As parts of the country gear up for summertime heat waves, experts are warning not to drink bottled water if it’s been kept for extended periods of time in hot temperatures—despite what the industry says.
People often leave bottled water in their car or store it by the case in garages or other areas that aren’t climate controlled. But after reading the opinions of several professors and university researchers in this article from Today, you might want to think twice before quenching your thirst with a potentially compromised bottle of water.
Left your bottled water in a hot car? Drink it with caution, some experts say https://t.co/d1Y9HtJzBr— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 6, 2018
One of the concerned experts is Cheryl Watson, a professor in the biochemistry and molecular biology department at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She warns not to leave bottled water in high-temperature places.
Watson explained to Today:
When you heat things up, the molecules jiggle around faster and that makes them escape from one phase into another. So the plastic leaches its component chemicals out into the water much faster and more with heat applied to it.
It’s kind of like when you put mint leaves in your tea. The heat extracts the mint-tasting molecules and it happens faster in hot tea than it does in cold tea.
She even claims you can taste the difference if you’re drinking water that’s been stored at a high temperature. “That’s everybody’s bottom-line sensing mechanism — you can even taste it,” she said.
On the flipside, the bottled water industry claims their products are safe and that the “experts” are exaggerating or “misrepresents the facts.” Jill Culora, a spokeswoman for the International Bottled Water Association, said:
Bottled water products that are packaged in PET plastic containers do not contain ingredients capable of producing dangerous substances under conditions of normal use.
Claims that plastic bottled water containers stored in warm environments — for example, a hot vehicle — ‘leach’ unnamed chemicals that cause breast cancer or other maladies are not based in science and are unsubstantiated.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates the safety of such products, says that bottled water should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from household solvents, fuels, and other chemicals, and away from direct sunlight—just like other non-perishable food products.
The article also goes in-depth about how just because something is labeled BPA-free doesn’t mean it’s entirely safe. Oftentimes another similar chemical, BPS, is present.
According to Watson:
It’s a shell game. As we get the word out to the public that BPA is dangerous, they substitute other chemicals that are different, but only slightly different.
Her recommendation is to use glass or stainless steel containers that don’t leach anything into the water.
A few folks on Twitter were concerned:
Hmmmmmm— Chill (@H2OChill) July 8, 2018
This is scary!— Mark B (@EverettB24) July 10, 2018
Best practice - dont drink plastic bottled water unless you have no other choice. I use stainless steel or just buy a glass one and re-use that.— Steve Jaworski (@Jawessome) July 8, 2018
Does it matter whether it has been opened or not? Would the risk of bacteria multiplying in high temperatures be higher if it has already been drunk from? I would be interested in your experts' informed views on this.— Bernie (@netmnp) July 8, 2018
To the people in the back:— Odd Vales Inn (@OddValesInn) July 8, 2018
IF THE SUN BAKED YOUR WATER BOTTLE, DITCH THE BOTTLE, THAT SHIT GON' (METAPHORICALLY) KILL YOU
Be sure to read the full article for even more findings on the safety of bottled water stored at high temperatures.