Nalgene and Hazards of Hydration

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Nalgene and Hazards of Hydration

Postby Mark620 » Dec 10, 2005 10:05 am

Clear, lightweight, and sturdy polycarbonate plastic bottles are standard equipment for millions of hikers and babies. (They are usually labeled #7 on the bottom; Nalgene is the best-known producer.) Since polycarbonate bottles don’t impart a taste to fluids, many users assume they are safer than bottles made out of other kinds of plastic. But now an accidental discovery has cast doubt on their safety.

The culprit was found to be bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical that mimics the hormone estrogen; it had apparently leached from the polycarbonate.
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Re: Nalgene and Hazards of Hydration

Postby RescueMan » Dec 10, 2005 1:42 pm

Mark620 wrote:But now an accidental discovery has cast doubt on their safety.

I'm surprised the Sierra Club posted this without doing their homework. This was one study on animals with questionable extrapolation to human exposure, and under the specific conditions of high temperature and harsh detergents.

I investigated the issues, and decided to continue using my nine polycarbonate Nalgene bottles, some of them as much as 15 years old, even though I eat only organic foods and am very health conscious.

New studies raise question of plastic water bottle safety

If your Lexan water bottle does not give off an odor or taste, is it safe to use? That’s the question raised by several recent studies that looked at the risk from bisphenol A (BPA), a component of polycarbonate plastics such as Lexan water bottles.

Review panels from Harvard, the European Union, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) looked at the studies. They found no significant risk of BPA migration nor did they find sufficient evidence of negative human health effects at low levels of BPA.

There are caveats, however. The Harvard and EPA panels agree that more research is needed because of conflicting conclusions reached by the reviewed studies. Some studies also suggest that polycarbonate does degrade under high temperature and with harsh cleansers.

Until researchers have sorted out these results, you can play it safe by hand washing polycarbonate bottles with a mild detergent to minimize the risk of BPA leaching. Cleaning at high temperatures with harsh detergents (such as in a dishwasher) or with bleach may accelerate polycarbonate deterioration. In any case, remember that plastics, while durable, do not last forever. If your water bottle is cloudy and scratched, it is probably time to get a new one.

BPA is used in the manufacturing of plastics for food and beverage can linings, PVC pipe, polycarbonate baby bottles, and the ubiquitous Lexan NALGENE ® bottle (identified by a “7â€
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