Is It Safe To Reuse Plastic Water Bottles?
There are a lot of single-use plastic water bottles around. Even though they should never be reused, these plastic bottles are frequently seen being refilled at the sink or a water cooler.
The warnings typically highlight two risks. A first concern is that chemicals may leach into your drinking water from the plastic. The second concern is that bacteria may grow in open bottles. However, are these concerns legitimate? Find out how to safely re-use a throwaway water bottle with this guide.
The Dangers Of Chemical Leaching
Most disposable water bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET). According to the Environmental Protection Agency, reusing PET water bottles does not increase the risk of chemicals leaching into water. When a bottle has cracks or shows other signs of degradation, it should be thrown away.
A great deal of research has been done on PET, and no indication of hazardous chemical migration from the plastic into the content was identified.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Canada, the European Food Safety Authority, and other international health and safety organisations have all authorised PET as a drink container for both single-use and recurrent use.
When water is stored in PET bottles at ambient temperature for three years, there is only a small diffusion, according to a study of data from 2010. According to the World Health Organization, just 1% of the recommended daily dose is safe.
However, evidence is inconclusive as to whether bottles that have been heated to a greater temperature have a higher leaching rate. There have been few studies that have detected leaching, although it is well below the level that is considered harmful to health.
Studies on the subject were found to often yield contradictory results because different research protocols and analytical methods were used. There is a lot of concern about reusing water bottles because of a University of Idaho student’s 2001 master’s thesis that was widely publicised. According to the student, reusing and exposing plastic bottles to light, heat, and time can cause toxins to leach from the plastic used in single-use bottled water bottles and end up in the water.
Antibacterial Concerns for Reusing Bottles of Drinking Water
The germs and fungus that can grow in moist or partially filled bottles after they have been opened are the main offenders when it comes to safety concerns about reusing any water bottle.
Bacteria in a water bottle can originate from your hands and lips, as well as soil that comes into touch with the bottle’s mouth. Single-use water bottles’ manufacturers warn that if you re-use a bottle, small fractures may form. These fractures may become breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi, making it more difficult to wipe them out.
However, this is true for any type of drinking vessel, not only plastic. Reusable plastic, metal, and glass bottles can all harbour bacteria and become more difficult to clean with time.