Although the colorful, durable and lightweight Nalgene water bottleshave been the hydration choice of outdoor enthusiasts, scientificevidence has shown the plastic used to make the bottle may poseserious health hazards.
Made from Lexan polycarbonate resin and marketed through NalgeneOutdoor Products, Lexan was envisioned to be the ideal materialfor water bottles due to its durability and the way the materialof the bottle didn’t hold any odors or flavors to distort thetaste of the liquid being stored in the bottle.
A study that involved researching birth defects and developmentalabnormalities that caused miscarriages in mice raised the suspicionson all polycarbonate plastics.
The study revealed a sudden increase in aneuploidy, a defect consistingof abnormal loss or gain of chromosomes, which in humans could possiblylead to miscarriages or disorders such as Down Syndrome.
The spontaneous jump in mouse aneuploidy was traced back to a labworker, who used a strong detergent to clean the mice cages andwater bottles. The effects of the detergent resulted in the plasticattaching itself to bisphenol, a chemical that mimics the femalehormone estrogen.
Research has shown that low BPA levels have had an adverse effecton prostate development, tumors, breast tissue development, spermcount and enlargement of fat cells in the body.
Scientists have warned against allowing any polycarbonate plasticsnear your food or water and stated the devastating effects of thesechemicals posed the biggest risk to babies during early development.
Despite the warnings, polycarbonate plastics continue to be usedin a wide variety of products including food storage cans, dentalsealants and the Nalgene Lexan bottles.
Well, they fooled me. Even though I knew plastics could leachBPA from the study I postedlast year the research did not yet indicate that Lexan leachedthis chemical. Now, there is enough of a concern that I am throwingaway my Nalgene Lexan bottles.
The only time I used them is when I traveled though, as glassis far too fragile to travel with on planes. Nalgene does make ahigh-density polyethylene (HDPE) bottle that is identical in sizeand shape to the more popular Lexan model and that is the one Iwill be getting.
Plastics that are safer to use for storing food and beverages,none of which are known to leach harmful substances include:
- Polypropylene, designated "#5 PP"
- High-density polyethylene, designated "#2HDPE"
- Low-density polyethylene, designated "#4 LDPE"
So pay attention to the container you store your water in. Ifyou can’t use glass, only use one of the above "safe"plastic jars. Also, don’t forget to apply this informationwhen using baby bottles and other food containers.