How To Choose A Safe Reusable Water Bottle.

March 17, 2008

Aside from staying home and drinking tap water out of a washable glass, the best way to be “green” while on the go is choosing your reusable water bottle wisely. From the lowly single-use-only bottle you can buy at your local gas station filled with tap water,to the stainless steel and aluminum options, making the right choice is important in maintaining both your health and the health of the environment!

Types of Reusable Water Bottles

petbottles

The worst kind of water bottle is the kind that you only use once – the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle that you find in convenience stores, gas stations, etc, that holds water, soda or juice. This kind of plastic has been proven to leach DEHP (Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate) after repeated use and is a probable carcinogen. They can also harbor bacterial growth inside any cracks and crevices inside the bottle, which cannot be too good for your health either!

polycarbonate

Next to the regular old plastic bottles we see everywhere, probably the most common would be your typical reusable water bottle as seen here. These plastic bottles, commonly used by exercise buffs and campers, are made out of thermoplastic polymers that usually goes by the name polycarbonate. However, it’s not just water bottles that are made out of polycarbonate; CD’s, iPods, sunglasses, computer shells, and almost everything made from plastic is also made of the material. Thankfully though, we don’t normally chew on CD’s or computers because polycarbonates have been proven to leach BPA, a synthetic hormone that can mimic estrogen and cause prostate cancer. Even scarier is the fact that most baby bottles are made out of polycarbonate, and when you heat up milk in them to feed your baby, the BPA could be leaching in at an even higher rate than normal. Not good for adults but definitely not good for babies!

siggbottles

A much better option than either of the above two would be an aluminum reusable water bottle. A big manufacturer of aluminum water bottles is Sigg (which you can get at Reuseit.com, where I got mine), and they are available in all sorts of sizes, colors, and designs. They even have special-sized models for kids, too.

kleenkanteens

The best way to get your daily dose of water on the go, in my opinion, is a stainless steel reusable water bottle. Klean Kanteen is a large manufacturer of these type of bottles, and you can get them from Reuseit.com. They are made entirely out of stainless steel, which does not leach, is difficult to break or crack, and does not easily stain or interact with whatever product you are consuming. The water always tastes good out of it and it keeps it reasonably cold for a little while when I go hiking or out in the sun. They don’t recommend using them for hot beverages, which is understandable – that’s what a thermos is for.

Ideally, the best way to drink water on the go would be an aluminum or stainless steel reusable water bottle, as they seem to exhibit the least amount of health concerns out of all the choices. Add in the fact that they can be used over and over again with no degradation and do not need to be recycled each time you use one, they really are the “green” choice. And since upwards of 40% of bottled water is just tap water in disguise, buying it seems like not only a health risk due to the plastic leaching possibilities, but also a wallet risk due to wasting money on something you already have at home!

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Filed in: Featured, toxic • Tags: , , , ,

About the Author:

After a varied past of being a test driver for automotive television programs, a Hollywood studio lackey, and an online media sales director, David is now the publisher and editor of The Good Human. In his spare time he rides motorcycles, drinks good beer, and builds stuff in the garage. You can follow him on Twitter at @thegoodhuman or G+ at Google
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Comments (73)

  1. maria says:

    we recently broke down and got a klean kanteen and a smaller one for my stepdaughter. they’re expensive so there’s a certain element of guarding it with your life, but so far i like it a lot. i added a neoprene insulating carrying sleeve to the kid-sized one to keep it cool in the car–a big disadvantage to stainless steel is that it conducts rather than insulating.
    i try not to recommend buying additional stuff left and right, and i like to use my consumerist plugs sparingly, but reusable bags sells klean kanteen + insulating sleeve combinations. in this case i feel like it’s kind of worth it to get the best use out of the klean kanteen.

  2. Danika says:

    Or you can go No Impact Man-style and use a jar or a glass drink bottle. There’s no worrying about glass leeching toxins, it’s free, and it requires no extra energy to manufacture because you’re just saving it from the recycling bin.

  3. david says:

    You could Danika, you are right – but I would not enjoy carrying a glass bottle while on a mountain bike or hiking up a hill. For around town, glass works great. But for activities, I would not recommend it!

  4. Mrs. Micah says:

    *sigh* I have to admit that I use the worst type. Mostly because I buy them when I’m unprepared and then get a half-year’s use out of them. But then breathing gives you cancer. :(

  5. Brendan says:

    @Mrs.Micah: While the ‘breathing gives you cancer’ attitude is prevalent, it’s not a justifiable excuse to renege on our responsibilities as consumers to demand what’s best for us and our children. I’m not prepared to sit idly by and watch mass lethargy permit the destruction of our beautiful world and health!

