General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

How quickly does the BPA leach from a plastic bottle to the water - when should I toss the unused portions of a case of water?

Asked by elbanditoroso (22775points) September 16th, 2012

I bought a case of water and used about half of it – the remainder has been in the back of my truck, unprotected and getting full sunlight day after day. (2–3 weeks)

How quickly does the leaching take place? Is it quickly, or is it an ongoing thing? Should I just throw out (or recycle) the rest of the case?

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20 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

It’s the heat not the time that causes BPA leaching. That’s why you’re not supposed to microwave in a plastic container or heat baby bottles filled with milk. So if it’s been in the sun in a vehicle I would consider it leached.

But check the bottle, if the recycling number is not a 7 then it doesn’t have BPA. I just checked an Arrowhead water bottle my son brought home today, it has a recycling number 1.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@zenvelo – thanks I will check in the morning

JLeslie's avatar

“Here” is some info that might interest you.

I got rid of all my number 3 and 7 plastic containers. My personal feeling on what I have read is heat causes the most leaching, but not sure how hot it needs to be. They do research on microwaving and boiling water, but what about room temperature vs. The fridge? My house is kept around 77 degrees in the summer. If keeping a bottle in the fridge is much safe I would love to know that.

Now I am curious about the bottles my soda is packaged in, I never have checked it, but I don’t drink soda all the time.

jca's avatar

My question for any type of product that we obtain from a supermarket (not only bottles) is, How do we know what conditions the products were in prior to us getting them home from the store? How do we know that when the water was bottled and shipped in a hot truck, perhaps across the country, and then perhaps sat on a loading dock or in a warehouse, hot for hours, days or even weeks? In that case, all water in bottles may be ruined before we even buy it.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@jca – that’s true, and it is utterly beyond our control. Not sure we can do anything about that.

elbanditoroso's avatar

all -
I checked this morning, and the plastic bottles in question are in fact made of #1 plastic.

So it appears that I’m OK, these are not BPA bottles, and I can drink from them.

JLeslie's avatar

Oops, sorry my link was not there. Not sure how I did that.

I should add I don’t like to eat out of plastic period, even if it is not BPA. Often things taste plasticky, I figure that can’t be good. I still eat frozen foods packaged inlastic, but leftovers in my house are almost all kept in glass.

YARNLADY's avatar

@JLeslie We take the frozen dinners out of the plastic they come in and microwave them on Corelle plates or the many different Pyrex and Corning plates, dishes and pots and pans I have. I hate the smell of plastic fumes in the kitchen.

Years ago I spotted a Pyrex Outlet store while passing through Los Angeles. I stopped in and bought over $100 worth of cookware in open stock. I still have all 12 pieces.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY If it is something that takes a very long time to nuke, I sometimes switch it to a “safer” dish. I probably should do it more often.

I have a lot of Pyrex, I love it. I do need a size that seems to not exist though.

jca's avatar

I don’t own a microwave. I think microwaves are scary.

Poser's avatar

I’m not sure, but my question (for everyone on this thread) is where do you live that tap water is not a safer option than bottled? From what I have read, most bottled water is simply tap water anyway, and the testing standards (in the US and most other “1st world” nations) are far more strict for tap water than bottled water anyway.

JLeslie's avatar

@Poser Since the bottled water in question has been sitting for a while, I assume the OP does not use bottled water regularly. I use bottled water once in a blue moon when I need to take water with me, and I prefer water to say a coke. My husband and I probably drink 36–48 bottled waters combined in a year. Mostly we consume them at the race track when he is racing, or when travelling in our car.

jca's avatar

I, too, am not one to drink bottled when I’m home. I might have one if I’m going out, or of course when I want to buy water to drink, cold on the run. Many people, when you go to their houses, will give you a bottle of water instead of tap in a glass, which is pretty wasteful, IMHO.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I always find that very odd. I have two friends who do that. Give people bottled water at their house.

YARNLADY's avatar

The safety of water is regulated, but the only thing that happens is a fine when the regulations are not met. A fine does not protect the water drinker. Where I live, there are many different water providers, each with their own set of problems.

Sometimes the delivery systems are bad, sometimes the source gets polluted. My son and his family have to drink bottled water because there is arsenic in their water, but only enough to be possibly harmful to young children or elderly. His family has both.

We are very careful which bottled water we buy, some is indeed only tap water, but most of it is filtered/treated tap water. At my house, the water is fairly safe, but there is a lot of sediment in the line, so we have a counter top filtering system for all our drinking water. We have to rinse the faucet heads throughout the house frequently.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY Does a normal filter like Brita or a fridge filter take the arsenic out?

YARNLADY's avatar

@JLeslie You have to buy a special arsenic rated filter.

We use the counter top filter for the debris in our system.

At our son’s house, they buy bottled water to drink, and we installed a whole house water filter on the water coming in. They use an arsenic rated filter in that one.

Poser's avatar

@YARNLADY My point was that there are more regulations for tap water than for bottled water. There could just as easily be arsenic in the bottled water. The difference would be that the tap water is tested far more often than the bottled water. And while a fine may not be as harsh a deterrent as you’d like (what would be better?) it is still a deterrent. Bottled water, AFAIK, has little or no govt. oversight.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Poser Yes, I agree, which is why we are very picky about which bottled water we buy.

Argonaut986's avatar

What about bleach? Can it leach BPA from plastic? That’s what I want to know.

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