Q: I like to leave a water bottle in my car but someone told me that the plastic can release toxins when the car heats up. is this true and what is an alternative?
A: It’s never a good idea to heat plastic, whether it’s in a microwave or in a hot car because a chemical called BPA (bisphenol-A) is leached out of the plastic. BPA is a chemical that acts a lot like the hormone estrogen when it’s introduced into the body. There is a movement happening to ban BPA from all products. Plus, your hot car isn’t the only problem. Scientists have found the longer a bottle of water sits on a shelf, whether in a grocery store or your refrigerator, the higher the risk you’ll consume a greater dose of a chemical called antimony, a potential carcinogen.

It’s a good idea to stop using plastic water bottles for other reasons too. They’re bad for our planet: 8 out of 10 plastic water bottles used in the U. S. become garbage or end up in a landfill, contributing to global warming. They’re also found in our oceans as small bits of plastic that fish and birds mistakenly eat because they look like krill.

My tips:

  1. Filter your own water and fill up your own reusable bottles. Stainless steel and glass are best.
  2. If you must use plastic, to be certain you’re choosing a bottle that doesn’t leach, check the recycling symbol on the bottom of your bottle. If it’s a #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene), or a #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene), or a #5 PP (polypropylene), your bottle is fine. The type of plastic bottle in which water and soft drinks are usually sold is a #1. While it is considered safe it is only recommended for one time use. Do not refill it ñ it makes a good breeding ground for bacteria.

Read More:
Green Living QA: Is IKEA Furniture Toxic?
Parenting QA: What Are Some Non-Plastic Non-Toxic Toys?
Green Living QA: How Can I Make My Kids’ Play Space Greener?

Beth Greer, aka Super Natural Mom®, is an award-winning journalist, green holistic health educator, healthy home expert and impassioned champion of toxin-free living. She’s also a radio talk show host, and trusted consumer advocate, who is leading a movement of awareness and responsibility about healthy homes, schools and work environments. Connect with Beth on Facebook and Twitter.