Cancer and Your Water Bottle

May 14, 2008 by  
Filed under CANCER

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water-bottle.jpgI’ve been vaguely reading the hype regarding water bottles and a potential cancer link. Recently I decided to do some digging into the topic.

Here’s what I found:

BPA is the chemical causing the concern.

Bisphenol A is used to make hard clear water bottles (not the opaque ones), baby bottles, five-gallon water bottles and it is used to line the inside of some food cans.

Identifying BPA plastic containers:

If you pick up a plastic container it will have a triangle with a number in it. This identifies the type of plastic.

The Green Guide lists all plastics and their correlating recycling numbers (1-7), including those which may cause or are listed as potential carcinogens through the leaching out of chemicals.

By the way, those listed to avoid are:

#3 PVC Polyvinyl chloride. Used for clear cling wraps.
#6 PS Extruded polystyrene. Used to make Styrofoam.


#7 PC Polycarbonate which contains BPA.

Recent concerns regarding BPA:

  • “National Toxicology Program, an office within the National Institutes of Health, acknowledged in a draft report that the chemical might cause cancer and other serious disorders. The chemical mimics estrogen in the human body, scientists say.” Source: The Washington Post.The report also indicates the chemical BPA may have effects on fetuses, infants and children at current exposure levels.
  • Per the May 2008 issue of Consumer Reports: In 2005, 109 of 119 recent research studies showed harmful effects from low level exposure of BPA. The 11 studies which found no harm were conducted by chemical companies. The FDA response was to claim no indication of safety concerns and was based on two chemical company research results.
  • Degradation of the plastic increases leaching of BPA. Degradation is caused by heat, and chemicals, and acidic materials (like apple juice). Avoid sun exposure, and utilizing the dishwashers.

In the meantime, it is recommended that consumers utilize a stainless steel water bottle, not unlike this one that supports breast cancer, that is available on for less than six dollars.

Breast Cancer Awareness Stainless Steel Water Bottle with hiking clip 16 Oz. (450ml) - White Bottle, Pink Ribbon

If you use a stainless steel bottle, check to be sure the stainless steel bottle doesn’t have a plastic epoxy coating inside.

Or per recommendations from Consumer Reports, use plastic bottles that are considered safe: those without the #7 PC markings or those with the ” recycling codes 1 (PET) or 2 (HDPE), and polypropylene, 5 (PP). ”

Or stick to glass containers.

Headline News on this topic:

The Washington Post, April 19, 2008. Canada Bans BPA from Baby Bottles. “Canada yesterday became the first country to ban a widely found chemical from use in baby bottles, spurring a leading Democrat in the U.S. Senate to call for legislation that would prohibit use of bisphenol A, or BPA, in a number of everyday consumer products.”

FoxNews, April 18, 2008. Company Says It Will Pull Water Bottles Made With Bisphenol-A From Stores. “The company says it is responding to increasing consumer concern over bisphenol, an ingredient known as B-P-A, and whether the chemical poses a health risk. The manufacturer says it will substitute its Nalgene Outdoor bottles, a line that does not contain B-P-A.”

ABC News, YouTube , Chemical Threats in Plastics.

Bisphenol A Free Portal provides the latest information on Bisphenol A and baby products.

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9 Responses to “Cancer and Your Water Bottle”
  1. Missy Tippens says:

    Yeah, we try to use disposable water bottles only when we have to. The kids used Rubbermaid water bottles for most of the school year. (Guess I need to make sure that type plastic is okay!)

  2. Cassie, have her check the number on the bottom. If it is a 7 those are being voluntarily recalled. The danger is in the degradation of the plastic. Left in the sun, acidic beverages, dishwasher detergent and heat.

    Yes, Missy, the Dasani water bottle do not have BPA. I don’t do a get green blog, so I won’t comment on the water bottles sitting in land fill. I have been trying to reuse mine often.

  3. Missy Tippens says:

    I just checked our Dasani water bottles today and they’re #1. So if I read the recommendation right, they’re okay.

  4. Cassie J says:

    So what about the plastic bottles 20 ounces of soda come in, is that the same? How about bottled water?

    I know my daughter carries a Nalgene water bottle with her everywhere and guzzles water constantly.

  5. Yes, this really was an eye opener for me. The hub and I did some house cleaning.

  6. Missy Tippens says:

    I’ve been interested in this, Tina! It’s funny that you would post it. I’ve worried about bottles sitting in a hot car and having the chemicals leach into the water.

    Using glass or metal would sure help the environment, too!

    Thanks for the info. I’ll be making some changes around here.


  7. Thanks for stopping by, Myra!!

  8. Myra says:

    Interesting, Tina. I’ve sort of been following the water bottle reports, too. Thanks for investigating further.

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