After years of refilling plastic water bottles with tap water I’ve learned that the typical commercial water bottle, PETE #1 plastic, is best not reused as it leaches DEHP, an endrocrine -disrupting phthalate and a probable human carcinogen.
I also feel by carrying one of these bottles around I am in a small way condoning the bottled water industry and the 38 million bottles that went into the landfills last year (not to go into the issue that many of these waters turn out to be tap water or that these waters travel long distances in trucks that waste fuel and polllute).
I noticed that Nalgene- one of the more popular manufacturers of hard plastic water bottles- and Brita (the water filter company) are taking advantage of all the bad publicity around bottled water. They’ve launched a filterforgood website so you can pledge to reduce bottled water waste by switching to a reuseable bottle.
Besides not wanting to fall for a marketing stunt, I am also concerned about the potential leaching of the polycarbonate plastic (#7) used in the Lexan Nalgene bottles. According to a Sierra Club report, geneticist Patricia Hunt discovered that polycarbonate could leach a hormone disruptor purely by accident while working on a mouse study back in 1998.
When a lab worker accidentally washed the cage with a harsh detergent the number of chromosomal abnormalities suddenly spiked.
After searching for the cause, the researchers discovered “the culprit was found to be bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical that mimics the hormone estrogen it had apparently leached from the polycarbonate mouse cages after the washing.” Hunt concluded that normal wear-and-tear and cleaning of polycarbonate plastic bottles in a dishwasher could cause leaching.
Hunt concluded that normal wear-and-tear and cleaning of polycarbonate plastic bottles in a dishwasher could cause leaching. Pregnant women and infants are most at risk.
Hunt says if she had a child she would switch to polypropylene (#5 PP). Along with #5 PP, other safe plastics, according to most sources I could find, are #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene) and #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene).
I’ve heard enough controversy that I’d like to avoid plastics altogether. I know there are options for stainless steel. Before my husband buys a Sigg bottle which our son feels is “super light and shiny” I’d appreciate some input from other faircompanies users!