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 Using Bottled Water When You're Out - what's myth and what's fact?

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The Shire

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PostSubject: Using Bottled Water When You're Out - what's myth and what's fact?   Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:04 pm

Hi Folks,

I and my friends seem to have had a lot of emails lately about using plastic water bottles to give your Saint a drink when you're not at home. It seems that there are 2 main points in these emails:

  • filling a plastic bottle with water or when using a shop-bought bottle of water and then leaving it in the car on a warm day can cause chemicals to leach from the plastic into the drinking water (sounds terrible!) potentially causing cancer (the american singer Sheryl Crow mentioned that she now would not drink bottled water after it had been in the car following her bout of breast cancer).

    putting a plastic water bottle in the freezer then taking it with you to ensure your dog has a cool drink can also cause the same dioxins (nasty chemicals) to be released from the bottle into the water with the same potential horrible result.


I've had a look on the internet for my own benefit about these 2 allegations as the freezer option is something that my hsuband and I have done regularly for ourselves and our dogs. The research into this subject seems inconclusive, but generally scientists seem to think that freezing a water bottle would lessen the risk of chemical leaching rather than increase it and also that any chemicals released into the water due to warm temperatures in a car would be of such miniscule levels that it would not represent any threat.

The following extract is taken from the website http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/medical/a/bottled-water.htm

In the United States, plastic bottles of the type used for commercially marketed water are regulated by the FDA as "food contact substances" and held to the same safety standards as food additives.

This means, among other things, that the FDA has reviewed test data on the safety of the plastics used in water bottles — including the potential for hazardous chemicals leaching or "migrating" from the plastic into the water — and established that they pose no significant risk to human health. The water itself is also tested and must meet basic quality standards similar to those set by the Environmental Protection Agency for public drinking water.

Please note that the plastic used in the manufacture of pre-packaged, disposable water bottles is different from those believed to pose a human health threat in other applications, such as baby bottles, plastic children's toys, and reusable sports water bottles. For example, disposable water bottles don't contain bisphenol A (BPA), about which human safety concerns have been raised.

That's not to say that bottled water is absolutely free of contaminants, nor that chemical leaching never takes place. Studies done on water bottled in FDA-approved polyethylene terephthalate (PET), for example, did find trace amounts of potentially hazardous substances believed to have migrated from the plastic. The important point to take away, however, is that these amounts were minuscule and well within the safety limits set by FDA and EPA regulators.

According to Dr. Rolf Halden of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, consumers face a much greater risk from potential exposure to microbial contaminants in bottled water — germs, to you and me — than from chemical ones. For that reason, most experts suggest not refilling or reusing empty bottles.

It should also be noted that the plastics used in the manufacturer of reusable water bottles vary in composition and quality and may be more susceptible to chemical leaching.

Note on Sheryl Crow: Another version of this message contains the additional claim that pop singer Sheryl Crow announced during a 2006 appearance on the Ellen Degeneres TV show that she got breast cancer as a result of drinking bottled water. While it is true that she discussed her bout with cancer on that show and, among other things, cautioned viewers against drinking water from heated plastic bottles, my understanding is that she did not directly attribute her own cancer to that cause. On September 1, 2006 she issued a similar warning in a statement on her official website but, again, did not specifically claim that bottled water was the cause of her own illness
.


The same website has also published an update to this topic as follows:

2009 Update: A new European study published this year raises doubts about the safety of disposable water bottles, which have heretofore (see discussion below) been regarded as safe by the FDA and other government health agencies. Researchers in Germany found evidence of a man-made estrogen-like compound leaching into water packaged in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles.

Such chemicals, known as "endocrine disruptors," have the potential to inferfere with estrogen and other reproductive hormones in the human body. However, the authors of the study say more research is required to determine whether, or to what degree, this poses an actual health risk to humans
.


Personally, I think I will stick to using sports water bottles (made of much thicker plastic than the disposable drinking bottles) and putting them in the fridge the night before a show so that the water is cool but not freezing cold by the time the dog needs to drink it and as we usually have to refill bottles at shows on hot days anyway this is the most practical solution I have found.
I will now avoid putting bottles in the freezer (see previous post on iced water) as it seems that giving a dog water that is very cold can cause the stomach muscles to cramp and possibly cause the dog to bloat.

