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#83348 - 11/23/07 02:18 AM Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Interesting interview on CBC, sort of.
http://www.cbc.ca/mrl3/8752/news/features/bisphenol-faq-071121.wmv
She says she's 'not a scientist but', yet she goes on to give advice and CBC calls that reporting. Anyhow, raises some issues, but I am still confused. At least I learned something about those numbers on the bottom. Resin Identification Codes. They are primarily for the recyclers, not for us. But isn't it only the #7's that contain some Biphenol A? I think that's what she said. So why did she spend most of her time warning against using a water bottle more than once?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resin_identification_code
1. PETE or PET Polyethylene terephthalate Polyester fibres, thermoformed sheet, strapping, soft drink bottles.
2. HDPE High density polyethylene Bottles, grocery bags, recycling bins, agricultural pipe, base cups, car stops, playground equipment, and plastic lumber.
7. OTHER Other plastics, including acrylic, polycarbonate, polylactic acid , nylon and fiberglass.

So here is what I still don't know:

Which is safer for carrying water and drinking cold drinks when backpacking?
1. PET water bottle, re-used a few times before recycling.
2. HDPE Nalgene Bottle, re-used many times.
7. Polycarbonate Nalgene Bottle, re-used many times.

Which is safer for pouring hot water into for making tea?
1. Re-used Gatoraid or Poweraid type bottle.
2. HDPE Nalgene Bottle, re-used many times.
7. Polycarbonate Nalgene Bottle, re-used a few times before recycling.

That interview really didn't answer this. In fact I think it provided as much misinformation as information, because its intention seemed to be influence consumers, not to educate them. They want us to buy water, and recycle the container, but not re-use it, not even once. Why not? What does that have to do with Biphenol A? Yet they still sell Nalgene bottles. WTF?


I am sticking with the #1 options until I learn more.

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#83349 - 11/23/07 02:27 AM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: JAK]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I think the biggest concern should be about baby bottles.
What we do while backpacking, as adults, is not so important.
I am also more curious about what to put in a microwave or dishwasher.

So what is safe to use for baby bottles these days?
How should people heat them or wash them?

Also, what plastics are safe to use in a microwave or dishwasher?
When they say microwave or dishwasher safe, do they mean for us, or the machine?

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#83350 - 11/23/07 10:45 AM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: JAK]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
First off, I don't get too worked up about any studies any more that say "blah, blah, blah,... may be harmful to you." Pretty much everything can be harmful to you. Live you life without being afraid of everything and you'll really begin to live.

Second, Nalgene is NOT a water bottle company. Their primary income is in laboratory equipment. When I worked at a tire factory all the recepticles, test tubes, etc, were Nalgene. If Nalgenes leeched out chemicals the way that this current wave of "studies" indicate, they would have gone out of business a long time ago for skewing lab results. Folks, this stuff is as safe as you could want.

In the last couple of months I've had a wave of yuppies come into REI looking for Nalgenes or other water bottles that won't "hurt" their water. They ask a bunch of technical questions, and all I want to do is scream at them and tell them to drink TAP water from a cup, go buy their annual North Face jacket, and get out of my store!

Yeah, I'm practicing to be a professional curmudgeon. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
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#83351 - 11/23/07 11:26 AM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: Bearpaw]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
An interesting little tidbit here... it actually WAS skewed lab studies that led to the discovery that bisphenol-A leached from nalgene.

Bisphenol-A is an estrogen-like compound, and as such is related to diseases related to estrogen (i.e. breast cancer). Many years ago now (I want to say mid-90's) a researcher was doing breast cancer research, and kept finding that her control samples were 'contaminated' because they kept growing breast cancer cells. After extensive and exhaustive investigation they discovered that the containers they were using for the studies were the culprit, as the containers were leaching bisphenol-A under the conditions they were exposing their cells. I don't recall the details, but that was what lead to the discovery. It took probably close to a decade before it became "common" knowledge as the implications of the discovery for consumers was not made clear initially.

My take on it has always been that if you have a predisposition for a sensitivity to a certain type of disease mediated by a chemical (like a family history of breast or hormone related cancers), then it might behoove you to avoid plastic containers that might leach bisphenol-A. There are a couple of other situations where it might be prudent to avoid (if you're wanting to have children (men and women), are planning pregnancy (men and women), or are pregnant (if you find a pregnant man, let me know)), but otherwise... it really isn't any bigger of an issue than any other chemical exposure you might have (tobacco smoke comes to mind, or air pollution, or ozone from an unmaintained copier or printer, or pesticides, or...).

