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Polycarbonate Water Bottles


Jedi Cacher
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This story is old news as it made headlines in April 08. I had no idea about this until visiting a family member in the hospital this week and a nurse noticed my Nalgene bottle I had with me while I was waiting in the intensive care waiting room. The nurse told me about the dangers of water bottles made with Polycarbonate #7 plastic and said that the entire hospital staff had replaced there old bottles with BPA free ones. It appears that water bottles with the #7 PC symbol on the bottom contain a chemical known as Bisphenol A, otherwise known as BPA. I was sort of skeptical about this and did a little research when I came home. There is allot of various information on this subject and found a link to this MSNBC story.

 

I love my Nalgene bottles and have used them for years so this is not a slam on Nalgene or Camelbak as I love their products and will continue to purchase them. I am just a little irritated that all 9 of my currently owned Nalgene bottles have the dreaded #7 PC symbol on the bottom. It now appears that Nalgene and Camelbak now make BPA free bottles. Here are the links to the Nalgene and Camelbak information. To access the Camelbak BPA information just click on the news topic after you click the link. As a consumer I was hoping that these companies would step up and replace your old product for the new safer one, but until the US government declares these products to be officially unsafe there wont be a recall. I went to my local sporting goods store and noticed that most of the water bottles have now been replaced by BPA free ones but the price has increased by almost $3 per bottle. On an ironic side note, the Breast Cancer Awareness pink bottles were still the #7 PC bottles and had not yet been pulled from the shelf.

 

Is this a scare tactic to get consumers to purchase more water bottles or the truth, who knows. Has anybody else heard of this and what do you plan on doing with your trusty bottles you've had for years? And will you go out and purchase the new BPA free bottles?

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Back in my college days we had discussions on subjects like this.

 

The Professor had worked in the plastic industry for many years, specifically in a plant that made many types of plastic bottles and other such things.

 

Basically, if you did a little investigation on any plastic product, you could find some harmful chemical that can leach out into the fluids that they hold. It was especially concerning when you consider the amount of time that bottled water, milk, juice, etc. spent on shelves in stores before they were bought and drunk from. They spent all that extra time sitting, collecting potentially harmful chemicals from the plastics that contained them.

 

My professor also had a good saying about such things as well. "It's the dose that makes the poision". Meaning, are you really going to ingest enough of said chemicals at any one time to really hurt you? If BPA is getting into your water on your hikes, will it ever be enough to cause you any harm? Maybe it doesn't get into the water at all, and it's just an environmental issue, that using BPA can cause harm to the environments near where it is used.

 

With these things it can be really hard to tell. It's hard to trust news reports created by people with no special training in the subject. It's hard to believe people who heard something somewhere that something was bad for them. Especially when truth is, that we probably do use items everyday that contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to us.

 

Might be something to the scare tactics idea, especially since those types of things happen often. Then again, maybe BPA is going to kill all of us with #7 bottles.

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Especially when truth is, that we probably do use items everyday that contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to us.

 

Great post and interesting observations. My first thought when this subject was first brought to my attention was exactly what Braff stated here, don't most everyday items contain some type of health risk.

 

My only concern is why did these companies suddenly decide to market BPA free items. And why did Canada decide to ban BPA products. We may never know the truth. I have concluded that BPA is either a real health risk, or the BPA scare caused a decline in business so these companies came up with a safer alternative, or the BPA scare was a way to drum up business in times of a slow economy by providing a safe product at a higher cost.

 

I use my Nalgene bottles on a daily basis and have for years. My wife is ready to pitch them but I am going to hold onto them for now. :)

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The BPA effects discovery is relatively new. That is, the effects weren't realized until a relatively short time ago. And it comes down to what was said above, it is the level that kills. You need to remember the tests done on rats are thousands of times higher than you will probably ever ingest in your entire lifetime.

 

That being said, once one company decides to replace the product line containing the offending chemical or safety hazard, they have essentially pulled a marketing coup on everybody else. As a result, if the others don't start replacing their product lines with the appropriate replacement, they lose market share. This event is known as the Dominoe Effect. Much like what we're seeing in our market today.

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We kept and (some of us) are using the older bottles. We also purchased a few Nalgene bottles this summer that were specifically noted to be BPA-free. At that time we could still purchase the 'offending' plastics.

 

Current MO is to buy the BPA-free bottles if we need new, but to continue to use the old.

 

 

michelle

Edited by CurmudgeonlyGal
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One thing to consider... BPA is in question, and occurs in bottles marked #7 (recyclable).... BUT...

Not all #7 bottles neccessarily contain BPA... #7 is the category for everything that does not fit into

#1 through #6 categories... as for what might be in other materials landing in the category, they might be safe® or they might not... Research is called for when one is not sure.

 

I have recently been given a Nalgene as a draw prize, and yep it was a polycarbonate one, #7 and all.

I'm going to use it, but, I'm still not sure if it is BPA or not (I suspect that it is), but I have seen almost the same bottle marked BPA free... so who knows...

 

One good piece of advice I read somewhere, so don't quote me please, but it made sense to me...

