Safe Water Bottle Choices

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It became a common sight to see people carrying reusable water bottles while completing their daily errands about ten years ago. This was an individual environmental action taken by people to help reduce the numerous disposable plastic water bottles which remained in landfills for many years.

Several brands of attractive looking, colorful aluminum water bottles became available for sale, and were quickly snapped up by consumers. Why not rally around an environmental issue to reduce waste, while carrying around a nice looking reusable bottle designed in colors and logos which expressed the owner’s individuality? But nobody asked the most important question--were these safe water bottles?

Sigg Safe Water Bottles

One of the first reusable water bottles to become available was the Sigg brand, who began production of these bottles in 1908 in Switzerland, a country known for its quality precision and very invested in becoming one of the “greenest” in the world. At the time, Sigg claimed all ingredients in their products complied with both European and U.S. regulatory requirements. This meant all ingredients inside the bottles were free of harmful chemicals, volatile organic compounds, Phthalates, and in particular, BPA, or bisphenol-A, a chemical which interferes with the female hormone estrogen, can cause the early onset of puberty, neurotoxicity, and some cancers. Most aluminum bottles have epoxy liners, which may contain BPA or other undesirable chemicals. Epoxy is a copolymer, formed from two chemicals, a resin and a hardener. Aluminum has also been connected to the early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. Does this sound like a safe water bottle to you?

It was discovered that BPA could “leach” from polycarbonate plastic bottles if they were filled with either hot liquids, or acidic ones, such as orange juice, coffee or tea. Before this admission, Sigg would not reveal the ingredients in its liners, claiming the information “proprietary.” Sigg admitted in 2008 that the epoxy liners in the bottles did contain trace amounts of BPA. They began a voluntary exchange program after they switched to a new “EcoCare” liner, which ran through October of 2009. The Sigg “EcoCare” liner is a very thin baked on powder coating which is sprayed evenly onto the interior of the bottle, using an electrostatic process.

The liner is then bonded to the bottle shell and baked at 200 degrees Celsius to form a durable, but flexible barrier. It is only 40 microns thick, so does not interfere with the eventual recycling of a Sigg water bottle. This process and these ingredients now comply with safety testing, regulation certification and compliance. But it also raises questions that low levels of leaching may go on as the bottle ages and is washed frequently, that the resins may break down. And how do you feel about a company who was less than truthful to its consumers; who thought they were drinking every day out of a safe water bottle? A bottle may be marked BPA free, but can contain other toxic chemicals. There are other reasonably priced, attractive looking and safe water bottles on the market, although the new Sigg line does pass all the tests now.

Oggi Safe Water Bottles

Oggi water bottles are a less expensive version of the Sigg brand, made in California, and another alternative to using disposable plastic water bottles. Oggi Corporation is a privately held company who has specialized in housewares for over thirty years. Their products are found in the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Oggi carries water bottles that have impact resistant, light weight, stainless steel construction, called Tritan. But some aluminum water bottles are listed on the website, which is sketchy on details. Oggi water bottles have been certified for product safety from an independent lab, and have random chemical analysis tests performed on them. Each water bottle is certified by the FDA and CA Prop 65 standards are both met and exceeded. It is now deemed safe to carry water, juice or carbonated drinks in these bottles. It is likely that Oggi ran into the same BPA issues as Sigg, and had to replace the plastic in their bottles with stainless steel, but there is little information on Oggi to be found.

Kleen Kanteen Safe Water Bottles

Kleen Kanteen has been working hard from Chico, Ca to create the first BPA-free stainless steel water bottle since 2004. “The Original” Kleen Kanteen is their top seller, and comes in a variety of colors, sizes and cap styles. The company was founded when the makers read the studies linking BPA to several illnesses, and they wanted to offer consumers a safe water bottle as an alternative to plastic and lined aluminum bottles. They use food grade stainless steel because the metal is safe and toxin-free.

Stainless steel is made of minerals and elements that come from the Earth. This grade of stainless steel is used in winemaking, beer brewing, and other food industries. It will not retain the flavors of whatever liquid is chosen to put inside the bottle. Features that set Kleen Kanteen apart from their competitors are rounded corners that make the bottles easier to clean, materials that are BPA free and will not retain flavors, and all stainless construction, durable enough to last a lifetime. The company sets up their manufacturing environment to be responsible and sustainable from the start, and oversees every step, from sourcing the basic materials, to constantly finding ways to operate more efficiently to cut waste.

