The Bottom Line on Bottled Water

That plastic bottle of water may be convenient in helping you consume your eight cups a day, but is it the safest way to do so?

While plastic bottles have made water more portable, they may have made it less potable. Research shows the chemicals from the plastic bottles may leak into the water and disrupt the body’s hormones, says Jennifer DiPasquale, RD, CDE, lead dietitian at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital.

Bottled water can become contaminated with Bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is used to make hard, clear, nearly unbreakable plastic – perfect for water bottles, baby bottles, food storage and a variety of other uses. The downside of the material is that it may leach dangerous chemicals into the food and beverages it packages. In October 2010, Canada declared BPA toxic to both humans and the environment.

In humans, BPA is an Estrogen Disruptive Chemical. EDCs affect our hormonal balance and can change important processes in our bodies, DiPasquale says.

She recommends drinking tap water (or filtered tap water) in a reusable, BPA-free bottle. It’s better for you – and the environment, as plastic water bottles produce up to 1.5 million tons of waste each year. Though they could be recycled, more than 80 percent are simply thrown away.