If you have any other information on this issue please let me know!

Ali
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PostSubject: Re: Using Bottled Water When You're Out - what's myth and what's fact?   Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:21 pm

Thanks for this info Ali, its really worth passing on
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PostSubject: Re: Using Bottled Water When You're Out - what's myth and what's fact?   Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:22 pm

Can I crosspost this too please Very Happy
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The Shire

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PostSubject: Re: Using Bottled Water When You're Out - what's myth and what's fact?   Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:35 pm

Yes Kathy, by all means pass it on - the website is referenced anyway so people can check the source.

Ali
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PostSubject: Re: Using Bottled Water When You're Out - what's myth and what's fact?   Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:36 pm

Great, thanks Ali Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Using Bottled Water When You're Out - what's myth and what's fact?   Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:45 pm

Will add these 2 topics on my Notes on Facebook too!
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Chasidyz

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PostSubject: Re: Using Bottled Water When You're Out - what's myth and what's fact?   Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:20 pm

As an environmental scientist, I really feel that I need to put some input on this topic.

1. Research into chemical leachate from plastic bottles has not been done to the levels that it needs to be. Plastics are made from petroleum, and contain TONS of toxic chemicals. However, the FDA does not currently regulate much of these because either the chemicals are unknown (new), their effects are not known (lack of research), or because the makers currently have very strong government allies (big oil companies are well known to pay off people in the government to further their agendas).

2. Water in plastic bottles is not regulated as strictly as public drinking water supplies or wells because it is a consumer good as well and the current regulations were not created with the idea that someday, someone would be selling water for a large profit. There is currently no regulating industry for this type of product, so it is generally thrown under FDA or EPA regulations, but it's different and the regulations are more relaxed. Water from the source can be tested, but water from the bottles is not. Therefore, no chemicals that leach into the water from the bottles would be found when only testing the sources of the water.

3. Chemicals leached from water bottles are known carcinogens. PET, BPA, endocrine distruptors, and others (dependent upon the type of plastic) can all have serious effects on a person who is exposed to them frequently. There is currently very little research about BPA (bisphenol-A). What does exist, however, seems to indicate that BPA is a carcinogen and an endocrine distuptor, and is especially harmful to fetuses, children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. BPA is not only found in disposable water bottles, but can be found in non-disposable water bottles, baby bottles, plastic cups, utensils, teethers, toothbrushes, plastic "zip-lock" bags, tupperware containers, receipts, the lining of canned food items (the inside liner), and many many other items as well.

4. Temperatures, both hot and cold, can effect the properties of any chemical or substance. Take water for example: hot leads to steam, while cold causes ice. Steam can be breathed through the air, while ice can be broken into pieces. Same holds true for any chemical. Leaching properties can change with every chemical or compound depending on temperature. Most of us have seen plastics melt in the heat. If you could see the chemicals coming off of it and going into your drinking water, you probably wouldn't drink it.

5. Disposable water bottles are not designed to be reused. Most of them even say "Not for reuse" on their labels. This is because the plastics that make up the bottle can change chemically over time and with temperature. Even refilling a bottle with water of a different temperature is enough to lead to chemical breakdown of the bottle, which means those chemicals are going into your water.

6. Plastics are chemicals. They are not natural, and can pose a threat when ingested and inhaled.

I try to avoid plastics as much as possible when it comes to my or my family's (including pets') food and water. Try to find BPA-free plastics, use refillable water bottles that are BPA-free (those lined with metal on the inside are safer and are more resistant to germs than plastic anyway, plus you won't get a "plastic" taste"). Something like http://www.amazon.com/New-Wave-Enviro-Eastar-Bottle/dp/B001U8L1Y0/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1278968661&sr=8-10 would be good for taking on the road with you and it holds a lot of water and is BPA-free.

