Staying hydrated is important, especially during the summer months. Plastic water bottles – like the ones you get at the gas station or corner store – are a convenient way to drink enough water on the go. But are they safe to reuse? Plastic is made with a variety of chemicals that can be harmful to humans. In recent years, you might have heard about the dangers of BPA in plastic water bottles. BPA stands for bisphenol-a and it is a main component of plastic. It is used to make a wide variety of household items such as water bottles, Tupperware, and the lining of tin cans. Exposure to this chemical has been linked to certain diseases and cancers. Most commonly, you are exposed to BPA plastic in the water bottles. Drinking from plastic water bottles isn’t dangerous but reusing them makes you more likely to get sick – and not for the reason you think.
Plastic water bottles are made from a thin layer of plastic. This makes it more vulnerable to damage from scratches or melting. When the plastic is damaged, some of the chemicals like BPA can leach into the water inside. Drinking water contaminated with BPA is harmful to your health if you drink a lot of it. If your water bottle becomes damaged after using it, recycle it and don’t refill it. Plastic bottles are only made for single-use and you shouldn’t use it more than a few times.
If you have no other option, you can refill a plastic water bottle as long as it isn’t damaged. At the end of each day, you should gently wash out the bottle with soap and water. Water bottles are a breeding ground for bacteria and germs, especially in warmer weather. Many people do not wash their bottles out regularly and it makes them sick. You are more likely to get sick from the bacteria in a water bottle than you are to get sick from exposure to BPA.
Buying a plastic water bottle every day can be expensive. Instead, buy a reusable metal or durable plastic water bottle. Many of these bottles have extra insulation to keep the water cold. They are made from a stronger, thicker type of plastic or metal that is safe to reuse. Reusable bottles are perfect for traveling and many public places like airports and parks have special fountains for reusable bottles. Using a reusable bottle is better for your health and the environment. Just remember to wash it out often!