Safety of bottled water left in cars
This is a question which has been raised by some clients following a spate of emails circulating on the web. Read on to find out the opinion of our experienced safety consultants and if you have questions or need more advice please call our safety consultancy on 01453 800100.
Below is a copy of the email (in italics) which started this urban myth;
Email Subject: Drinking Bottled Water Kept in Car
...a friend whose mother recently got diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctor told her women should not drink bottled water that has been left in a car. The doctor said that the heat and the plastic of the bottle have certain chemicals that can lead to breast cancer. So please be careful and do not drink that water bottle that has been left in a car and pass this on to all the women in your life.
This information is the kind we need to know and be aware and just might save us!!!!
*The heats causes toxins from the plastic to leak into the water and they have found these toxins in breast tissue. Use a stainless steel canteen or a glass bottle when you can*!
The first alarm bell which rings here and announces this email as something which may not be 100% true is the fact that all materials containing food stuffs must pass stringent tests before being put into use.
However, there is as usual an element of truth, bottles can potentially leach endocrine disruptors into the water which they contain, in this case man made chemicals which have the potential to interfere with the production of reproductive hormones in the body - not cause cancer.
Research on this subject is in its early stages and there may not be a link - more research is needed but it is a potential concern. Some chemical leaching does take place but these are at levels which are minuscule and do not pose a threat to health. Tests have shown them to always be within the limits set within the EU and US authorities. You're greatest risk is from microbial contamination, particular in the case of still mineral waters which will not have undergone special treatment to reduce these levels.
The bottom line is that single use water bottles are known to be safe and multiple use water bottles are also safe to the best of current knowledge. Nothing is without risk but you should not be concerned by leaving water bottles in cars but you might not want to drink the warm water anyway - unless you're very thirsty!
Some concerns have also been raised involving reusable water bottles and the leaching of bisphenol A (BPA). You may now see a number of baby bottles boasting to be BPA free. This is potentially a concern but research continues into this to establish the actual level of risk and its true effects on the human body.