 

Avoid HOT liquids and avoid acidic liquids (juices) if you wish to use an older bottle... they could cause significant leaching compared to cool, non-acidic liquids. COULD that is...

I went one step further on that line and filled the bottle (and left open) with hot water and allowed it to sit til cool then repeated many times [ they should be washed when new anyway ]. At the end of my patience of about 1 week, I felt that any immediate prospects of leaching would have done so and that it should be reasonable to expect very little afterwards in cool water. Of course I failed Chemistry a lot...

Just a thought.

 

Doug

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One thing to consider... BPA is in question, and occurs in bottles marked #7 (recyclable).... BUT...

Not all #7 bottles neccessarily contain BPA... #7 is the category for everything that does not fit into

#1 through #6 categories...

 

True.

 

I have an old #7 Nalgene bottle, I bought it from a thrift store so it's probably been used and washed a fair few times before I got it. I use mine almost every day for water and squash abut don't puut pure fruit juice or hot liquids in it.

 

The way I see it is that if there was a considerable risk from BPA it would have been discovered a long time ago as it is present in so many containers used in laboratories and hospitals, it is these industries that are the biggest consumers of Nalgenes products.

 

If it really bothers you then replace your current container with a BPA free "triton" bottle. You will then have an old but tough and watertight container to use for a geocache!!!

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I would be willing to bet that soon there will be a BPA-free symbol on plastic bottles.

 

Until then be safe. Look at the symbol on the bottom (which was originally made to help with organizing recycling) and see the number.

 

#1 & #2s are not for reuse. They can be used safely once and then should be discarded/recycled..

 

#4 & #5s are BPA free and can be used over and over.

 

#3, #6 & #7s can contain BPAs and should not be used at all unless they are certified BPA-free in either a stamping on the bottom or in the literature/tag that accompany the product.

 

Also, like the user said above...hot and/or acidic liquids tend to leach harmful chemicals out of a bottle/bowl/plate. And, when a bottle/bowl/plate begins to get scratched and visibly worn it is time to replace it.

 

I'll put in a plug here for stainless steel bottles. They are great!

 

Better safe than sorry.

Edited by Quizes
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The BPA effects discovery is relatively new. That is, the effects weren't realized until a relatively short time ago. And it comes down to what was said above, it is the level that kills. You need to remember the tests done on rats are thousands of times higher than you will probably ever ingest in your entire lifetime.

 

That being said, once one company decides to replace the product line containing the offending chemical or safety hazard, they have essentially pulled a marketing coup on everybody else. As a result, if the others don't start replacing their product lines with the appropriate replacement, they lose market share. This event is known as the Dominoe Effect. Much like what we're seeing in our market today.

 

As has been pointed out. It's the dose. We get estrogen in our water. some of the chemicals that leach out of some plastics resemble estrogen. It causes issues with men, and isn't so good for women.

 

While the bottle may be a small dose, the water supply is another dose, the close you wear are another dose (a different chemicals) the food you eat another dose and so on.

 

If it's simple to eliminate a source, why not do so?

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The BPA effects discovery is relatively new. That is, the effects weren't realized until a relatively short time ago. And it comes down to what was said above, it is the level that kills. You need to remember the tests done on rats are thousands of times higher than you will probably ever ingest in your entire lifetime.

 

That being said, once one company decides to replace the product line containing the offending chemical or safety hazard, they have essentially pulled a marketing coup on everybody else. As a result, if the others don't start replacing their product lines with the appropriate replacement, they lose market share. This event is known as the Dominoe Effect. Much like what we're seeing in our market today.

 

As has been pointed out. It's the dose. We get estrogen in our water. some of the chemicals that leach out of some plastics resemble estrogen. It causes issues with men, and isn't so good for women.

 

While the bottle may be a small dose, the water supply is another dose, the close you wear are another dose (a different chemicals) the food you eat another dose and so on.

 

If it's simple to eliminate a source, why not do so?

I know your question is rhetorical, but you're asking the wrong guy. Bearing in mind this is only my opinion, this was a targeted product that probably had some financial gain for some plastic supplier.

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The BPA effects discovery is relatively new. That is, the effects weren't realized until a relatively short time ago. And it comes down to what was said above, it is the level that kills. You need to remember the tests done on rats are thousands of times higher than you will probably ever ingest in your entire lifetime.

 

That being said, once one company decides to replace the product line containing the offending chemical or safety hazard, they have essentially pulled a marketing coup on everybody else. As a result, if the others don't start replacing their product lines with the appropriate replacement, they lose market share. This event is known as the Dominoe Effect. Much like what we're seeing in our market today.

 

As has been pointed out. It's the dose. We get estrogen in our water. some of the chemicals that leach out of some plastics resemble estrogen. It causes issues with men, and isn't so good for women.

 

While the bottle may be a small dose, the water supply is another dose, the close you wear are another dose (a different chemicals) the food you eat another dose and so on.

 

If it's simple to eliminate a source, why not do so?

I know your question is rhetorical, but you're asking the wrong guy. Bearing in mind this is only my opinion, this was a targeted product that probably had some financial gain for some plastic supplier.

