29 November, 2006

Do not reuse mineral water bottles

It happened in Dubai, when a 12 year old girl died after a long usage(16 months) of SAFA mineral water bottle as she used to carry the same fancy (painted by herself) bottle to her school daily.

In a nutshell, the plastic (called polyethylene terephthalate or PET) used in these bottles contains a potentially carcinogenic element (something called diethyllydroxylamine or DEHA). The bottles are safe for one-time use only; if you must keep them longer, it should be or no more than a few days, weeks max, and keep them away from heat as well. Repeated washing and rinsing can cause the plastic to break down and the carcinogens (cancer-causing chemical agents) can leak into the water that YOU are drinking. Better to invest in water bottles that are really meant for multiple uses.


Stewart said...

I got a spam email with the exact same information. On further research, it seems its the BPA (Bisphonel A) that can cause cancer through leakage, especially when heated. BPA gives the plastic its flexibility, but it mimics estrogen which can cause cancer in low doses. (the recycling number has nothing to do with whether they contain BPA). The bigger risk of re-using bottles is that they are not dryed properly allowing germs to breed. The email looks like its trying to boost the sales of bottled watter, but bottled water does not need to meet the same standards as drinking water.

త్రివిక్రమ్ Trivikram said...

Dear Stewart,

Thank you very much for sharing the information here. What you said seems true: "The bigger risk of re-using bottles is that they are not dried properly allowing germs to breed" and regarding BPA: in tropical countries like India, summer temperature rises to 45-50 Celsius though I don't know whether this temperature turns BPA carcinogenic.

Please note that this post does not encourage anyone to buy bottled water. It only advices to carry water in bottles that are specially desinged to carry water.

The Eternally Confused... said...

And even the bottles you mention are not many a time safe Trivikram Garu. Wonder why water-bottles went out of fashion? Why do we still stick to reusable SPRITE bottles etc knowing it too well how risky it is for our well being!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have the name of the girl that dies in Dubai? was an autopsy done? was a tox study done? Is there any scientific data? I wonder if the person that started this myth has a chicken bone piercing in the nose and jumps up and down shouting mumbo jumbo

That1GuyTy said...

Whoa, crazy stuff. So... would the plastic nalgene bottles be susceptible to the same breakdown?

Net said...

This is a spam mail and is not true.

According to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), "DEHA, as mentioned in the email is neither regulated nor classified as a human carcinogen. Further, DEHA is not inherent in PET plastic as raw material, byproduct or decomposition product. DEHA has been cleared by FDA for food contact applications and would not pose a health risk even if present."

More info:

Charles Clever said...

I've refilled my plastic canteen since Boy Scout years with no ill effect.

When you buy bottled water, soluble solvents have leached into the water, especially if it was stored in a hot climate. After drinking that water, the refill will be fresher and purer.

So,if you have access to osmosis water in your house, by all means, after properly washing (with chlorinated water) refill that bottle.

BTW: Don't use after the biodegradable date stamped on the outside.

And I'm seventy-years old and will live "forever" http://revelado.org

Liana Moraru said...

You should use only products that are from know and safe companies like: http://www.gocaptainbottle.com/

Genious Person said...

Hi there! Nice post! Please tell us when I will see a follow up! reuse water bottles