MNS
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#83352 - 11/23/07 11:38 AM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: Bearpaw]
Heintooga Offline
member

Registered: 04/15/02
Posts: 470
Loc: GSMNP
Quote:
In the last couple of months I've had a wave of yuppies come into REI looking for Nalgenes or other water bottles that won't "hurt" their water. They ask a bunch of technical questions, and all I want to do is scream at them and tell them to drink TAP water from a cup, go buy their annual North Face jacket, and get out of my store!

Yeah, I'm practicing to be a professional curmudgeon. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


Take it from a certified professional curmudgeon, you're a prodigy. And the world could use many more!
_________________________
...ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein... (Jeremiah)

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#83353 - 11/23/07 12:56 PM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: Bearpaw]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
As a fellow practicing curmudgeon, I've found that curmudgeonry, selectively practiced, can be quite liberating. The amount of pure, unadulterated bulls**t that you no longer have to pretend to tolerate is astonishing.

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#83354 - 11/23/07 01:22 PM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: Bearpaw]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:

In the last couple of months I've had a wave of yuppies come into REI looking for Nalgenes or other water bottles that won't "hurt" their water. They ask a bunch of technical questions, and all I want to do is scream at them and tell them to drink TAP water from a cup, go buy their annual North Face jacket, and get out of my store!


Don't scare the yuppies away bearpaw! They keep REI and MEC in the black so they can have the occasional bit of useful gear for the rest of us! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> As long as the big margins are on heavy packs, giant tents, and backpacking expresso machines I say send more yuppies!
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#83355 - 11/23/07 04:09 PM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: phat]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
That's why I tell them to get their annual Denali at $169 a pop for $25 worth of 300 weight Polartech and $100 worth of advertising. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
http://www.trailjournals.com/BearpawAT99/

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#83356 - 11/23/07 04:37 PM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: Bearpaw]
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
BP:
We need to strap a crittercam on you for the next time a yuppie comes into the store. I'd buy that video, "Curmudgeons Gone Wild," just for the chase scenes. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
- kevon

(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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#83357 - 11/24/07 02:50 PM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: JAK]
Xelif Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/07
Posts: 241
Loc: Bay Area, California, USA
JAK - Polycarbonate bottles (Lexan Nalegene, clear plastic like acrylic are the ones made with Bisphenol A. It's the second ingredient in the reaction, and the reaction occurs under pretty high heat. They are not 'supposed' to leak much Bisphenol A at room temperature, and heating them up makes more leak. The extent of leakage is much up to debate, as is the true magnitude of effect with Bisphenol A. All the science says "Uh, there might be/probably is a problem, hold on while we spend a lot of time and money checking it out!"

I don't use Lexan for much, it's too heavy. I do have a half liter Lexan bottle I tote water around in the house and in the car. I don't put hot things in it, but I know plenty of people who do. I prefer a thermos for long term heat retention, unless I'm on the trail.

I use a polyethylene bottle (cloudy plastic nalgene) on the trail. Polyethylene is just ethylene molecules all chained together in interesting configurations. No Bisphenol A. I still don't put hot things in it as it deforms with heat. I also use a platypus bladder, which I bet is also made with some sandwiched layers of plastic involving polyethylene. I don't put hot things in -it- either. The only thing that gets hot liquid is a plastic brown cup! Yeah, I'm not worried enough about leachates to carry an aluminum bottle or anything.

Freezer Bag Cooking uses bags that are made of variants of polyethylene sometimes in interesting sandwich layers. They shouldn't contain Bisphenol A, and they shouldn't leak much in any case.

Old water bottles, the crazy interview lady must be talking about the funny taste you sometimes get. The off taste you might get from polyethylene plastic bottles is acetaldehyde forming from the breakdown of polyethylene in sun + heat. It happens very very slowly and humans can taste incredibly small concentrations such as 20 parts per billion. It shouldn't be a concern.
_________________________
- John

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#83358 - 11/24/07 07:26 PM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: Bearpaw]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Quote:
They ask a bunch of technical questions, and all I want to do is scream at them and tell them to drink TAP water from a cup, go buy their annual North Face jacket, and get out of my store!


Hey, since when did Yuppies care about "hurting their water'? These are the same people drinking who knows what at Starbucks.

