Ever since I headed off to college, and started hiking out west, I have been drinking from my Nalgene bottle. All through college, schlepping a bottle to class and on countless backpacking and camping trips, my trusted Nalgene was there. I even remember one very cold, long backpacking trip where I filled a Nalgene with hot water, and slept holding it in an attempt to stay warm.
Then they came out with the lovely skinny necked bottles. I used those all through grad school and in my first years of teaching. I used them until a few years ago when I first heard about Bisphenol-A in polycarbonate (#7) plastics. When I searched for a new water bottle, I was surprised to learn that our local sports store still only carried the colorful new (although toxic) bottles. And I was seeing toddlers using the smaller, equally snazzy ones everywhere.
I thought at least the BPA would only leech out into water at high temperatures. Then I read this post by Enviroblog, citing a study that showed BPA (an endocrine system disrupting chemical, linked to cancer and brain development problems) leeching into water at room temperature.
I felt betrayed. All those years. I guess I am mostly a lost cause, growing up in the 80s with all our Velveeta and Steak-ums (sorry, mom), I am probably full of preservatives and chemicals. But at least we can limit our kids’ exposure to BPA, and hopefully it will be banned for use in plastics that come into contact with humans soon.
Despite mounting research to the contrary, Nalgene insists their products are safe. They even cite the American Plastics Council as a reliable resource (no conflict of interest, there–).
For more information see the other BPA articles listed under Labels.