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Nalgene Water Bottles Appear to be Unsafe

The nearly indestructible polycarbonate used to make Nalgene bottles seemed inert, but now new studies show that the popular Nalgene water bottles may pose serious health risks. They do this by breaking down and contaminating their contents with a dangerous chemical called bisphenol A (BPA). The bottles are made of Lexan polycarbonate resin, the same material used in bulletproof windows, compact discs and DVDs.

Well they fooled me. Even though I knew plastics could leach BPA from the study I posted one year ago the research did not yet indicate that Lexan leached this chemical. Now there is enough of a concern that I am throwing my Nalgene Lexan bottles away. I only used them when I was traveling though as glass is far too fragile to travel with on planes. Nalgene does make a high-density polyethyelene (HDPE) bottle that is identical in size and shape to the more popular Lexan model and that is the one that I will be getting.

Plastics that are safer to use for storing food and beverages, none of which are known to leach harmful substances, include:

  • Polypropylene, designated "#5 PP"
  • High-density polyethylene, designated "#2 HDPE"
  • Low-density polyethylene designated "#4 LDPE"

So pay attention to the container you store your water in. If you can't use glass only use one of the above "safe" plastic jars.

Daily Barometer March 23, 2004

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