Is your water bottle increasing your risk for disease?

May 06, 2008
Volume 05    |   Issue 17

If you like to spend time outdoors, whether you walk, garden, go on picnics, or kayak (like I do), you probably use a water bottle to stay hydrated. If you do, that water bottle might increase your risk for some estrogen-related diseases.

New research suggests that the new polycarbonate plastic bottles may leach out an environmental estrogen into your water. Especially if you leave it in your car on a hot day.

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati found that they put boiling water into these jewel-toned hard plastic bottles, a chemical reaction happens. The bottles release Bisphenol A (BPA) 55 times faster than before the hot water hit it.

BPA is a xenoestrogen, a man-made estrogen that disrupts endocrine function. It alters brain development and reproduction in animal studies. And it doesn?t take much to do this. Even small amounts of BPA are harmful to animals. We don?t know what affect it?s having on people, but there?s nothing to suggest it?s beneficial. While politicians and scientists in the U.S. debate BPA?s safety, the Canadian government is considering declaring these plastics toxic.

And this study shows that hot liquids bring the toxicity out much faster. This means that washing them in the dishwasher will also release BPAs. Or filling a bottle with hot tea or coffee. It didn?t matter whether or not these plastic bottles were new or old. In fact, bottles used for nine years released the same amount of BPAs as new bottles.

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While hot liquids cause the chemical to leach out faster, the researchers found that BPA still leaches out of water bottles when they sit at room temperature.

If you carry water with you, invest in an unbreakable stainless steel water bottle. You can find one in most sports supply stores. They?re lightweight and safe - as long as they aren?t lined with an epoxy finish.

But your water bottle isn?t the only bottle you need to replace. If BPA can get into water, you can bet it leaches into acidic products, such as juices and ketchup. It?s time to start replacing all beverages, foods, and condiments packaged in plastic with others in glass. Or BPA-free plastic bottles. Pay more attention to how your foods and beverages are packaged.

If, like me, you enjoy a little ketchup on your burger (veggie or beef), there?s one brand that can help you avoid BPA. Wholemato is an organic ketchup. It uses agave for its sweetness - not sugar. It?s surprisingly tasty. And it?s packaged in glass bottles. No BPA. No concerns. Look for it at your local natural food store.

Your voice of reason in Women's Health,


University of Cincinnati (2008, February 4). Plastic Bottles Release Potentially Harmful Chemicals (Bisphenol A) After Contact With Hot Liquids. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 5, 2008, from /releases/2008/01/080130092108.htm.

"Nalgene to stop using toxic plastic," Huffington Post, April 18, 2008.

"Toxic plastic water bottles," Debra Lynn Dadd,

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