Does the plastic used in water bottles pose a health risk?

By Susan Brewer, Ph.D., University of Illinois,
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
The safety of plastics used for packaging food products is regulated by the FDA and USDA. A plastic approved for a particular use, such as bottling water, may not be acceptable for contact with alcoholic beverages because the alcohol can leach compounds from the plastic that cannot be leached by water. Foods or beverages which are high in fat, sugar, alcohol or salt can behave differently. Generally, they must be tested individually for their safety with individual plastics.
Ask the Regulators -- Bottled Water Regulation and the FDA, February/March 2002.


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