  6. Mrs. Micah says:

    The thing is, when you watch a loved one go through years of surgeries and chemo and still be terminally ill, and then you read that pretty much everything (including breathing, depending on where you live) causes cancer, it can be pretty depressing. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to cut down on them and there are a lot of other good reasons to make wise decisions. I’m just saying that I feel depressed about it. I grew up in a chemical swamp (Delaware) and wonder if I even have a chance.

  7. Cath Lawson says:

    Hi Mrs M – I had no idea that polycarbonate was so dangerous. Thanks for the tip. I wear polycarbonate glasses, so I hope they won’t cause harm (I know that I personally can’t get prostate cancer, but if it can cause one type of cancer it does make you wonder). I’ll certainly be checking it out.

  8. Dan says:

    hey, i’ve got an idea. why not take a bottle that water came in and *refill* it over and over again until it gets too gunky. then . . . do the same thing with a different water bottle! you’ve probably got a dozen or so bottles hanging around the house. if not, buying (and then re-using) a few will probably do less to harm the environment than buying any of the fancy-schmancy bottles noted on this site.

    what is the problem with that approach? it saves consumers money and decreases the resources needed to produce the molybdenum bottles mentioned here. geez!

  9. david says:

    Of course you can do that Dan, but read the first item in the post – that’s why you shouldnt do that.

  10. zentater says:

    REI now sells only BPA free water bottles – Nalgene and Camelback. They pulled all their water bottles back a few months ago until they were assured they did not contain BPA

  11. david says:

    That’s good to hear!

  12. Sarah says:

    I too try not to be extra stuff I don’t need… but I make a big exception here – when it is dangerous to my health, I don’t spare expense in order to get myself something I’m comfortable is healthy and non-toxic – you only have 1 life as well!!

    I switched over to stainless bottles a few months back and really like them. Completely stopped buying disposable water bottles and now fill mine up at home and work and the gym and it’s convenient, healthy, and super easy to clean. Plus, no metallic weird taste like you get from drinking out of some aluminum or plastic bottles.

    Got a pretty bird feather design on mine, but plenty are out there.

    Here’s a quick pic of my bottle:
    http://www.brightandbold.com/stbo20ozfe.html

  13. Amanda says:

    David, the difference between the way you described Sigg’s bottle liner and the way the company rep described it is just semantics. They won’t say whether or not their liner contains BPA (because it’s proprietary information), but they have produced test results demonstrating that the bottles don’t leach BPA. So it really comes down to whether or not you want to trust the company, I guess.

  14. david says:

    Yes, they did say the liner does not have BPA leeching, but they also altered the ingredients (http://www.ewg.org/node/21491) so that no BPA or even plastic for that matter is in the lining. “The proprietary SIGG bottle lining is a water-based, non-toxic coating that is baked into the interior walls and remains flexible and crack resistant for the life of the bottle. This special SIGG lining is not plastic ”“ it is a micro-thin epoxy” Hope that helps , and if their info was wrong I would love to hear about it!

  15. David says:

    Thanks for the comment G. While Mercola has some valid opinions, I don’t know if I trust everything he says. Also, I am with you on the fact that you just throw up your arms, as there is a plus and minus for almost everything, and there are usually 2 sides to every story. Hopefully all the tests and studies that have shown it is safe are true.

  16. G says:

    So, there’s also evidence that aluminum is bad as is stainless steel (although the magnetic kind is better than the nonmagnetic kind) – at least based on Dr. Mercola’s research. They apparently leach toxic metals. Though of course I guess the sigg liners could be safe if you trust them – their Web site claims no leaching. And, I believe leaching is in part caused by raising temperatures.

    It does almost make you want to throw your arms up. They have cool rubber sleeves for glass bottles now to prevent breakage – at least an option for non hiking types.

  17. James says:

    Don’t forget Klean Kanteen is made in China, FYI. If that matters and the company says it vigorously verifies the working and manufacturing conditions on its website. It’s kinda neat to know that the Stainless Steel and alauminum are coming back in style. That’s what was used from the 1800s (they were metal – not sure what) all the way up until the 1950s when plastic started to infiltrate. My old boy scout canteen was stainless steel with an exterior fabric lining for insulation.

  18. Beverly says:

    I would like to know if ABS plastic is considered safe. My cat’s water fountain is made of this. As well it is made in china. Thanks.