I was thinking of the OP when I wrote that. I just built on your answer. Recently I picked up a stainless steel bottle. "Not for use with Hot Liquids". I thought that was strange so I poured one in and picked it up. Oh, thats why...Funny how steel has a taste as well.

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Surprisingly no one has mentioned yet that the risk is primarily for liquids "stored" in these bottles. I point it out because we're talking about a trace element that may or may not be leaching into liquid over an extended period of time. If you wash your bottle regularly and poor fresh water in it before each hike I don't think our water supply is in the same category as bottled water that's been sitting on a shelf in a hot warehouse for half a year.

 

edit to add: we probably are taking much higher risks eating pre-mixed trail mix packs with their exceptionally high levels of preservatives. Preservatives being a pretty word for mild poisons that kill bacteria.

Edited by fox-and-the-hound
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I read everything I could about the subject and decided that I'm not concerned. I fill my bottle and the water sits in it maybe 3-6 hours before its consumed.

 

If I was storing the water in the bottles for weeks I'd probably chose a BPA free bottle and any new ones I buy will certainly be BPA free, but I see no need to turn my old Nalgenes into geocaches.

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edit to add: we probably are taking much higher risks eating pre-mixed trail mix packs with their exceptionally high levels of preservatives. Preservatives being a pretty word for mild poisons that kill bacteria.

 

Quite likely more people will suffer from the effects of excessive stress caused by worrying about it !

 

Doug

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This story is old news as it made headlines in April 08. I had no idea about this until visiting a family member in the hospital this week and a nurse noticed my Nalgene bottle I had with me while I was waiting in the intensive care waiting room. The nurse told me about the dangers of water bottles made with Polycarbonate #7 plastic and said that the entire hospital staff had replaced there old bottles with BPA free ones. It appears that water bottles with the #7 PC symbol on the bottom contain a chemical known as Bisphenol A, otherwise known as BPA. I was sort of skeptical about this and did a little research when I came home. There is allot of various information on this subject and found a link to this MSNBC story.

 

I love my Nalgene bottles and have used them for years so this is not a slam on Nalgene or Camelbak as I love their products and will continue to purchase them. I am just a little irritated that all 9 of my currently owned Nalgene bottles have the dreaded #7 PC symbol on the bottom. It now appears that Nalgene and Camelbak now make BPA free bottles. Here are the links to the Nalgene and Camelbak information. To access the Camelbak BPA information just click on the news topic after you click the link. As a consumer I was hoping that these companies would step up and replace your old product for the new safer one, but until the US government declares these products to be officially unsafe there wont be a recall. I went to my local sporting goods store and noticed that most of the water bottles have now been replaced by BPA free ones but the price has increased by almost $3 per bottle. On an ironic side note, the Breast Cancer Awareness pink bottles were still the #7 PC bottles and had not yet been pulled from the shelf.

 

Is this a scare tactic to get consumers to purchase more water bottles or the truth, who knows. Has anybody else heard of this and what do you plan on doing with your trusty bottles you've had for years? And will you go out and purchase the new BPA free bottles?

 

I'm more worried about BPA in all the dental fillings I just got.

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Its probably more environmentally friendly to use a reusable bottle, and once it gets washed out a few times the chemical residue is probably a non-issue. However, there are stainless and aluminum (if you don't believe AL causes Alzheimer's) bottles available as well. Most are pretty pricy, but Walgreens has had some pint stainless bottles 3/$10 around here.

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This story is old news as it made headlines in April 08. I had no idea about this until visiting a family member in the hospital this week and a nurse noticed my Nalgene bottle I had with me while I was waiting in the intensive care waiting room. The nurse told me about the dangers of water bottles made with Polycarbonate #7 plastic and said that the entire hospital staff had replaced there old bottles with BPA free ones. It appears that water bottles with the #7 PC symbol on the bottom contain a chemical known as Bisphenol A, otherwise known as BPA. I was sort of skeptical about this and did a little research when I came home. There is allot of various information on this subject and found a link to this MSNBC story.

 

I love my Nalgene bottles and have used them for years so this is not a slam on Nalgene or Camelbak as I love their products and will continue to purchase them. I am just a little irritated that all 9 of my currently owned Nalgene bottles have the dreaded #7 PC symbol on the bottom. It now appears that Nalgene and Camelbak now make BPA free bottles. Here are the links to the Nalgene and Camelbak information. To access the Camelbak BPA information just click on the news topic after you click the link. As a consumer I was hoping that these companies would step up and replace your old product for the new safer one, but until the US government declares these products to be officially unsafe there wont be a recall. I went to my local sporting goods store and noticed that most of the water bottles have now been replaced by BPA free ones but the price has increased by almost $3 per bottle. On an ironic side note, the Breast Cancer Awareness pink bottles were still the #7 PC bottles and had not yet been pulled from the shelf.

 

Is this a scare tactic to get consumers to purchase more water bottles or the truth, who knows. Has anybody else heard of this and what do you plan on doing with your trusty bottles you've had for years? And will you go out and purchase the new BPA free bottles?

 

Hey buddy. I recently read that they are safe to use again ang that the studies were wrong...

Edited by mikenaddeo
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