Crisis of the Recyclable Water Bottles

As someone who’s alive, I consider water not only a thirst-quenching beverage but also an essential contributor to my avoidance of death. That’s why this recent Today Show report that certain types of plastic bottles could be harmful to one’s health immediately struck me as worrisome.

How is it that these vessels of life-sustaining liquid could be so tainted? Once again, we must blame chemistry.

Well, not the whole scientific field. We’re talking about the chemical makeup of certain plastics, most notably those with the recycling numbers 3, 6 and 7 (as seen on the bottom of the containers). Supposedly, the chemical composition of these plastics are such that repeated use, especially with the heat introduced by microwaves, could somehow cause the seepage of unsafe substances into the water or whatever you happen to be storing in these bottles.

While such concerns have been around longer than recent reports might suggest, they are still just that: concerns. A definitive link has not been established and the scientific jury is still out. Some doctors say these bottles are uniformly unsafe, while others suggest that most numbered plastics (those with a 1) are approved for normal, non-carcinogenic drinking.

Between this mess and the discovery of traces of pharmaceuticals in much of America’s public drinking supply… I guess it’s back to rain water in crystal goblet for me.


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