Well, I often find myself buying a plastic bottle of water and refilling that same bottle for about a week. Not only am I being environmentally friendly by not throwing it out, but I am also saving myself a few bucks. Right?
A food myth is currently circling that has stopped me mid-refill: refilling plastic water bottles could be killing you.
Reusing of plastic is harmful due to a process is known as leaching – leaking of harmful chemicals, as a result of normal wear and tear due to reuse of such bottles. The chemical released depends on the plastic type. Not all plastic types are harmful, though. Plastic containers are generally numbered from #1 to #7 and those numbered 2, 4, 5 are generally considered safe.
For exact details about which plastic releases which chemicals and how is it harmful reusing plastic bottles can pose serious health hazards, are plastic bottles safe to drink after use?
But it seems a lot of the harmful effects are exaggerated as well.Reuse of plastic bottles debunks the claim that plastic #1 is harmful.
If you have a bottle that you use every day for water-drinking purposes, congratulations! We’re all about hydration here at Healthy Living. But here’s a question for you: When’s the last time you actually washed that water bottle? After all, if it’s just filled with water, it’s not actually dirty, right?
Even reusable plastic water bottles could hold bacterial contamination risks if you don’t wash them or reuse them despite “visual evidence of wear and tear,” according to the article. “Bacteria that may settle in the cracks and scratches of the bottle appear to pose a greater health risk than the possibility of chemicals leaching from the plastic during daily risk.” Of course, we’re not saying that you should never reuse a water bottle (after all, we only have one Earth, and we need to take care of it). But you can be strategic about what kinds of water bottles you buy and reuse.
CHEMICALS MAY CONTAMINATE FOOD AND DRINKS IN REUSED PLASTIC BOTTLES
Studies have indicated that food and drinks stored in such containers—including those ubiquitous clear water bottles hanging from just about every backpack synthetic chemical that may interfere with the body’s natural hormonal messaging system.
REUSED PLASTIC BOTTLES CAN LEACH TOXIC CHEMICALS
The 7 Dangers of Plastic
Plastic is very much a staple in the world today but it’s definitely not a perfect product. There is a slew of toxins within many plastics, including BPA. Here are 7 dangers of plastic and how it’s negatively affecting our health.
- Chemicals in Plastic Disfigure Genitals
Di-isononyl phthalate (DiNP) is a Phthalate commonly found in vinyl products. It was actually a chemical chosen to replace a similar toxin, DEHP, which was discovered to hinder genital development in baby boys. While less is known about the reproductive risks of DINP, a recent study suggests that it can, in fact, affect male genital development.This is worrisome because these problems occur before birth. While many phthalates are banned from children’s products, the pregnant mother can still be exposed.
- Plastic Increases the Risk of Childhood Asthma
Studies have long suggested a connection between childhood exposure to plasticizers and asthma, but a recent Columbia University report found there is even an increased risk of birth. Scientists studied the phthalate levels of pregnant women over almost a decade and found that children born to mothers with increased levels were over three times more likely to develop asthma symptoms than their counterparts. While no one really knows why the risk is higher, one theory suggests that phthalates increase airway sensitivity, essentially paving the way for asthma symptoms.
- Chemicals in Plastic Kill Female Libido
Phthalates used in plastic have even been linked to low libido in the woman, with a recent study even suggesting women with high levels of plasticizers were twice as likely to show less interest in sex than those with low levels. While you may try to limit your exposure, phthalates are often found in everyday items like shower curtains, PVC flooring, car dashboards, and even food. These toxins are endocrine disruptors and can wreak havoc with hormone levels, so limiting your exposure is key.
- Plastic is Destroying our Waterways
An estimated 13,000 pieces of plastic litters each square kilometer of our oceans, and one huge factor to the problem are microbeads. These tiny plastic beads in many of your personal care products are only one of the environmental contaminants polluting our waters. Once in the water supply (by way of your drain), the beads collect toxins. Marine life is exposed to the microplastics and the toxins enter the food chain, but it’s not just our oceans that are affected. In the U.S., the issue of microbeads has become so toxic that many states are looking at banning them.
- Plastic Has Infiltrated Food
With 6 different phthalates banned from children’s products in the INDIA the last place, you’d expect to find these toxins would be in our food. acrylamide is a fairly common plasticizer that’s been linked to cancer, and other phthalates linked to problems with reproductive development have been appearing at unsafe levels as well. No one really knows how they’re getting into the food, but somehow this is happening before it gets to your home.
- Plastic Destroys Hormonal Balance
BPA mimics estrogen in the body, so many people try to stay away from the toxin by using BPA-free plastics instead. A recent study suggests, however, that BPA-free plastics could also contain endocrine. In a test of fourteen resins used in plastic production, four were found to have estrogen-like properties. Not only are things like reusable water bottles and food storage containers at risk, but certain baby products may also contain the unhealthy compound. Phthalates are still a huge concern in plastic packaging, but these plasticizers are also used in personal care products.
- You Simply Can’t Trust the Plastic Industry
The issue had to do with labeling the bags ‘oxo-degradable,’ a term that implies it’ll biodegrade when exposed to oxygen. Now, it’s likely that many of these bags will, unfortunately, end up in a landfill where little oxygen is present, meaning nothing can break down. At most, the bags might fragment into small pieces, but the pollutants are still there. Essentially, the bags are no more biodegradable than regular ones. Even worse, this is only the latest incident in a string of bogus claims by the plastic industry.
BPA can also wreak havoc on children’s developing systems. (Parents beware: Most baby bottles and sippy cups are made with plastics containing BPA.) Most experts agree that the amount of BPA that could leach into food and drinks through normal handling is probably very small, but there are concerns about the cumulative effect of small doses.
Washing with a mild soapy water can keep the bacteria at bay for a while but the bottles are difficult to clean properly and the germs can still build up.
Also, frequent usage and washing will cause breakdown of the plastic, especially if washed at too high a heat.