March 22, 2008

New water bottle

I have been carrying a Nalgene water bottle around with me for a couple of years now. I try to avoid buying any bottled water for several obvious reasons.

* As mentioned in the video in the previous post, it takes 5 liters of water to produce a liter of bottled water.

* To meet Americans’ demand for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 U.S. cars for a year.

* Bottled water is more expensive than gasoline.

* Much of bottled water is simply tap water, and the Seattle area has some of the finest tap water.

You may have heard some reports about problems with certain plastic bottles leaching a chemical into the water. The chemical in question is bisphenol, and it has been linked to a variety of cancers. A Canadian company, Mountain Equipment Co-op, pulled certain Nalgene bottles from the shelves. According to the Nalgene site:

"MEC removed food and beverage containers constructed of polycarbonate. MEC will continue to carry a wide range of Nalgene hydration products made from other materials, including HDPE, LDPE, PP and PET."

Nalgene also states that the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration and other entities have been studying polycarbonates for 50 years, and that they don't pose a health risk to humans.

This site clarifies it a bit by relating the type of plastic to those little numbers you find on the bottom of plastic containers these days. See below:

If you stick with plastic, some choices are better than others. Look for the numbers on the bottom.

AVOID (notorious leachers) BETTER
#3 (PVC) #2 (HDPE)
#6 (polystyrene) #4 (LDPE)
#7 (a catchall category—includes polycarbonate hard plastic camping and baby bottles)

Not sure what to believe at this point, but my Nalgene bottle is a #7. So I made the journey to the promised land (REI) to check out an aluminum bottle, and of course use my annual dividend and 20% off coupon. They still have a much wider selection of plastic bottles, but I was able to find a new shiny bottle:

I will hang onto the Nalgene bottle for now. I'll find some use for it. I may need to use it again when I find out about the dangers of aluminum.


SeanH said...

Aluminum residue is thought to be a contributing factor in Alzheimer's. I'm doomed. Also, it's in all the solid antiperspirants.

marci said...

I found this interesting since I always have a water bottle handy.