Wednesday, August 13, 2008

reusable water bottles

I drink a lot of distilled water, and I tend to carry it around with me to. in an effort to lesson my ecological footprint, i'd like to get a reusable water bottle.

I've heard stories that some of the plastic ones have carcinogens in them (and i have enough to worry about thnx), the metal ones are very expensive (and for some reason metal kind of creeps me out)

So I was wondering if anyone here had an opinion? Brands, types of plastic to avoid?


Kevin Zapatero said...

Bridget here is what I found out:

Will a plastic bottle leach harmful substances into water if I reuse it?
Most convenience-size beverage bottles sold in the U.S. are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The FDA has determined that PET meets standards for food-contact materials established by federal regulations and therefore permits the use of PET in food and beverage packaging for both single use and repeated use. FDA has evaluated test data that simulate long-term storage and that support repeated use.

The toxicological properties of PET and any compounds that might migrate under test conditions have also been well studied. The results of these tests demonstrate that PET is safe for its intended uses. (For details, see The Safety of Polyethylene Terephthalate.)

What about the student project that claimed to have found unhealthy compounds in water samples from reused bottles?
The subject of a widely circulated e-mail hoax, these claims stem from a University of Idaho student’s masters thesis that was promoted in the media but was not subject to peer review, FDA review or published in a scientific or technical journal.

While the student project may have been suitable work for a masters thesis, it did not reflect a level of scientific rigor that would provide accurate and reliable information about the safety of these products. Fortunately for consumers, FDA requires a much higher standard to make decisions about the safety of food-contact packaging.

But I read that the student’s project found carcinogens?
The student’s thesis incorrectly identifies di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA), a plastics additive, as a human carcinogen. DEHA is neither regulated nor classified as a human carcinogen by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the National Toxicology Program or the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the leading authorities on carcinogenic substances.

In 1991, on the basis of very limited data, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classified DEHA as a "possible human carcinogen." However, in 1995, EPA again evaluated the science and concluded that "...overall, the evidence is too limited to establish that DEHA is likely to cause cancer."

Further, DEHA is not inherent in PET as a raw material, byproduct or decomposition product. DEHA is a common plasticizer that is used in innumerable plastic items, many of which are found in the laboratory. For this reason, the student’s detection of DEHA is likely to have been the result of inadvertent lab contamination. This is supported by the fact that DEHA was detected infrequently (approximately 6% of the samples) and randomly, meaning that the frequency of detection bore no relationship to the test conditions.

Moreover, DEHA has been cleared by FDA for food-contact applications and would not pose a health risk even if it were present.

Finally, in June 2003, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research conducted a scientific study of migration in new and reused plastic water bottles from three countries. The Swiss study did not find DEHA at concentrations significantly above the background levels detected in distilled water, indicating DEHA was unlikely to have migrated from the bottles. The study concluded that the levels of DEHA were distinctly below the World Health Organization guidelines for safe drinking water.

Is it true that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only allows plastic beverage bottles, such as those made with polyethylene terephthalate (PET), for one-time use?
No, FDA allows PET to be used in food-contact applications, including food and beverage packaging, regardless of whether the packaging is intended for single or repeated use. PET beverage bottles sold in the United States are designed for single use for economic and cultural reasons, not because of any safety concerns with PET.

In fact, refillable bottles made with the same PET resin as single-use bottles are safely reused in a number of other countries. The only difference is that refillable bottles have thicker sidewalls to enable them to withstand the mechanical forces involved with industrial collection and commercial cleaning and refilling operations.

Can freezing a PET beverage bottle cause dioxins to leach into its contents?
This is the subject of another e-mail hoax. There simply is no scientific basis to support the claim that PET bottles will release dioxin when frozen. Dioxins are a family of chemical compounds that are produced by combustion at extremely high temperatures. They can only be formed at temperatures well above 700 degrees Fahrenheit; they cannot be formed at room temperature or in freezing temperatures. Moreover, there is no reasonable scientific basis for expecting dioxins to be present in plastic food or beverage containers in the first place.

My information came from here:

I hope you find this helpful, I also worked in the plastics industry for 15 years manufacturing plastics.

Kevin Shoemake
SM Survivor / Shocker for 11 years.

PS: Please take the time and read my blog located here:

Bridget said...

thank you for the thought out response. do you mind if i link to your blog?

Kevin Zapatero said...

That would be wonderful Bridget. I hope I'm able to help people like yourself as so many in the Masto Community have helped me when I was first diagnosed.

ecbcunia said...

I still use my Nalgene bottle, but if you go to the Nalgene Web site, they produce a non-carcinogenic for people concerned with that issue.


Martin Clooney said...

Its good to use plastic or glass containers again and again to do eco-friendly deeds.
Reusable Containers