If water bottles get warm could chemicals leach out of the plastic?
Bottled water is a big fat environmental and human health problem. Bisphenol A is the chemical to worry about. Studies have shown that the substance—an endocrine disruptor that can mimic estrogen—may hasten the development of cancer and has other nasty health effects, and leaches out of bottles made of polycarbonate. That’s the thick, hard plastic that some 20-L water jugs are made of (along with some baby bottles, sippy cups, and personal water bottles). And yes, heat makes the leaching worse, whether the container holds water, soft drinks, or anything else. Try looking on the bottom of your food and drink containers for the recycle triangle. If it says PC underneath the triangle, it’s made of polycarbonate. If it has a “7” inside the triangle then it may contain polycarbonate.
Switching to single 500 ml bottles isn’t the answer, either. They’re made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET)—the triangle will have a “1” in the middle. PET, which is also used to make pop bottles, is considered safe as a drink container. But did you know it takes as much water to make one of those little bottles as it holds? Or that less than 30 per cent of them ever get recycled?
Understanding that you can’t exist on beer alone, what’s the solution? Break open your wallet and install a water-treatment system. You can buy a combination system to treat lake water, such as a filter to remove sediment and an ultraviolet light installed after the pressure tank to disinfect. A filtration system can also save you money in the long run.