30 Jul 2007

Nalgene bottles dangerous?

I’ve always praised Nalgene for having amazing water bottles.

The water doesn’t taste of plastic when you drink from it, they’re nearly indestructible, relatively cheap, and last forever.

Perfect right?

Maybe to the typical ignorant consumer…

Made from a thermoplastic polymer consisting of long chains of the monomer ethylene, studies have shown that Polyethylene (commonly referred to as lexan), leaches bisphenol A.

Bisphenol A is known for its hormone disrupting effects.

I know what a lot of you are thinking. This is ridiculous. If there was a problem, the substance would be banned.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

Aspartame (it annoys me to hear this word, as everyone always pronounces it stressing the first syllable, when you’re supposed to stress the second) is one of these substances.

I’ll post about Aspartame some other time in greater depth, but as with so many things the FDA does, they approve things before thorough testing has taken place. Then when it is known to be dangerous, rather than admit it, they instead try to cause a gradual shift to a newer (and even LESS tested) replacement. In comes splenda!

Anyway, back to Polyethylene.

It is proven to leach biphesnol A.

Biphesnol A is proven to be extremely harmful.

The only real uncertainty is whether the quantities of leached biphesnol A are dangerous.

So, the reason the product isn’t banned (aside from FDA bribes from General Electric, inventor of Lexan) is because it’s not yet known if small quantities of biphesnol A are dangerous.

Wouldn’t it make sense that it certainly can’t be good?

When reading up on this topic, I came across an interesting quote.

As an aside, I think we’ve come to fear way too much in the US. I still want to die, some day, of something related to old age. I will not spend my days (however many are left) worrying about whether my water bottle is going to kill me.

This brings up an interesting point. Of course, it does seem a little silly and over the top, but this isn’t something difficult.

We all know that holding a mobile phone to our ears for hours on end isn’t good, but we do it anyway, as it’s what many could consider necessary. Changing my water bottle, however, is simple.

In fact, Nalgene sells water bottles made of High-density polyethylene made entirely of petroleum. HDPE doesn’t contain any of the chemicals found in regular polyethylene, and thus doesn’t leach anything into your water.

Even better is that these water bottles are cheaper than the lexan ones.

Unfortunately, being made entirely of petroleum, you can’t pick different colours.

Better still is that you can buy them directly from the nalgene website with free shipping.

I’m throwing out my old lexan bottles, and I already bought both a 16oz and a 32oz.