Thinksport and Thinkbaby Safe Water Bottles

Thinksport and Thinkbaby were founded by Kevin Brodwick, who has an interest in health and preventative medicine, along with a background in biotechnology. He works together with a team of scientists and doctors who focus on the latest chemical and biological sciences. Thinkbaby and Thinksport lead in the usage of safe materials for consumers, working with both child advocacy partners (they make baby bottles) and like minded people who seek alternative products. They all have concerns that leaching chemicals can potentially cause endocrine disruption, cancer, and reproduction issues. The company first discovered that 95 percent of the baby bottles on the market had unacceptable levels of BPA! Once they made a safer baby bottle, they moved on to produce other products, such as designing a safe water bottle without chemicals. They want products that are affordable, but also functional and recyclable.

Both departments use the most stringent standards for all of their products. Many companies no longer use BPA, but just replace that with other plastics or materials that have not been adequately tested. Thinksport does not use clear plastic windows because they are made out of PET and PVC, and create waste. There is no usage of known carcinogenic, reproductive toxic, endocrine disrupting, or neurotoxic chemicals. No animal testing is allowed on any product. It is very important to this company that the life cycle of the product does not cause harm to the environment. They use a very cautious attitude in choosing materials, and work with leading scientists in labs across the world. It is their mission to address the growing concern of toxic chemical leaching from container products, especially in their safe water bottles.

Takeya Safe Water Bottles and Patented AcraGlass

Lastly, there is Takeya USA, a subsidiary of Takeya Japan. They have been designing, manufacturing and marketing creative food and beverage containers for the last fifty years, in particular, their patented AcraGlass. Takeya developed this glass as a material to meet the following specifications: to be durable, to withstand high temperatures, to be BPA free, usable for both hot and cold drinks, dishwasher safe, stain and odor proof, and FDA approved. The safe water bottles are made from very high quality glass. The bottle, cap and silicone jacket are dishwasher safe, or can be hand washed for longer durability. If the consumer needs parts replaced, they can be bought from the online store.

Takeya is committed to bringing their expertise to the U.S. market by using modern designs, rich colors, food-safe materials, functionality and high quality craftsmanship. They provide products that are affordable, eco-friendly, and that help promote a healthy lifestyle. The entire product line has Japanese inspired designs and innovative features, such as their Twist top airtight pouring lid, and their crystal clear BPA free AcraGlass.

A safe water bottle made of glass may not be the most practical idea, but this line of products is useful for iced tea and lemonade in the refrigerator, as once again, leaching is undesirable and leads to changing the taste of the drink. Adults who are not carrying too much with them could still find Takeya to be a safe water bottle for backyard activities in the heat, excursions to the park with the children, or to be taken on their daily walk. Everyone is exercising and staying hydrated, I trust. It is healthy to be drinking the eight glasses of water a day Mom told you to drink. It helps you to feel full, as often a person thinks they are hungry when they are just thirsty. I hope this aids your awareness that there are several brands of safe water bottles on the market. Those plastic bottles take years to break down in landfills, and the water inside them tastes terrible anyway. Now you do not have to deal with either of these two problems and their possible side effects.

Sigg BPA Free Water Bottle

Comments 22 comments

Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 5 weeks ago from New Jersey Author

Hi Sonia,

Well, firstly, the glass ones from should be safe because they are glass. Nothing should be able to penetrate glass, it's just a matter of safety, especially with your kids.

The Oggi issue is more difficult. They were said to have redesigned them so they are stainless steel inside. But I don't know how long it took for them to get to TJ Maxx. And lemon or lime have acid in them. I wrote this article several years ago though, so I think you would be safe. The old bottles were recalled. If you think they smell funny, or you get anything that flakes coming out of them when you wash them, then I would go online, there is probably a site where you can either call customer service, or an address to return them and get them replaced with new ones. I've had surprisingly good luck when returning items, no company wants someone who already bought their product to be unhappy with it. Most will send new items. Let me know how it goes. I think you are safe, I wrote this in 2011 and doubt that any old ones were lying around. Best of luck.