  19. Mimi says:

    I recently bought a Camelbak water bottle. It claims to be “BPA free”. Here’s hoping it’s better than the current plastic alternatives.

  20. Bradley says:

    Can anyone advise of a brand of reusable water bottle not made in China?

  21. David says:

    There hasn’t been a single study or report showing Sigg bottles leach anything at all that I know of. If you crack the lining and crack the bottle, I imagine it would. If you have seen such a report from a reliable source, I would love to see it!

  22. Mari says:

    I recently purchased a Sigg aluminum bottle and after reading that it could leach metal toxins, I also just want to throw my hands up. Who knows if glass also leaches some deadly toxin too? It’s so hard to find a research study on it. Anyone find one?

  23. David says:

    clc – there are special brushes made for cleaning Sigg bottles. Check out their website to see where you can get one!

  24. clc says:

    I have a sigg water bottle. I love it it’s not made in China, that i’m aware of anyway. I do have a question though. I’m not sure if there’s a special way to go about cleaning it. Anybody know?

  25. clc says:

    The SIGG i have is made in Switzerland.

  26. Jim says:

    The PET bashing is really getting on my nerves. There has never been a TRUE INDEPENDENT study on PET every. The studies for it have all been funded by plastic companies, while the studies that are inconclusive or against all funded by anti-plastic environmentalist groups looking to ban ALL plastics.

    Until I see one INDEPENDENT study by scientists that says otherwise Im still reusing PET bottles.

  27. Sherry Martin says:

    I also have Klean water bottles. They’re nice, but make a loud sound when you drink. Glass water bottles are the safest way to bottle water. Stainless steel leaches Nickel. I recently had my blood tested for heavy metals and found tons of Aluminum from non-stick pans and my mother’s fillings, and tons of Nickel, from stainless steel.

  28. I have a somewhat different method of being “green” when it comes to water: I simply choose not to carry my own ration of water with me at all times. Contrary to what many people think, this is a perfectly safe option for humans, as biologically speaking, ingesting water nonstop is not actually a precondition for sustaining life. If/when the time comes that I do indeed become thirsty, I am almost always able to obtain water (or some other beverage) onsite at whatever location I find myself, whether home, the office, the park, or even one of numerous commercial facilities that have been set up in our society where it is actually possible to obtain a beverage in exchange for giving them a small amount of money.

    This all may sound risky, even daring, and it’s true that using my method there is a chance you may sometimes find yourself having to go, say, as much as 20 minutes without swallowing water. I guess I just like to live on the edge. Anyway, it’s quite doable if you know what you’re doing.

  29. Spork says:

    Mason jar. 32 oz. Portable. Easy to fill, easy to pour, easy from which to drink. Durable. Recyclable. Made in the U.S.A. No lead concerns. No BPA concerns.

    Only drawback: stupid, repetitive moonshine jokes.

  30. Steve says:

    I shopped around and ended up buying five (self + wife, parents, sister-in-law) ThinkSport bottles. Big fan of the dual-walled vacuum sealed stainless. The 26oz is pretty big though – too big even for my oversized cupholders.

  31. David says:

    Jim – Go ahead, no one is telling you to stop! Plastic is not inherently bad, but if it gets the least bit warm, it will leach into your drink. But have it, use PET if you wish!

    Spork – Agreed, glass is best, its just not good for use while hiking/mountain biking. But otherwise, it would be the safest for sure!

  32. Nicholas says:

    Isn’t anyone excited about the KOR ONE Hydration Vessel?

    http://www.korwater.com

    I think it looks awesome!

  33. bram says:

    What about a good bottle in Europe (Netherlands)? Amazon won’t ship me any Kleen Kanteen’s… and I cannot find the Sigg bottles of 1L with sports top.

  34. David says:

    bram – my wife had to order a top directly from Sigg, as we could not find them anywhere either!

  35. Jim says:

    David – no it wont, thats the point, no one has ever conclusively proved 100% absolutely (or ever 50% for that matter) that yes it will. Even the BPA flack has reared it’s self to be a bunch of hogwash (requiring dosages that would take humans 4-5 LIFETIMES to ever reach to be dangerous.)

    Its scare tactics by people with agendas who are now using peoples science fears to scare people into 1800’s thinking.

  36. David says:

    It’s fine Jim, you can keep using it. But whenever there is even a remote possibility of something being toxic, we do our best to avoid it. When there are proven safer alternatives, why use the one that MIGHT be dangerous. You can take the risk; we choose not to. It’s great being in a free country!

