Faced with the heat of summer that pushes us to hydrate more than ever, many of us are tempted to fill the plastic water bottle we just finished with. A habit that is certainly ecological, but which is detrimental to long-term health, according to various studies.
This is no longer a surprise: disposable bottles do contain plastic microparticles (much more than tap water) that can be toxic to the body, according to various studies, such as the recent publication of The Guard. The most commonly used plastic to make disposable water bottles is polyethylene terephthalate (or PET), recognizable by its number 1 printed inside a triangle and displayed on the package. Containing endocrine disruptors accused of altering the proper functioning of our cells, it is accused of causing skin and respiratory tract irritations, but also menstruation problems and miscarriages in women, or even decreased fertility or causes cancer.
The major problem with the reuse of plastic water bottles is that over time, the chemicals in this plastic will mix with the liquid we put inside, a phenomenon called chemical leaching. . Once the bottle is open, the water quality does not degrade. Analyzing the water contained in these plastics can, in particular, recover antimony, a potential carcinogenic metal, comparable to arsenic, according to an article in the Association Toxicologie-Chimie relayé par Futura Sciences. The longer water is stored in this container, the more toxic materials contaminate it. And it’s even worse when the bottle is exposed to heat.
Another concern is that plastic bottles can contain bacteria that are harmful to health. And filling them more than once is the guarantee of even greater germ growth, with deleterious effects on the body. Not to mention the bacteria present in our mouths that we put on our necks every time that we wear on our lips. According to a study found by Le Dauphiné, in a bottle reused many times, there are more bacteria than on a dog’s chewing toy or the sink siphon … Appetizing.
Even reusable, more environmentally friendly, greener plastic gourds would be risky because they promote the passage of toxic agents into the water, according to a study by the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, published in the scientific journal Journal of Hazardous Materials. After only 24 hours, almost 400 chemicals have been found in the water in these gourds, some of which are “potentially harmful to health,” warns Professor Jan H. Christensen, co-author of the study. On the menu (inedible), for example: diethyltoluamide (or DEET), a powerful repellent present in mosquito sprays, or photoinitiators, known to be carcinogenic or classified as endocrine disruptors, according to a statement from the University .
A real risk to the body, plasticized bottled water has fortunately become a public health issue in recent years. As a result of the law passed in December 2019, which provides for the gradual ban on single-use plastics by 2040, flat water bottles have been banned by decree in school catering services since 2020. This is a start.
To stay hydrated without risk, it is therefore best to throw away the plastic water bottle once finished. Or better, both environmentally and economically: buy a glass or stainless steel gourd!