Q: I remember reading about potential problems, such as toxic danger, in reusing plastic water bottles. Can you discuss that?
--Howard Schell, Roswell
A: Stories about toxic chemicals leaching from plastic water bottles hit the media with a fury last year, said Chris Rosenbloom, associate dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences at Georgia State University and a nutrition columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The concern arose from a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA), used to make lightweight, durable, and shatter-resistant bottles, she said.
Although trace amounts of bisphenol A may migrate into beverages and foods from plastic containers made with this chemical, the American Council on Science and Health called this concern one of the "The Top Ten Unfounded Health Scares of 2004," Rosenbloom said. The very low level of exposure to this chemical doesn't pose a concern to health, she added.
However, if you plan to reuse the bottles, remember to wash them thoroughly in hot, soapy water. Every time you drink from a bottle, you transfer germs from your mouth and hands to the bottles. So a good washing is a smart safety move if you plan to refill your bottle, Rosenbloom said.
For more information on the bisphenol A concern, check the Web site of the American Council on Science and Health: http://www.acsh.org
Q & A on BPA and Plastic Water Bottles
By ACSH Staff — February 11, 2005
By ACSH Staff