Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Resuable Water Bottles

We all probably know that using a reusable water bottle is good for our environment.  It diverts hundreds of thousands of pounds of plastic from the landfill every year.  But what about for our health?  Do certain water bottles affect the water that we put in them? After doing some research, I found that there are certain types of water bottles that could be detrimental to ones health.  Follow these tips next time you are choosing which water bottle to use.

1. Plastic Water Bottles: BEWARE.

Everyone has used a plastic water bottle before.  They're everywhere! They hold everything from water to soda to juice and even to milk. While these bottles do not present much of a harm for their first time use, reusing these plastic bottles could be dangerous. The plastic used to make these bottles is called PET (polyethylene terephthalate). This type of plastic, after repeated use, can leach DEHP (2-ethylhexyl phthalate) into the water. DEHP is known as a probable carcinogen.  So, these types of bottles should be the LAST alternative when looking for a reusable solution.  Instead, reach for one of the following reusable solutions.  (And don't forget! If you do have to use a plastic water bottle, remember to put it in the recycling bin when you are done!)

2. Polycarbonate Water Bottles: TAKE CAUTION.
Polycarbonate water bottle is a complicated way of describing those water bottles that look like they are made of heavy duty plastic.  Like this picture.  These bottles are made of thermoplastic polymers.  CD's, sunglasses, ipods, computer shells and many other things are made from this very common material.  However, polycarbonates such as these have been proven to leach Bisphenol A, more commonly known as BPA.  BPA is a synthetic hormone that can lead to cancer, and can also act as an estrogen mimic hormone.  Increased levels of estrogen in people can have some very unnatural side affects.  In men, increased levels of estrogen have been shown to produce feminizing characteristic in their bodies.  What's even scarier is that many infant bottles are made with BPA, and when heated, the rate at which BPA is leached is increased. If you decide to purchase one of these water bottles, be sure that they say BPA Free on them.  

3. Aluminum Water Bottles. FAIRLY SAFE.
Aluminum water bottles are a good choice when looking for reusable water bottles.  There hasn't been many findings about negative health affects of using aluminum.  Although, many aluminum reusable water bottles are now lined with BPA on the inside.  When choosing, make sure that these bottles say BPA Free on them.  Otherwise, I would stay away.  

4. Stainless Steel Water Bottles. BEST OPTION.
If possible, always choose stainless steel water bottles. Stainless steel has never been known to use BPA or to leach out any chemicals.  They are the best choice when looking for a water bottle that won't have any hidden health affects.  Kleen Kanteen is a very common manufacturer of stainless steel water bottles. 



Regardless of which water bottle you use, it is important to realize that using a reusable water bottle is much more environmentally friendly than buying a new plastic bottle each time you want water.  It also saves you money.  Each time you buy a water bottle, it costs about a dollar.  Instead, you can spend 20 dollars on one water bottle, and then fill it up with free tap water for years to come! Think of the many dollars that will save you!

Interested in saving water? We have a club on campus for that! Take Back the Tap is an organization on campus which advocates for the use of tap water over bottled water.  Check it out, meetings are Tuesdays at 8:15 pm in the Cayuga Lake Room.

-Jackie

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