Some consider disposable plastic water bottles to be a necessity, many would consider them to be an absolute environmental nightmare. Millions of plastic water bottles are purchased every minute around the world and only 9% of them get recycled. Most of these bottles are produced using a polyethylene terephthalate. This type of plastic takes over 400 years to naturally decompose. In one attempt to minimize the environmental footprint of these systems, many people find themselves reusing disposable plastic water bottles. Reusing these bottles can come with some risk.
Is It Safe To Reuse These Bottles?
Plastic bottles are made from number one and number seven plastics and this can leach harmful chemicals into the water as well as liquids over time. As plastic continues to age and crack, damage can appear in a bottle and this can increase the number of chemicals that are absorbed into the liquid that the bottle contains.
Bottles made of these number one plastics will leach DEHP which is a plastic softener used primarily to improve bottle flexibility.
Is It Possible To Get Cancer From Reusing Plastic Water Bottles?
Extremely high levels of DEHP have been shown to deliver diverse effects in animal testing. DEHP has been linked to delayed sexual maturity as well as offering effects on the liver. The Department of Health and Human Services has considered this as a compound that could be a possible carcinogen. Regular BPA is found in bottle construction can also disrupt estrogen levels which can increase the risk of uterine cancer and breast cancer.
There Are Some Plastic Bottles Labeled Safe For Reuse
Plastics that are designated in number two and number four style plastic construction are considered less likely to release harmful chemicals. Plastics that are labeled one, three, six and seven are considered more durable and less likely to break down over time. If any bottle starts to show the signs of cracks or damage or they start to become discolored it’s crucial to recycle them immediately.
Plastic Number Five
Polypropylene in number five plastics is one of the safest types of plastics. They are dishwasher safe, microwave-safe and they do not warp when they are heated.
Choosing a non-plastic drink container is often a better choice, using a glass bottle, porcelain or ceramic containers can be the best way to enjoy water without having to worry about chemical leaching.
This post was written by Kristian D’An, owner and water expert at Eco Water Solutions of Florida. Eco Water Solutions is a Tampa water softeners company. They offer whole home water solutions such as softeners, whole home water filtration systems, and reverse osmosis systems. Their focus is to provide Floridians with safe and clean water throughout the home.