People chug bottled water as if it's healthier than what spills from a sink. But evidence is piling up that plastic bottles are not only bad for the environment, but they might also make you sick. Have you ever noticed an odd taste in, say, a water bottle left in the car on a hot day?
More than half of plastic bottles that hold water and soda pop are made from the polyester PET (polyethylene terephthalate). In heat, PET breaks down and gives off a slightly fruity flavor. It also leaches the toxic metal antimony, which poisons the body in similar ways to arsenic. An antimony overdose can be fatal; you certainly won't die drinking from a PET-based bottle, but it might cause a headache, dizziness, or a foul mood.
Reports Ontario's London Free Press: a German study tested 15 types of bottles common in Canada, and 48 sold in Europe. At a German water bottling plant, researchers found merely trace amounts of antimony in the H20 before it was bottled. Once the water was inside a PET bottle, the amount of antimony multiplied by 90 times, and nearly double that amount was found in the same brand of water bought in a store.
Bottles made of heat-resistant vinyl polypropylene, common in flip-top packaging and microwaveable containers, had only trace amounts of antimony. Glass-bottled water was safer, and tap water was the best. You might want to check out Biota water, which comes in corn-based plastic, compostable bottles—but note that bioplastic can also slowly leak chemicals too. If you're bottle-feeding a baby, you should shun plastic for other reasons--here's more about the dangerous phthalates and Bisphenol-A that you might want to avoid. More on