ingredient in some plastics, bisphenol A, is used in reusable water bottles. It can change the course of fetal development and cause abnormal chromosome loss or gain, which leads to miscarriage or disorders like Down syndrome. It has also been linked to obesity.
- Nalgene water bottles and 5 gallon bottles also contain bisphenol A (number 7 bottles) Studies show the chemical leaches into the water at room temperature.
- Most water bottles are made from a plastic called PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) This kind of plastic is considered safer than PVC, but it has been shown to leach plasticizer chemicals called phthalates into the water when used repeatedly or when water is bottled for too long. Phthalates disrupt the production of fatty acids and interfere with the production of sex hormones. They may be safe if used within a few months of the date the water was bottled – check for an expiration date.
Avoid bad plastics
Use glass containers or bio-based plastic (made of all natural products like starch, cellulose, and raw rubber) The safety of plastics will continue, for now the safest plastic to use are PET or PETE as long as they have not been heated and are not old or reused.
- PET or PETE: used to bottle soda, most bottled water, cooking oils, juice, salad dressing, peanut butter, and other foods.
- HDPE: milk jugs, one gallon water bottles, some bottled foods
- PVC: cling wraps, Reynolds Wrap, Stretch-tite, Freeze-tite (used by many grocery stores for meats), four ounce Wesson Cooking Oil, Appalachian Mountain spring water, some plastic squeeze bottles
- LDPE: food storage bags (like Glad and Ziploc)
- PP: deli soup containers, most Rubbermaid containers, cloudy plastic baby bottles, ketchup bottles, other cloudy plastic bottles
- PS: Styrofoam, some disposable plastic cups and bowls, and most opaque plastic cutlery
- “Other” resins, usually polycarbonate, which contains bisphenol A: most plastic baby bottles, five gallon water bottles, clear plastic “sippy” cups, some types of clear plastic cutlery, inner lining of food cans
- PLA – bioplastic called polylactic acid
Use and Storage of Bottled Water
Reusing your water bottle is terrible for your body; studies show dangerous levels of bacteria accumulate on and in the bottle as you reuse it. The water may become so contaminated that, if it were tap water, cities wouldn’t use it!
Keep your bottled water away from cleaning compounds, paints, gasoline, or other household or industrial chemicals. Do not store it in the garage or in direct sun light.
Dangers of Plastic Water Bottles
Whether you buy bottled water or conscientiously tote some from home, you'll want to avoid swallowing chemicals along with it. Particularly for small children, whose bodies are developing, it's best to steer clear of plastics that can release chemicals that could harm them in the long term. Below, the plastics not to choose (check the recycling number on the bottom of your bottle) and those that are safer:
Plastics to Avoid
#3 Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) commonly contains di-2-ehtylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), an endocrine disruptor and probable human carcinogen, as a softener.
#6 Polystyrene (PS) may leach styrene, a possible endocrine disruptor and human carcinogen, into water and food.
#7 Polycarbonate contains the hormone disruptor bisphenol-A, which can leach out as bottles age, are heated or exposed to acidic solutions. Unfortunately, #7 is used in most baby bottles and five-gallon water jugs and in many reusable sports bottles.
#1 polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE), the most common and easily recycled plastic for bottled water and soft drinks, has also been considered the most safe. However, one 2003 Italian study found that the amount of DEHP in bottled spring water increased after 9 months of storage in a PET bottle.
#2 High Density Polyethylene
#4 Low Density Polyethylene
Better Baby Bottles
Choose tempered glass or opaque plastic made of polypropylene (#5) or polyethylene (#1), which do not contain bisphenol-A.
Best Reusable Bottles
kleankanteen - (except with Ionized water, it destroys the ORP and pH - use glass)
Tips for Use
*Sniff and Taste: If there's a hint of plastic in your water, don't drink it.
*Keep bottled water away from heat, which promotes leaching of chemicals.
*Use bottled water quickly, as chemicals may migrate from plastic during storage. Ask retailers how long water has been on their shelves, and don't buy if it's been months.
*Do not reuse bottles intended for single use. Reused water bottles also make good breeding grounds for bacteria.
*Choose rigid, reusable containers or, for hot/acidic liquids, thermoses with stainless steel or ceramic interiors.