As I was heading into Spin class last night I reached for the previously used water bottle in my car that I was going to refill in the gym.
I have heard that reusing water bottles left in the car sitting in the sun can cause cancer.
I do this ALL THE TIME.
I have about 4 water bottles floating in the back seat of my car; some with water in it and some empty. I know from a bacteria standpoint you are not supposed to reuse a water bottle but since I have never had an issue. I admit, I still reuse them.
There was a claim that Sheryl Crow got breast cancer from drinking from plastic water bottles left in the sun and heated up releasing toxins contaminated with dioxins. But Sheryl has never blamed it on bottled water
This caught my attention and for awhile I stopped reusing plastic water bottles.
Of course, I got lazy and started reusing them again because it’s just so easy, but it has never left my mind.
Every time I drink from one I wonder if I am poisoning myself knowingly. Could I be giving myself cancer?
So, I decided to do some more research on this topic because I know if I do this, others must too.
Here is what I basically found out.
The chemical BPA or bisphenol-a is the main component of polycarbonate, the hard clear plastic used in water bottles, food storage containers, baby bottles and many other items. The studies on BPA were inconclusive as to whether it is harmful to humans.
Depending on who you listen to BPA may or may not be a cause for concern.
The U.S. did not ban BPA because it requires proof that a chemical is not safe. Consumer demand, however, led some companies to discontinue use of BPA in their plastics.
If you are concerned about drinking from a bottle that has BPA in it look for the little arrows stamped on plastic items with numbers inside, the number to look for here is 7. Although not all plastics labeled “7” contain BPA, it’s still a good identifier, as are the letters “PC.
Here are some other steps you can take, courtesy of the Green Guide Institute:
- Use glass baby bottles or switch to polypropylene bottles that are labeled “5” on the bottom.
- Limit your intake of canned foods or buy from makers who don’t use BPA in the lining. (Eden Foods claims to use an alternative.)
- Buy soups and milk that are packaged in cardboard cartons that are lined with the safer materials of aluminum and polyethylene.
- Buy or can your own fruits and vegetables in glass jars.
- Try to find out if your favorite winemaker uses vats lined with epoxy resin — such wines can contain six times the BPA of canned foods.
- Look for items labeled BPA free
So, although the study didn’t confirm or deny suspicions of BPA, I for one, am going to make an effort not to reuse water bottles. I won’t stop buying them, but it just makes sense to me if they heat up chemicals can be released. I know this is not a confirmed fact but sometimes I can taste the plastic in the water and I just feel that can’t be good for me.
Question of the day: Do you reuse water bottles that have been left in the car?