I personally, from what I have learned through classes and research, will not (or will very rarely) use disposable plastic bottles. Bottles from water or soda contribute greatly to landfills (as most are not recycled properly) and it is not worth the risk of chemical exposure. It is not known what length of exposure to BPA is enough to cause serious health effects, as it is a relatively newly-addressed concern that has no current regulations. In the US, it is easier to get a new chemical approved for use than it is to get a license, I swear! A company needs to only show a few studies that proves the chemical is not toxic, and it will be approved. It is not checked thoroughly by the US government for its effects before being used in society. Once a chemical (like BPA) is accepted, it is much more difficult to get it repealed and to ban its use.

Just be smart about it and use common sense. It's not worth the risk to your or your pets' or family's health. Just find an alternative that works for you, and be mindful of large chemical variations (hot to cold or cold to hot) in any product you use, but especially with plastics.

If you need to use a disposable bottle, try to keep the temperature relatively constant and avoid refilling it. Like most things, doing it once won't kill you, but repeated exposure can have an effect on your body. Dogs can't tell you when their water tastes like plastic or they aren't feeling well, it's up to us to take care of them.

Also, take the time and right to your government about regulating BPA.

Hope this helped, I can find sources later but my boyfriend is trying to get me out the door to drop me off right now!

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ourfairview
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PostSubject: Re: Using Bottled Water When You're Out - what's myth and what's fact?   Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:11 am

firstly a very interesting post ali cheers

and the fact that you back it up always makes me happy! i hate it when someone says something yet cant back it up! ( welcome to the dog world hehehehehe)

its a good post to have floating about as a reminder !!!

and with hot weather and cold water being used alot a perfect time to remind people

thanks for posting

cheri
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Chasidyz

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PostSubject: Re: Using Bottled Water When You're Out - what's myth and what's fact?   Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:25 am

I hope that "back up" comment wasn't aimed at me! i simply haven't had time to find sources. here's a great list of scientific papers and government agencies about BPA leachate:

1. US National Institute of Health http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1241572/pdf/ehp0111-001180.pdf
-mentions BPA leaching from washed baby bottles, BPA leaching from animal cages (specifically small animal cages)

2. Food Additives and Contaminants Journal http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/ftinterface~content=a713811126~fulltext=713240930~frm=content
-BPA can be leached from instant coffee cans, and it leaches more with increasing levels of caffeine!

3. Endocrinology Journal http://endo.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/138/5/1777
-BPA can act as a fake estrogen, and stimulate abnormal cell growth, especially tumors in the breasts

4. Research in Veterinary Science http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WWR-46KRFW9-F&_user=9349080&_coverDate=10/31/2002&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1405423189&_rerunOrigin=scholar.google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=9349080&md5=6f9ad39cbda344e21e14ad54541300aa
-you can't view the article, but you can read the abstract! BPA leaches from canned pet food!

5. Green Guide http://www.waterfrontandwaterview.com/blog_wellness_water/9-08%20bottled%20water%20not%20as%20safe.pdf
-this is easy to understand, and lists the dangers in different types of plastic bottles that are commonly used, and suggests some alternative brands to avoid exposure. definitely a good read!


the majority of the current available research suggests that BPA is carcinogenic, acts as an endocrine disruptor (by acting like estrogen), and leaches from food cans, baby bottles, water bottles, etc.

so basically, stick with something that doesn't contain plastic or is BPA-free. One study even found that BPA exposure skip a generation, meaning your dogs' grandpuppies may have problems from exposure to it!

I personally don't think it's worth the risk of cancer or reproductive problems, nor is it worth the risk to future generations! especially when there are alternatives available that are BPA- and PET-free, or are made of stainless steel or aluminum!

hope this helps!

I'm a dork for loving these things so much. environmental issues really get me going! study
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PostSubject: Re: Using Bottled Water When You're Out - what's myth and what's fact?   Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:36 am

no it wasnt its just whenever ali posts she always backs it up= which i find helpfull!!!

cheri
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PostSubject: Re: Using Bottled Water When You're Out - what's myth and what's fact?   Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:41 pm

Hi there!

I use 4-pint plastic ex-milk bottles to carry water (from tap) for Hannibal when we're out and about. Should I be concerned?

BeBe
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