  37. bram says:

    I figured Kleen Kanteen + Sports cap does NOT combine well because drinking goes slow and with alot of effort. Yet they have really large (1,15L) bottles.

    So 2nd option is Sigg but sport models dont go over 0,750L. I really wish for 1L or more, I drink hell of a lot.

    For the meanwhile Ill be hoping to catch some 1L+ good quality bottle but Im expecting this to take quite a damn long time. I also went to the store her locally, they said they cannot even get big bottles anymore, theyre totally out of style these days, the shop owner told me.

    Oh well, any other possible suggestions?

  38. Tom says:

    Back to the topic of cleaning…are all of the examples mentioned so far (aluminum, stainless, poly-whatsit, Kleen, Sigg, etc.) dishwasher safe?

  39. David says:

    Tom – Stainless is dishwasher safe, but we wash our Sigg in the sink with soap and a long soft brush. Hope that helps!

  40. Tom says:

    Thanks David!

  41. steve says:

    platypus water bladders are my choice.. BPA free… collapsible so it’s easy to store and carry when empty.. no metallic taste.. various sizes, and can be fitted with tube to make hydration system

    just get ready for colostomy bag jokes

  42. Kary says:

    Why no one thought about GLASS ? a simple bottle of glass ? I also want to say that when you read resin.. is not so distant from you common think as plastic, same costituent, and also what that it mean a resin based on water ? it has no sense for me !!
    From wikipedia..
    “Synthetic resins are materials with similar properties to natural resins””viscous liquids capable of hardening. They are typically manufactured by esterification or soaping of organic compounds. The classic variety is epoxy resin, manufactured through polymerization-polyaddition or polycondensation reactions, used as a thermoset polymer for adhesives and composites. One more category, which constitutes 75% of resins used, is unsaturated polyester resin. Ion exchange resin is another important class with application in water purification and catalysis of organic reactions. See also AT-10 Resin, melamine resin. Another synthetic polymer is also sometimes called by the same suffix, acetal resin. By contrast with the other synthetics, however, it has a simple chain structure with the repeat unit of form -[CH2O]-.”
    So not because you see H2O it means it’s based on water !!
    ;)

  43. James says:

    I couldn’t find a 1L Sigg bottle with a sports cap either so, and I know this is a bit bold, I switched the top with a smaller bottle in the shop! I am surprised that Sigg haven’t figured this out yet. It’s just so inconvenient to have to stop and unscrew the top especially if you’re cycling at the time.

  44. Robert Powell says:

    Being European I’ve used Sigg for years until visiting the USA many years ago and getting a Nalgene poly bottle. The wide mouth bottles are such a staple and are much lighter than the stainless bottles. Nalgene has launched a range of BPA free bottles that should also be included in this review. It’s much easier to clean a bottle that you can see the inside off.. (A big issue for you swiggers out there)

    Don’t give up on your favourite bottle. They have moved heaven and earth to create a new range that deals with the BPA issue – Remember that they started off doing bottles for camping and hiking so they wern’t intended for everyday use.

  45. MikeL says:

    I hate to be a contrarian here, but the bigger issue is not the bottle, it’s the water you are putting in it. I have been a water quality laboratory director. If you would like some interesting reading, take a look at what the EPA permits in its drinking water standards. Well water and river water are loaded with fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and trihalomethanes (breakdown products from chlorinating all this cr@p). Drinking clean bottled water that may have ppb or ppt phthalates is trivial compared with the impact on your health from drinking tap water out of stainless steel, or anything else.

  46. Trumpetto says:

    I prefer a bottle I can see through. Just to check if all is OK in there… no wasps or other stuff I don’t like to drink.

  47. Jeevz says:

    Sonic Charmer and MikeL make good points.

    Another thing you have to consider: Don’t get scared when you hear the latest news report that a common consumer item is “toxic.” EVERYTHING IS TOXIC. Everything has a level of toxicity, even water! (Though you couldn’t possibly consume enough water for it to kill you in that manner – you would drown first.) Chemicals come in different quantities and affect you based on how much there is. In fact every chemical has a level (however minute) that actually benefits your body – usually by creating an immunity to the chemical’s toxic affects. (Also, every chemical has a deficiency level – imagine a bell curve with quantity of the chemical on the X axis and increasing benefit to your body on the Y axis. Then a horizontal line striking through the downward slopes. Everything on the curve above that line is beneficial and the two slopes on either side and below the line are deficiency and excessive/toxic.)

