Dangers of Plastic Water Bottles: True or False?

Today we look at claims that it is unsafe to drink from plastic water bottles which have been frozen or left in a hot car.

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We’ve all left water bottles in our cars, and may have taken a sip or two to hydrate ourselves even if the water was warm, but an online warning urges readers to think twice about drinking hot water from plastic bottles. Are these warnings true or false?

The claims are false and have debunked by many reputable organizations.

The text below is an example of warnings which have circulated for years regarding the “dangers” of plastic water bottles:

Plastic Bottled Water DIOXIN Danger
LET EVERYONE WHO HAS A WIFE/GIRLFRIEND/ DAUGHTER KNOW PLEASE!

Bottled water in your car is very dangerous! On the Ellen show, Sheryl Crow said that this is what caused her breast cancer. It has been identified as the most common cause of the high levels of dioxin in breast cancer tissue..

Sheryl Crow’s oncologist told her: women should not drink bottled water that has been left in a car. The heat reacts with the chemicals in the plastic of the bottle which releases dioxin into the water. Dioxin is a toxin increasingly found in breast cancer tissue. So please be careful and do not drink bottled water that has been left in a car.

Pass this on to all the women in your life. This information is the kind we need to know that just might save us! Use a stainless steel canteen or a glass bottle instead of plastic! 

This information is also being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center … No plastic containers in microwaves. No plastic water bottles in freezers. No plastic wrap in microwaves.

Dioxin chemical causes cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonous to cells in our bodies. Don’t freeze plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently the Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard.

He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating food in the microwave using plastic containers….. This especially applies to foods that contain fat.

He said that the combination of fat, high heat and plastic releases dioxin into the food.

Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food… You get the same result, but without the dioxin.. So, such things as TV dinners, instant soups, etc., should be removed from their containers and heated in something else.

Paper isn’t bad but you don’t know what is in the paper. It’s safer to use tempered glass, such as Pyrex, etc.

He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the styrene foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons….

Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Cling film, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.

This is an article that should be share to anyone important in your life!

This graphic has been used in 2013 to accompany warnings regarding plastic water bottles.

This graphic has been used in 2013 to accompany warnings regarding plastic water bottles.

Are dangerous chemicals present in plastic bottles?
Warnings such as the one above typically list one of three substances: Dioxins, DEHA, and BPA. Each has been debated regarding safety, and they have all been used in rumors regarding dangerous chemicals in water bottles. We will take a look at each of these substances in relation to their existence in plastic water bottles.

Dioxins
Dioxins are a group of chemicals that are formed by combustion processes such as burning fuels and incinerating waste. They also occur naturally in such instances as wild fires or volcanic eruptions

Are dioxins found in plastic water bottles?
According to Rolf Halden, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and the Center for Water and Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, “There are no dioxins in plastics.” Halden further states that people are primarily exposed to dioxins “mostly from eating meat and fish rich in fat.”

“People should be more concerned about the quality of the water they are drinking rather than the container it’s coming from,” Halden noted.

BPA
BPA (Bisphenol A) is an industrial chemical found in hard plastic bottles (such as baby bottles) and food packaging. A current assessment by the FDA shows that BPA “is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods.” Some studies suggest, however, that BPA may effect fetuses and young children. This has led to a ban on BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups in many countries – including the US in July 2012.

Is BPA found in plastic water bottles?
Lynn R. Goldman, professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences, and Kellogg Schwab, associate professor and director of the School’s Center for Water and Health noted: “Most single-use water bottles sold in the United States are made from BPA-free plastic, but some reusable containers are made from plastic containing BPA. Given a choice, a product absent of BPA should be considered. It is a good idea to bring water with you for long car trips and activities like sports and hiking. Since these water supplies are likely to be in hot vehicles and in the hot sun, BPA-free containers should be considered. Remember to clean reusable bottles between uses and let them dry upside down so they are ready the next time you need them.”

DEHA
DEHA is a chemical present in some plastics.

Is DEHA found in plastic water bottles?
According to Cancer Research UK, “there is no convincing evidence that DEHA is actually present in plastic bottles or plastic wraps.”

The American Cancer Society also refuted warnings regarding DEHA and plastic water bottles:

These emails are apparently based on a student’s college thesis. In fact, DEHA is not inherent in the plastic used to make these bottles, and even if it was the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says DEHA “cannot reasonably be anticipated to cause cancer, teratogenic effects, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, gene mutations, liver, kidney, reproductive, or developmental toxicity or other serious or irreversible chronic health effects.” Meanwhile, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), says diethylhexyl adipate “is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans.”

Bottom Line
Warnings regarding the consumption of dangerous chemicals are unfounded, and have been refuted by a wide range of reputable sources.

Sources

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3 Comments on Dangers of Plastic Water Bottles: True or False?

  1. I have a water cooler at home and I get the water delivered to me..is these large plastic dangerous?

  2. Importance of dairy products // February 12, 2014 at 4:08 am // Reply

    Thank you for sharing such a valuable information. This article made me aware about the harmful effects of the plastic water bottles.

  3. The plastic does made with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) PET has been generally assumed to not be a source of endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals in the environment which can have an effect on human endocrine systems. This is especially relevant for human cancers, including breast cancer and prostate cancer. which are known to cause breast cancer. more research would have told you thing instead of towing the company line for the plastics lobby.

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