The funny thing is, tap water is generally as safe, if not more so than any bottled water. I reuse my water bottles all the time and I have no idea if they are somehow killing me or not. I toss them into the recycle bin when they start to look a bit ragged.


btw,on Trailspace, there are a whole bunch of TNF jacket collectors who somehow wound up posting in the classified. The rest of us wonder what is so special about those old jackets. And no, it isn't hikers who are buying them . We've asked.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#83359 - 11/24/07 09:02 PM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: TomD]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
TomD
My wife still wears a goretex TNF Mountain light jacket - the first model. It must be 20 years old, zipper still perfect, infact besides a bit of color bleached out of the red, its like new.
Jim
P.S. It still works great as a breathable jacket. I wash and recoat it every 5 years os so.
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#83360 - 11/25/07 12:57 AM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: Jimshaw]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Jim, I'm not knocking them, I have an old TNF jacket in my closet. No idea what model. It is Gore-Tex and plain blue. I took it to New Zealand, but never wore it much after that. It is too small for me. Not that I got bigger, I just bought the wrong size.

I also have a heavy Descente ski jacket. Rarely wear that either.

The collectors are looking for the old Steep Tech, RTG and Heli jackets and vests for the most part. Stuff ski patrollers used to wear as best I can figure out.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#83361 - 11/25/07 03:59 PM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: TomD]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
Most likely they have older tried and true TNF shells made prior to 2001. In 2001, YKK changed all their zippers due to issued with teeth damaging too easily. What this means is that a pre-2001 YKK zipper will only mate with a post-2001 YKK zipper on the left side. The right will not zip, which means if you have an older shell, you have to hunt down a 2001 or earlier Denali/Pumori/Salathe to zip into the interior.

I had the misfortune to work at REI in clothing in Fall 2001 and had many unhappy customers.
_________________________
http://www.trailjournals.com/BearpawAT99/

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#83362 - 11/25/07 05:16 PM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: Bearpaw]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I guess what anoyed me most about the lady and the CBC interviewer was the "I'm not a scientist but" and yet she still spoke and they still interviewed her like she was some sort of expert, which she clearly was not. I will always be sceptical when news channels or the government is trying to get me to spend more money instead of doing their real job. If Nalgene is reasonably safe, then it seems to me that PET is even more reasonably safe. It is also lighter and cheaper and more readily available. The people that tell you not to use them more than once... they've sold out. Thrift is a virtue.

Reduce, RE-USE, Recycle ... and don't pay for water!

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#83363 - 11/25/07 05:22 PM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: Bearpaw]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Bearpaw,
So my Denali is the same age as my old TNF mountain light. Still wear both of em. Haven't actually zipped em together since the first time just to try it... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#83364 - 11/25/07 05:34 PM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: Jimshaw]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
Ah, but these are not hikers looking for them, remember?

For any one layering, zip-ins are a pain, but I know many in Nashville in the Casual-twice-a-year-ski-vacationer category that INSIST their shell and liner should zip together. One once informed me that to not do so was "tacky". She obviously knew a lot more about outdoor gear than I did.......

After all, The North Face sure caters to her needs, not mine. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> (Sorry Penny, TNF jackets are a sore point at my store.)
_________________________
http://www.trailjournals.com/BearpawAT99/

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#83365 - 11/25/07 06:14 PM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: Bearpaw]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
What amazes me is what runners wear. I would have thought a running store would be a great place to look for super light weight wind and rain suits. Apparently not so. Cheap light nylon is very hard to find, especially pants. As for skiers. What a bunch of pretentious losers. Even the snowboarders. They are even more pretentious and conforming than the skiers. Too funny really, because they are supposed to be the opposite. I use pretty much the same stuff no matter what the activity. I suppose in my own way I am just as bad. Otherwise it wouldn't bother me.

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#83366 - 12/03/07 02:37 PM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: Glenn]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Quote:
As a fellow practicing curmudgeon, I've found that curmudgeonry, selectively practiced, can be quite liberating. The amount of pure, unadulterated bulls**t that you no longer have to pretend to tolerate is astonishing.


And I resemble that remark, and do it well....fellow curmudgeon here <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#83367 - 12/03/07 02:39 PM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: kevonionia]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Quote:
BP:
We need to strap a crittercam on you for the next time a yuppie comes into the store. I'd buy that video, "Curmudgeons Gone Wild," just for the chase scenes. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

Yeah, I'll buy a copy of that BearPaw <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Keep up the good work, sell the yuppies all the gear we love to hate, and that leaves all the other stuff to go on clearence for us <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#83368 - 12/04/07 04:06 AM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: JAK]
Dimitri Offline
member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 85
Jak,

I wouldn't worry about it. Its like most things nowadays, there is atleast one "expert" claiming its bad for you to get grant money to study it for the next 10 years, then need more grant money so they link it with something or another, kinda like how everything you can possibly do in your life nowadays "can cause cancer". <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

I've poured hot water into many plastic containers, never bothered checking the type of plastic it is, and I'm not sick or dying cause of it. So there is no reason for me to stop doing it.

