Under crucial heat, plastic water bottles may be harmful to health. And, in addition to that, which bottled water is best for you to drink?
As a heat wave bakes parts of the country this week, some experts believe there may be more than one reason to keep your bottle of water cool when the temperatures rise in the summer.
Some researchers who study plastics recommend against drinking water from plastic bottles that have been sitting in hot places for a long time — such as a car sizzling in the sun — concerned that the heat could help chemicals from the plastic leach into the water.
The industry disagrees, with the International Bottled Water Association maintaining that plastic bottled water containers are regulated and safe under a variety of conditions, including when they are left in hot cars.
“When you heat things up, the molecules jiggle around faster and that makes them escape from one phase into another. So the plastic leaches its component chemicals out into the water much faster and more with heat applied to it,” Watson told TODAY.
“It’s kind of like when you put mint leaves in your tea. The heat extracts the mint-tasting molecules and it happens faster in hot tea than it does in cold tea.”
If you’ve ever left a plastic water bottle in a hot car or another very warm environment for a while, you may notice the water tastes a little funny, Watson noted: “That’s everybody’s bottom-line sensing mechanism — you can even taste it,” she said.
A 2014 study analyzed 16 brands of bottled water sold in China that were kept at 158 degrees Fahrenheit for four weeks and found increased levels of antimony — listed as a toxic substance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — and bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical in certain plastics that can mimic estrogen and has been under scrutiny for years
But of the 16 brands, only one exceeded the EPA standard for antimony and BPA, a University of Florida news release noted.
“I don’t want to mislead people, saying bottled water is not safe. Bottled water is fine. You can drink it — just don’t leave it in a hot temperature for a long time. I think that’s the important message,” Lena Ma, the study’s co-author and a professor of biogeochemistry of trace metals at the University of Florida, told Yahoo Health.
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