Safe Water Bottle Choices
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.