Water bottle chemical risks unfounded, says association

By George Reynolds

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bottled water, Bottle, Packaging

Claims that chemicals used in plastic water bottles can cause
cancer are not based in science and are unsubstiated, according to
an industry association.

Public concern has grown in recent years following the discovery that certain compounds used in plastic bottles "leach" into the water, especially when stored at higher temperature. The compounds have been linked to cancer and other illnesses, which packaging associations deny. The International Bottled Water Association this week claimed there are no studies, which prove this theory and the allegations are partly a product of media hype, which serve only to frighten and confuse consumers. For plastics approved for food and drink contact, the Food and Drink Administration (FDA) has found that the migrations of chemicals are within the margin of safety based on information available to officials. Numerous toxicological studies have been conduced on polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a common plastic used for bottled water and beverage containers, and compounds that migrate under test conditions. In its report on PET in food packaging applications, the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) summarized an extensive body of test data that demonstrates the safety of PET resins and compounds used in food and beverage packaging. However, there is also a growing body of academic research that has highlighted the potential risks associated with resins and compounds. In 2005 researchers at the University of Cincinnati found that exposure to low levels of bisphenol-A (BPA), a compound used in resin epoxies, damaged the development of young brains during a rat study. Another study in 2005, conducted by researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, found that two plasticizer compounds commonly used in bottled water had adverse affects on the mammary glands on rats exposed to the chemicals through their mothers' milk.

Related topics: Smart Packaging

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