This is one of the most frequently asked question. Before I answer, let’s ask ourselves these questions.
If there are risks in using these bottles, why didn’t the World Health Organization (WHO) ban the use of this product? Why did the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in US, allow beverage companies to continue using these bottles?
These beverage bottles are made from a material called polyethylene terephthalate or PET. It has the distinct characteristics of being as clear as glass, and yet unbreakable. Compared to other plastic materials, PET has good air permeability barrier which is why beverage companies use it to bottle pop-soda drinks. Although majority of this material goes into the production of bottles, some are used to make food containers – mostly in the shape of jars.
Most PET beverage bottles are designed as “disposable products” much like any other packaging materials where people discard after using. These beverage bottles are for single use because of economic and cultural reasons, not because of any safety concerns. FDA allows PET to be used in food storage applications, including food and beverage packaging, regardless whether it is intended for single or repeated use.
Follow the links below to read more of this topic, published by the following institutions.
American Cancer Society on Plastic Water Bottles
American Chemistry Council on FAQs: The Safety of Plastic Beverage Bottles
International Life Science Institute on Packaging Materials: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) for Food Packaging Applications
Another concern is whether PET bottles will release toxins under hot and cold temperature. The answer is no. Research has shown that the material is inert and will not react under these conditions. Whether the bottle is in a car under the hot sun or freeze in a refrigerator, research has shown that there is no chemical reactions.
Read about these test results and on how tests were conducted by the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research on Migration of organic components from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles to water.
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