I am sure that by now everyone has heard that water bottles are not safe for reuse. I have heard every reason from carcinogens breaking down in the plastic to buildup of bacteria. So what is true? Why the rumours?

Well, the study was originally done by a 2001 University of Idaho student as a Masters thesis without peer review and chock full of contaminating elements in the study process. No further tests have been able to substantiate these claims. This study which was jumped all over by the “here is the latest thing that can kill you” media has been widely reported.

In addition, the International Bottled Water Association reported that reuse is unsafe based on people not cleaning and drying the bottles sufficiently to kill bacteria. If you run your bottles through a dishwasher, this fear is also eliminated.

So what is the bottom line? Well, if the plastic causes cancer, it is going to cause cancer from the start – not just after you refill it for free. I am thinking that all of the fearmongering is probably just marketing… I mean, if we are afraid to reuse bottles, we will likely go buy more. Sure, its cynical, but then hasn’t big business given us plenty of reason to be cynical?