Dimitri

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#83369 - 12/04/07 07:06 AM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: kevonionia]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:
BP:
We need to strap a crittercam on you for the next time a yuppie comes into the store. I'd buy that video, "Curmudgeons Gone Wild," just for the chase scenes. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />


Being a (somewhat) young person, the term "curmudgeon" eluded me. Although a lot can be said by how the word is used, I still wanted to look it up, and see if it actually exists.

Here is from Merriam-Webster:

curmudgeon

Main Entry: cur·mud·geon
Pronunciation: \(&#716;)k&#601;r-&#712;m&#601;-j&#601;n\
Function: noun
Etymology: origin unknown
Date: 1568
1archaic : miser
2: a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man
— cur·mud·geon·li·ness \-l&#275;-n&#601;s\ noun
— cur·mud·geon·ly \-l&#275;\ adjective


Nice..... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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#83370 - 12/04/07 02:47 PM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: finallyME]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Yep, that's right on the money, you smart alecky whippersnapper! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#83371 - 12/11/07 05:43 AM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: Xelif]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
JAK - Polycarbonate bottles (Lexan Nalegene, clear plastic like acrylic are the ones made with Bisphenol A. It's the second ingredient in the reaction, and the reaction occurs under pretty high heat. They are not 'supposed' to leak much Bisphenol A at room temperature, and heating them up makes more leak. The extent of leakage is much up to debate, as is the true magnitude of effect with Bisphenol A. All the science says "Uh, there might be/probably is a problem, hold on while we spend a lot of time and money checking it out!"

I don't use Lexan for much, it's too heavy. I do have a half liter Lexan bottle I tote water around in the house and in the car. I don't put hot things in it, but I know plenty of people who do. I prefer a thermos for long term heat retention, unless I'm on the trail.

I use a polyethylene bottle (cloudy plastic nalgene) on the trail. Polyethylene is just ethylene molecules all chained together in interesting configurations. No Bisphenol A. I still don't put hot things in it as it deforms with heat. I also use a platypus bladder, which I bet is also made with some sandwiched layers of plastic involving polyethylene. I don't put hot things in -it- either. The only thing that gets hot liquid is a plastic brown cup! Yeah, I'm not worried enough about leachates to carry an aluminum bottle or anything.

Freezer Bag Cooking uses bags that are made of variants of polyethylene sometimes in interesting sandwich layers. They shouldn't contain Bisphenol A, and they shouldn't leak much in any case.

Old water bottles, the crazy interview lady must be talking about the funny taste you sometimes get. The off taste you might get from polyethylene plastic bottles is acetaldehyde forming from the breakdown of polyethylene in sun + heat. It happens very very slowly and humans can taste incredibly small concentrations such as 20 parts per billion. It shouldn't be a concern.
Excellent summary. Since this was posted MEC has pulled the Polycarbonate (Lexan) Nalgene bottles off their shelves because of the concern over Bisphenol A even in low doses. So let the discussion ensue. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

This is a concern for me because I use a Kelly Kettle and need to be able to pour rolling boil hot water into something, and I drink a lot of tea an like to carry it still hot while hiking. So I liked the Lexan even though it was heavy, but now that I understand all these plastics better ( I just taught a Materials Science so I finally got around to seperating my monomers from my copolymers and my cis and trans from my cis boom bah) I don't want to use Lexan in this way.

So what is the best water carrier if you want to pour boiling water into it? I understand some of aluminum flasks are coated in plastic. What's up with that? Some of the PET bottles hold up to boiling water reasonably well, but it might still be better to pour it into a metal cup or pot or flask first. I tested boiling water on a Poweraid. It held up fairly well but must have shrunk a bit because the lid doesn't fit as tight. Is there any way to make a corked flask out of an aluminum beverage can and re-inforce and insulate it on sides somehow?

Best/safest/lightest water bottle solutions for carrying boiling hot beverages?

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#83372 - 12/11/07 10:58 AM Re: Plastic Water bottles and Biphenol A [Re: JAK]
drow42 Offline
member

Registered: 03/27/04
Posts: 144
Loc: Washington, DC
Hey another Mat Sci guy. Good stuff.
I wold think that the HDPE Nalgenes would fit your criteria. Polyethelne is the same stuff that freezer bag, milk jugs are made out of, and so far is considered very safe. If you want to try a lighter/cheaper version, see if you can find a 1qrt/L HDPE milk jug and try that out. The melting point of PE is 115C so you should be fine with boiling water.


Edited by drow42 (12/11/07 10:59 AM)

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