A few weeks ago my mom told me waterbottles were now dangerous and I should stop using my Nalgene one. I decided to find out exactly why I should steer clear of my waterbottle. Apparently the plastic has a compound called "bisphenol A" in it and there's the possiblity it could leach some pretty bad stuff into your water causing everything from cancer to low sperm counts.
Reuters reports that: Bisphenol A is added to hard, clear polycarbonate plastics like those used in reusable water bottles and baby bottles, as well as the resins lining food cans and in some dental amalgams and sealants.
Research on lab animals has linked the chemical to changes to the genital tract, prostate enlargement, declined testosterone levels, pre-cancerous breast cells, prostate cancer, early puberty in females and hyperactivity.
As you can imainge, the idea I could have ingested harmful chemicals from my waterbottle was a little disturbing. But after years of believing what television, the paper and the internets told me, I wanted a second opinion.
If I understand correctly, only washing your waterbottle in extremely hot water and banging it around can cause the 'polycarbonate to break down and leach bisphenol A'. This is what's maddening about studies and chemicals. There's never a definitive answer. It might harm you it might not.
But what about Mountain Equipment Co-op? That's where I'd bought my bottle and I'd always considered the company to be a leader in environmental and economic solutions for customers. That's when I found this article from the National Post that explains how Mountain Equipment Co-op will no longer be carrying Nalgene waterbottles made of polycarbonate plastic.
Yay! Now no one else will have to pay for a waterbottle, take it to Greece, use it every day to stay hydrated in that hot hot weather and then months later learn what else you might have ingested on your trip.