Now, polycarbonates are also used to make CDs, Ipods, sunglasses, computer shells and other common items but they are deemed safe because they are not used as drinking receptacles. The problem arises when this same plastic is used to hold things from which we eat or drink. These polycarbonates can leach BPA when heated - microwaved or left in sunlight - or when re-used.
So, how do you avoid bottles with BPA? One way is to turn the receptacle upside down and read the recycle number inside the triangle. (No easy task! You may need a magnifying glass to see this number)
If it is a 3, 6 or 7, the advice is not to buy it or drink from it. Those that claim they do not leach have a 2, 4, or 5 inside the recycle triangle. However, if it is a 1, it is said to be safe but should never be re-used.
If these bottles are continually re-filled, you may notice they will become cloudy or scratched. In this condition, they can harbor germs and bacteria, which are obviously detrimental to your health. Not only that, but nearly 40 percent of all bottled water is simply tap water in disguise. That's right, plain old water, packaged in questionable containers that litter the earth.
It seems logical and healthy then to drink from a glass container. Not only is it healthy for you, it is healthy for the environment. If you don't want to tote a glass bottle around but want to be green, choose your re-usable water bottle wisely.
The best option is to look for ones lined with stainless steel or aluminum, which overall exhibit the fewest health concerns. These receptacles are durable and don't change the taste of the contents you pour into them. They are good looking also and easy to wash.
I won't tell you what you should be drinking from, but I will suggest you avoid BPA containing plastics and check out www.safewaterbottlereview.com so you can make a healthy choice for yourself.
Inexpensive disposable plastic bottles are an incredible waste of resources. Go green and you'll never go wrong.
Cindy Boggs, fitness presenter, author and Activate America director, has been an ACE-certified coordinator/instructor since 1989. Send your questions about fitness, training or health to YMCA of Kanawha Valley, 100 YMCA Drive, Charleston, WV 25311 or e-mail cindys...@aol.com. Look for her fitness advice book, "CindySays... "You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World" on her Web site www.cindysays.com or contact the YMCA at 340-3527.