Sonia 5 weeks ago

I'm really sad. I bough 4 oggi botles for me and my kids a year ago and I always put lemon water in them. I bought them at tj-max at a discount price . How can I know if this bottles are the one that have plastic in them or if they are the new ones that the company fixed.

Please help me and let me know what do you think. Thanks

And what do you think about this one

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 5 months ago from Long Island, NY

Hi Jean,

I agree that using glass bottles in a car is not safe for the reason you mentioned. It's nice to see I am not the only one using fresh disposable bottles for the reason that, being new, there is less chance for leaching carcinogens.

We use recycling here where I live, and I recycle those bottles. So they don't end up in landfills. They get ground down and reused to make other plastic products. Besides that, I always think about ways to avoid anything ending up in landfills.

Thanks again for a very well written hub.

Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 5 months ago from New Jersey Author

Hi Glenn,

It is a difficult problem. Since I've written this, I found there was BPA in water bottles when manufacturers there was not. Oggi and Sigg were very popular in my area about 5 years ago. Since then, they have remade them, but it's hard to believe once you've been lied to.

The hot bottle of water we leave in our cars is the worst thing you can do. I do it too, and forget to take the bottle back in the house. And glass isn't really safe, even though we are adults, anyone can hit us while we drive and cause us to drop the bottle.

I have since come around to what you do, and bring a fresh, cold plastic disposable bottle of vitamin water out with me as I go about the day. But since I'm one of those people who brings their own reusable bags to the supermarket, I feel guilty about all the plastic in landfills. You can't win!

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 5 months ago from Long Island, NY

This is scary. In the summertime I always carry water with me in my car. But I leave the bottle in the car when parked and it heats up. I suspect this causes more deterioration of the lining and more leaching of carcinogens.

I feel only glass bottles are safe, even with those new styles you mentioned. As you pointed out, we can't trust the manufacturers to be honest.

After reading your hub, I started thinking that instead of buying a reusable water bottle, it might be best to just drink out of the plastic disposable bottles that water comes in. This way, they are always new and there is less chance of lining problems from constant washing.

Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 18 months ago from New Jersey Author

Hi poetryman6969,

Glass seems like the safest, but it's hard to find a good bottle for outdoors. Kleen Kanteen makes them. I sometimes see them in supermarkets too. Although the inside is glass, the outside of the bottle usually has a design of rubber bands around it, so it looks nice, but you still get the safety of the glass. If you put water with lemon or lime in a plastic bottle or BPA one, it leaches in, and you are drinking that. Stainless steel is safe too. Best Wishes.

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 18 months ago

From everything I have heard avoid BPA is a good thing. If a safe and convenient way to use glass is available I would probably go with that.

Steven Rogers 3 years ago

Thanks for the info. My father used to work for a bpa free water bottles company in seattle, but he got to old to keep working there. He was struck with Alzheimer's disease and ... why am I telling you this? I don't even know you people.

Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 3 years ago from New Jersey Author

I'm happy you liked it. I was carrying around my own water bottle for a long time, but later I found it was an older Ogg that was found to have BPA in it. I was shocked to find out it's in baby bottles. Bottled water is still popular, but still tastes like plastic anyway. It's good to be aware, and to cut down on waste. Thanks for writing in!

Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 3 years ago from New Jersey Author

Hello actionbronson,

I agree with you. I guess it's people like us who have to get it started. Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

actionbronson profile image

actionbronson 3 years ago

Great hub! Written very well! I think humans should do without plastic all together and create something that is 100% biodegradable.

Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey Author

Hello TattooKitty,

My son is a teacher as well, and in his classroom, the children are allowed to bring unbreakable water bottles to discourage those frequent "I need a drink" requests. Plus I always thought those community fountains were germy anyway!

Hello khmohsin,

I wish more people were serious about recycling. I've been bringing my own reusable shopping bags food shopping for years now. I still sometimes get snide comments because the store gives you a 3 or 5 cent discount off your groceries for each bag you bring. Many people still miss the point that I'm not adding a bunch of little plastics bags that will take forever to break down into the environment! Take care.

khmohsin profile image

khmohsin 4 years ago from London,UK

Jean Bakula,

All we indeed to save this earth seriously for the next generations. The recycle able things in all the usage is an intense need. If all think about this we may save our earth to be polluted.

