healthy plastic water bottle use

The plastic water bottle: safe to reuse?


Our body is like a very complex engine, that requires a constant supply of lubrification, and for us that means water. Water keeps our body-engine running smoothly, and many of us carry a clear plastic water bottle to satisfy that need. But is it safe to keep using the same bottle multiple times? A report in the BBC says that it is, with certain precautions.

Quoting Ana Trancoso, professora de Nutrição e Ciências Alimentares da Universidade de Sevilha, in Spain, “In general terms, there are no health risks to re-use a plastic water bottle”. However, if you listen to commercial water bottle manufacturers “Everyday wear and tear from repeated washings and reuse can lead to physical breakdown of the plastic, such as visible thinning or cracks. Bacteria can harbor in the cracks, posing a health risk”.

Actually if you read the international literature, the subject is fairly controversial, with some experts noting the problem of potential bacterial contamination, and others saying that the plastic in the bottles can liberate toxic substances, making it unsafe to re-use. Others claim that the amount of any such chemical is so low as to be not of a concern.

To be totally safe, or if you have a problem with your immune system, you are best using the plastic water bottle only one time, but for most people, using it a few times should be ok if certain precautions are taken.

To safely re-use a plastic water bottle

1) Only reuse the bottle if it seems totally intact and without any breakdown, such as cracks or scratches. Any question, recycle the bottle and buy a new one.

2) After each use, wash the bottle thoroughly in warm soapy water, and best to let it dry completely before re-using. When washing, pay particular attention to the curves and recesses around the lid area, and clean inside the lid itself.

3) Don’t wash it in the dishwasher and don’t ever heat it in the microwave (as that may liberate toxic substances from the plastic).

4) To be safest, don’t share your bottle with others as they will transfer their bacteria into the water. Same if you drink from another person’s bottle; you are sharing their bacteria and you don’t know how they have cared for their bottle.

5) Don’t’ drink from bottles that have been sitting around in the car or the sun or even room temperature for a while. Drink from bottles that have been recently washed and filled, or were kept in the refrigerator.

5) If you want to be both environmentally conscious as well as safest, you could buy a bottle out of glass, stainless steel, or a plastic that is made to be reused.

All of us these days are trying to be environmentally aware as well as safe, so you are probably ok to re-use a “one-use” water bottle a few times if you take these precautions.

Should you wish to find a doctor, of any specialty, anywhere in Brazil, visit our website:

See also in ProcuraMed:

4 beverages with anti-aging properties

Fact or Fiction: drinking with your meals is not healthy

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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