    So, unless you’re living and breathing these bottles, which you can easily avoid as pointed out by Sonic Charmer, then more than likely these “toxic” chemicals wont harm you and may actually be making YOU stronger!

    Now… there is one who is living and breathing these bottles – Earth. So while I want to point out that these bottles wont likely hurt you, they will still be harmful to our planet – but so is mining to get the metal for the aluminum and stainless steal bottles. I imagine glass is less invasive to create from our sands and suggest that you go with that one. I actually have a wood pitcher that I like to drink from. Trees are a renewable resource as long as we remember to… renew them. There may be bacterial worries when drinking from wood, but it feels/tastes good and I always remind myself that I’m covered in bacteria all the time.

  48. Adam says:

    Wow. You got SIGG to email you?
    My SIGG canteen rusted inside, and I can’t
    get the company to respond to me.
    The normal round sigg bottles are aluminum with the coating, and the canteens are supposedly stainless. YMMV, but mine rusted inside of 4 months.

  49. David says:

    Adam – did you buy it from them directly? If so, that’s pretty crappy customer service…

  50. Erin says:

    from what i’m reading, some sort of glass bottle with an outer coating of bouncy rubber (to prevent breakage) would work best… somebody get on that!

    though when i stop to think about it, most of the water we’ll use to fill up our bottles spends at least some time in plumbing. what’s leaching into it from copper, aluminum, or PVC pipes? yikes.

  51. David says:

    Erin – I agree, glass would be best. But it sure would be heavy for anyone to take hiking or biking, which is why I guess it has not taken off. Besides, dropping it would be a nightmare!

    And yea, a lot of the stuff people find in their water is not from the container or the water itself, but rather the pipes in the house. Something to think about!

  52. Scott Schaper says:

    Buy a few Lipton Tea glass bottles, enjoy tea, remove label and adhesive, wash in dishwasher. Then refill over and over. If you drop it and it breaks, recycle the pieces and repeat.

    Hikers, if you can’t stand another 8 ounces to carry with you, umm…wierd.

  53. Eric says:

    what about Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LDPE

  54. Tracey says:

    Does anybody know whether or not the Contigo Auto-Seal bottle with carabiner clip is BPA-free? I really love the tight-closing seal, no drips or spillage and it’s easy to drink from. A 32oz bottle is $14.95 (Target or Bed Bath & Beyond).

  55. david says:

    ErinP – Reusable Bags has BPA-Free kids bottles from $4.95 and up, as does Amazon.com Good luck!

  56. ErinP says:

    Does anybody know a good BPA-free bottle for kids that is inexpensive? My 3 and 5 year olds carry water bottles with them constantly, and right now we are doing the “re-use an old water bottle” method. I would love to buy some nice stainless steel water bottles, but my kids lose their water bottles about once a month (I swear they just disappear, like socks in the laundry) so that sounds kind of expensive. Glass is not a good option, for obvious reasons. Is there some kind of bottle out there that you could clip to a child so he wouldn’t lose it and would be lightweight enough that even a small child could carry it around?

  57. Matt says:

    We buy bottles of Voss – nice glass bottles – for $2/bottle ($3 for the larger size). We fill them with filtered water and keep them in the refrigerator. The cap seals well enough so the water doesn’t start to taste bad even if it has been in the refrigerator for a few days or more. When we take the water out, even when it is warm, it has that fresh bottled taste. Sometimes we don’t have a water bottle with us and we have to go hunting for Voss (it isn’t always easy to find – try a specialty grocery store like Natures) but we probably have 15-20 bottles in our collection and some of them are months (maybe even a year) old.

  58. Richard says:

    Do old-fashioned thermos bottles still exist? Glass inside, metal/plastic outside AND insulated? Seems like a near-perfect solution to me other than maybe bulk.

    To Sonic Charmer–you must either have lots of extra cash or don’t go to many places where you are a “captive audience” and get charged $4 for a 12oz drink.

  59. David says:

    They do, but they are hard to find (at least around here, Richard). I was looking for one to start using to make my own yogurt, and I still haven’t found one!

  60. wow says:

    Wow. this is amazing. I work in a lab with polycarbonates, sillicates, hcs, etc etc. all minituare size micron to nano. Well got to say one thing. people are overreacting. no one has figured out how our body works, Yet. so sayin that probably that thing causes cancer and this thing causes that unless there is enough research with major publications dosent make sence. yes use less plastic or glass is better for environment. but even stainless steel can have disadvantages. do you know about phase diagrams, doping metals and grades of s.s. I dont, so I wont trust a ss over al or plastic. aluminium i wont trust as it rusts very easily anyways.

    dont overreact as a matter of fact epoxy is not safe atall if mixed with water i guess. more than half of the products we consume are bad these days. but who knows whats good whats bad and what is just ugly!

    thanks.

