Is it safe to drink water in plastic bottles, or should we be looking for alternatives? Here’s what research tells us about plastic bottles and our health.
Whether you buy bottled water or you use your own reusable plastic water bottle at home, is it really good for your water to be housed in plastic?
The plastic itself isn’t always the issue. The problem generally comes in when it heats up and cools down, causing chemical reactions that affect your drinking water.
Here’s what research says about drinking water out of plastic bottles.
Most plastic water bottles are made from BPA-free plastic known as polyethylene terephthalate (PET). If you look underneath your bottle, you’ll more than likely see the PET symbol, although that doesn’t necessarily make it safer to use.
Phthalates and other potentially harmful chemicals are still present. Both temperature and the amount of time that bottled water is stored increases the breakdown of the chemical bonds, leaching nasty stuff into the plastic.
Recent research discovered that some of the chemicals leached may disrupt endocrine function. You may also find contaminants such as microbes, arsenic, phenols, and even mould.
Recent research has shown that small plastic pieces, known as microplastics and nanoplastics, exist in bottled water. This study also revealed that bottled water contains 50% more microplastics than tap water!
While it’s still too early to know what the effects of microplastics are on the human body, we do know that they carry a range of contaminants.
These contaminants can range from harmful organic chemicals to trace metals, and they can also have carcinogenic properties.
Water absorbs these chemical compounds, and so does the body once you ingest them. This could possibly increase its toxic effects on the system!
Reusable Water Bottles
Having a reusable water bottle makes it easier to stay hydrated throughout the day, but is it a better and healthier option?
Although reusable plastic bottles use a different type of plastic to single-use bottles, research shows two main disadvantages to using them.
First, germs and your own mouth bacteria grow on your reusable bottle throughout the day as you use it. While your own bacteria can’t make you sick, new bacteria introduced to the bottle can.
Washing your reusable water bottle can remove germs, bacteria, mould, and mildew. But you need to be careful about how you clean it.
This brings us to the second disadvantage. If you wash your reusable water bottle in the dishwasher, the hot water can cause the plastic to break down, leaching chemicals into the water.
But you’ll also end up drinking the leftover soap substances on the surfaces of the bottle. While it’s still too early to tell what effect these substances will have on your health, you may want to switch to a glass or stainless steel bottle that’s less affected by this!
The other factor to consider is the materials and chemicals used during the manufacturing process of the bottle.
The manufacturing processes use chemicals known as plasticisers to make the plastic flexible and durable. But in some instances, the substances get converted from others. This can lead to a substance being converted into DEET (yes, the same stuff found in mosquito repellant!).
Is it safe to drink water in plastic bottles? Well, it depends on a lot of things, but why take the chance? Install a water filter and drink it fresh, pure, and healthy straight from the tap every day! Contact us for different options, including boiling, cooling, and even sparkling. Whatever your water preferences, we can make sure you’ve got it within reach all day.
Get in touch!