Thanks for sharing your nice hubs. Sharing with friends too

TattooKitty profile image

TattooKitty 4 years ago from Hawaii

Great go-to, reusable water bottle choices you got here! As a teacher, I like having a safe and sturdy water bottle that's easy to identify in a room of many. They're also a wonderful buy for parents who want to keep their children hydrated in class (instead of cutting out to head to the water fountain!)

You've got a wide variety of styles and brand to choose from here; thanks for sharing! Voted up & useful!!

Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey Author

Well, take care of yourself, and after we had that snow in NJ last Halloween and lived w/o power for 6 days, I take every warning seriously. It was so cold, the inside of the house was worse than being outside. Alll the hotels were booked, because the Weather Channel predicted a bad storm, but later that Friday night they backed off and made it sound less threatening. It does seem in the NE we used to get "our" weather from out West, but now it's changed and we get it from the South. I was in Jamaica in 2005, stuck between two July hurricanes, it was awful scary. I felt so bad for the people, and we almost had to evacuate the hotel. I love the country though, but in this economy am not spending on vacations. I hope you stay well. Take care of yourself.

JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 4 years ago from Florida

I loved your article and I wouldn't want you exposed to anything harmful. Government says there is no inflation but I agree with you we are in an inflationary depression. High prices and no jobs is an inflationary depression.

Down here in Florida not only are we having heavy rains from the sea but everyone has atypical pheumonia and are terribly sick. That is atleast in my small area. We are about to head into yet another hurricane season. I try to keep everyone posted as last year a hurricane missed us but slammed into Vermount/Connecticut. It all starts down here and we act as an early warning system for our fellow friends in the North East.

I will do my best and please stay safe yourself. Hurricane Season really begins August 1.

All My Best,


Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey Author

Thanks for commenting again JTWalters. Bottled water takes like plastic anyway, and it makes me angry that companies make so much money on it. I understand money is tight for everyone now, and I'm sure I've been exposed to worse things than BPA, though I am glad to expose companies who lied to people. The prices of everything are so high with all the extreme weather conditions we are having, it seems in FL you are seeing a lot of heavy rains. Stay safe.

JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 4 years ago from Florida

No Jean, I am to poor for bottled water. And it uses petroleum products to create those plastic bottles and if I have to buy petro I am putting it in my car and not my body. Too poor for bottle water and stuck with the glass and tap. Thank you for reassuring me I was worried for a minute.

Sorry you were exposed to BPA.

I loved the article as I was unaware about the other options. Now if I wish to travel with a 1 bottle I can.

All My Best,


Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey Author

You are smart, the old fashioned glass really is the safest thing to drink from. It's harder to find something to take outside with you. Whoever thought of charging for bottled water must be laughing all the way to the bank. I lived many years without getting dehydrated, and not bringing water everywhere. I started carrying a water bottle to lose weight, because sometimes, you are just thirsty, not hungry. My first water bottle was a Sigg, which turned out to have BPA in it anyway. Thanks for commenting.

JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 4 years ago from Florida

I love the article but I use an old fashion glass and tap water. I will be going green (as in the ground) probably long before the rest of you.

Fascinating hub!


Jean Bakula 5 years ago

Hi Mickey,

Well, I want you to stay safe:). I had a Sigg water bottle when they first came out, and while writing this found it has aluminum. I drink from it every day when out, and I'm doing OK. I think we need to be aware, but can't get fanatical about much of this stuff. Thanks for commenting, and be careful on the bike, people drive like maniacs.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Hi Jean. I'm not sure we who cycle have many choices for bottles. We do in a way. We have many different labels of bottles - some just having different names. Water-bottles and other cycling components have corporate names but are made my other manufacturers. What I mean is - like "TREK" bike cycle company. I suspect they're like Schwinn years ago and just have manufacturers put their name on products.

So- I'm not sure how safe the bottles are that fit into the "water bottle cage (the bottle holder).

I'll look for more bottles. Thank you dear.

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