More and more stores are leaving cases of plastic water bottles in the sun, are these bottles leaking toxins into the water?  Should you feel safe drinking the water that's been heated in these bottles?

The safety of water in plastic bottles that have been left in the sun or in a hot car varies from report to report.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) here in the U.S. doesn't seem that concerned based on their studies.  Simply put, the plastic used for bottling water is different than the plastic found in baby bottles, toys, and food storage containers.

Bottling companies have to follow strict FDA regulations for bottling water, down to the composition of the plastic in the bottles.  However, bottled water can have small amounts of toxins, levels acceptable for human consumption, and still be well within FDA standards.  When bottled water is stored properly, there is usually no toxin leakage from the plastic bottles.  However, trace amounts may appear after long periods of exposure to heat or sunshine.

In a 2014 China/University of Florida study on chemical leaching on PET bottles, the researchers found that after leaving bottled water in temperatures up to 158 degrees Fahrenheit for four weeks, the levels of chemicals BPA and antimony, a carcinogen, did increase slightly.  The study tested 16 different brands of bottled water.  Only one brand exceeded EPA safety standards.  These findings are relatively satisfying for Americans who consume water predominantly from plastic bottles.

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Singer Cheryl Crow, in an interview on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, asked viewers to not drink from plastic bottles that have been left out in the sun.  In that same interview, she talked about her battle with breast cancer.  Many people thought she was implying that drinking water from a plastic bottle left in the heat, caused her cancer.  That's not really what she said, but people took note.  Social media was flooded with comments and concerns.

So back to the original question, should you buy bottled water from stores that keep there bottled water out in the sun?  Is it safe?  Most likely.  Just make sure the plastic bottle says 'BPA Free'.  Researchers warn that the bigger health risk is reusing plastic water bottles.  After the water is gone, the bottle should be disposed of properly.

Bottled Water
Chris Hondros, Newsmakers






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