Are polycarbonate water bottles safe? Rumors are floating around the Internet that certain chemicals leached from polycarbonate water bottles may increase the risk of miscarriage and cause birth defects. Should I throw away all my Nalgenes, or is this just typical Web fear-mongering? Randal Canmore, Alberta
Lexan Wide-Mouth Loop-Top Bottle
On the other hand, Nalgene bottles have been around for years, and no clear link between them and any health problems have been established. So what to do?
As is so often the case, be prudent. First of all, are you in the at-risk group? I think not. Secondly, bisphenol-A starts to leach out of polycarbonate bottles only after very heavy use and repeated washings with harsh detergent. So instead use a mild detergent such as Dawn (youve gotta wash them, otherwise they load up with bacteria). And simply replace the bottles once a year or so, or when they become cloudy-looking.
In short, no reason to panic. But reason to perhaps change your ways a little.