  61. Amit A. Riswadkar says:

    CamelBak makes a BPA free water bottle.

  62. clc says:

    james! i totally agree! I had to get the little kid sigg bottle because it’s the only one i could find that had the sport bottle lid. ha i feel silly and it’s a bit smaller than i would like or for normal sized people for that matter but i guess it works for me. i’m sized a bit like a small person. haha.

  63. clc says:

    amen to that wow.

  64. David says:

    Never heard of that one Adam, but it still entails buying the plastic bottles in the first place. ;-)

  65. Adam says:

    What about “freezing” the classic “one time use” water bottles?

    I’ve heard of people doing this to inhibit bacteria growth. When you’re done using it, shake most of the water out of the bottle, screw the cap on tight, and throw it in the freezer empty.

    While I’m working, I like to keep a water bottle in my pocket since I’m constantly on the go, running around, talking to customers, associates, etc. – and my mouth does get dry, so I like carrying a water bottle around.

    The Zephyr Hills “eco friendly Bottles” are perfect, since they fit right in my pants pocket ;)

    Now, a canteen on the other hand, wouldn’t quite fit I don’t think ;)

  66. David says:

    Anne – I am not questioning you, but several sources say that these plastics are a source. Do you have any more info you can share, would love to see it!

  67. Anne says:

    I wanted to point out that the PET single use water bottles are not sources of DEHP. They ARE very bad for the environment due to the plastic required to make them (from non-renewable petroleum), and bad for humans due to other chemicals that can leach out of the PET, but DEHP is not one of them. PET is polyethylene teraphthalate, while DEHP is di-ethylhexyl phthalate. A subtle yet definitive difference. I’m not sure about the toxicity involved with PET, but I do know that DEHP does not come from most single use plasic water bottles. It does however come from medical plastics and more importantly baby toys, products that are made with PVC, where they are a big concern. I don’t mean to imply that plastic water bottles are safe, just clarify that DEHP is not the reason to avoid them!

  68. Melissa says:

    All your comments are so helpful! I love reading them all…so, what about Nalgene’s BPA free non-leaching plastic bottles on reusablebags.com? Don’t think anyone mentioned those?
    Thanks for the help and happy water drinking!

  69. David says:

    Melissa- they are safer, but they are still plastic. If possible, you are probably better off getting anything other than plastic if only to reduce the amount of plastic we use!

  70. Elizabeth says:

    Although many Americans use the plastic bottles it seems that everything besides global warming is going fine. Well that might be exactly what it looks like but your wrong. As you said the materials used to make these bottles can cause cancer. These bottles are popular and may be one of the bigger causes of cancer. I would prefer the kanteen bottles because not only are the safer they save you money. Instead of buying over hundreds of plastic bottles a year you could have one kanteen bottle for over four to five years.

  71. Anne says:

    David,
    I am an environmental chemist and am researching phthalates them for my PhD work. When I first began, I thought that phthalates in one time use plastic bottles as well, but have learned otherwise. If you look at the paper cited in the article concerning DEHP (I have access to it because I’m at a university, others may not), it says that among the main sources of DEHP to adults is medical plastic (IV tubes, etc), and among children, plastic toys, but there is no mention of plastic water bottles. Like I said, I myself thought phthalates were in water bottles but have not found a single scientific paper that confirms this. If you have any science papers that do please let me know!

    Like I said, plastic water bottles are made of PET, polyethylene terephthalate, not DEHP. These are two different compounds even though they sound the same. Biochemically speaking, small changes in structure (in this case, functional groups on opposite sides of the ring instead of side by side, for any organic chemists) can make large differences in how compounds behave in the body. Phthalates, including DEHP, are mostly found in PVC, recycling code 3, used in baby toys, iv tubes/bags, catheters, fragrances, the list goes on and on.

    That being said, I do agree 100% with not using plastic water bottles!! Bad for the environment, and like I said earlier, there are concerns about other chemicals moving from the plastic into the water, but DEHP is not one of them. Great job advocating reusable water bottles! I have been trying to convince my friends, family and students I teach to get reusable waters and its definitely an uphill battle.

    Hope that answers your question, sorry it was so long!

  72. Anne says:

    Ahh, didn’t realize so many typos, sorry :)