Saturday, April 11, 2009

More on water bottles

Thanks to my readers for sending me the snopes info on the article I quoted. That's why I put quotes so you know it is not my words. I do have to give one bit of caution about snopes. Snopes is a husband and wife team. They check out a few sources and post it as fact. Not always so. They also may pick up on one word, for instance, Dioxins and invalidate that. However, there is always more to the story. I checked out the John Hopkins site. They did say that the Dioxins in plastics are false but they did warn about other things in the plastics and about heating them. If you just looked at Snopes and saw that this whole danger about water bottles is fake, you wouldn't hear the rest of the story. Here is more from the John Hopkins site directly. Thanks for giving me info. I don't have to worry about dioxins in my water but there are still many other dangers from plastics. Still going stainless.

Here is the info posted on John Hopkins with the question posted:

"So it’s okay for people to drink out of plastic water bottles?"

response by Dr. at John Hopkins

RH: First, people should be more concerned about the quality of the water they are drinking rather than the container it’s coming from. Many people do not feel comfortable drinking tap water, so they buy bottled water instead. The truth is that city water is much more highly regulated and monitored for quality. Bottled water is not. It can legally contain many things we would not tolerate in municipal drinking water.

Having said this, there is another group of chemicals, called phthalates that are sometimes added to plastics to make them flexible and less brittle. Phthalates are environmental contaminants that can exhibit hormone-like behavior by acting as endocrine disruptors in humans and animals. If you heat up plastics, you could increase the leaching of phthalates from the containers into water and food.

What about cooking with plastics?

RH: In general, whenever you heat something you increase the likelihood of pulling chemicals out. Chemicals can be released from plastic packaging materials like the kinds used in some microwave meals. Some drinking straws say on the label “not for hot beverages.” Most people think the warning is because someone might be burned. If you put that straw into a boiling cup of hot coffee, you basically have a hot water extraction going on, where the chemicals in the straw are being extracted into your nice cup of coffee. We use the same process in the lab to extract chemicals from materials we want to analyze.

If you are cooking with plastics or using plastic utensils, the best thing to do is to follow the directions and only use plastics that are specifically meant for cooking. Inert containers are best, for example heat-resistant glass, ceramics and good old stainless steel.


Adrianne said...

I haven't been using heating food in plastics for about 3 years...I have tried not to drink water that has been stored in a car for about a year...and I switched to stainless steel (even thought the cost is astronomical) about 6 months ago. Health is too important to be lead by convenience and money savings. I think this is a good move Shari!

Adrianne said...

Sorry I didn't proof read before posting...

msangelfish said...

Shari, Thank you so much for this blog! I have learned so much from you. I am trying to get away from using plastics, too. I was wondering, though, how you store your long-term water? I use those 5 gallon bottles and I'm pretty sure they are plastic. Any ideas?

Shari Goodman said...


Not a whole lot we can do about long term storage. If I need it, I will be glad to have water in plastic or not. I don't know of any way around that! We just do the best we can.