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[GreenYes] Re: plastic sucks!
this is amazing Sue !
and strange, what is DEHA, a possibly carcinogenic phthalate, doing in PET bottles ?!
I thought plasticizers were used mostly in PVC

this link says: (Polyethylene lacks plasticizers.) 

Is this only the bottled water manufacturers scaring people into buying their patently unsustainable products?  

or is there more to PET than I thought.

I don't know what to believe,
but now, I think,
I need to do more research.

any help out there GreenYessers?

Van Calvez
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: sue williams 
  To: vcalvez@no.address 
  Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 7:03 PM
  Subject: plastic sucks!

  You'll never see me with a reused plastic water bottle again. Check this out (sending it cuz ai know you've been into the plastic investigation)                                                           Excerpted from a 1/26/03 Canadian Press news service article by Jen Horsey:

  While people may think they're doing a good deed for the environment when
  they reuse water bottles for anything from orange juice in a bagged lunch to
  a week's worth of water refills from the office water cooler, researchers
  say they could be risking their health. Dangerous bacteria and potentially
  toxic plastic compounds have been found in the types of water bottles
  typically reused in classrooms and workplaces. 

  A study of water bottles at a Calgary elementary school found bacteria in
  kids' bottles that would prompt health officials to issue boil-water
  advisories, had the samples come from a tap. Researchers discovered
  bacterial contamination in about a third of the samples collected from kids'
  water bottles at the school. Some samples even showed evidence of fecal
  coliforms. "If a town water supply had fecal coliforms in it, it would have
  to be shut down," said Cathy Ryan, the University of Calgary professor who
  authored the study. 

  The bacteria likely came from the kids' hands and mouths over time as they
  repeatedly used the same bottles without washing them or allowing them to
  dry, Ryan said. While researchers in her study collected samples from only
  76 bottles at one elementary school, which has not been identified, Ryan
  said the results would likely be the same anywhere else. When the study
  results were published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health in the fall,
  the local school board advised parents to make sure kids' bottles were taken
  home and washed properly and frequently. 

  However, a study conducted in the United States suggests the kind of
  thorough washing that could kill bacteria might make the bottles unsafe in
  another way. Frequent washing might accelerate the break-down of the
  plastic, potentially causing chemicals to leach into the water, the study
  found. Preliminary research conducted by a graduate student at the
  University of Idaho found that with repeated use, toxic chemical compounds
  can migrate out of the bottles into the liquid inside. 

  Although plastics experts contend the bottles are safe, the study ultimately
  concluded little is known about what happens when the bottles are used over
  and over again. "The fact is, a lot of these compounds have not really been
  studied in terms of their human health effects," said Margrit von Braun, a
  University of Idaho professor. Single-use soft-drink and water bottles are
  commonly made of a plastic called polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which,
  while considered safe for its intended use, was found to break down over
  time. "The longer you used it, the more stuff ended up in the water," said
  von Braun. 

  One of the toxins that frequently appeared in water samples from the reused
  bottles was DEHA, a carcinogen regulated in drinking water because it has
  been found to cause weight loss, liver problems, or possible reproductive
  difficulties. It is also suspected that DEHA can cause cancer in humans. Von
  Braun said she was surprised to discover how widespread the reuse was - and
  how long some people would hold on to a single bottle. "A lot of people use
  them for weeks, and sometimes months, literally until it's leaking," said
  von Braun. 

  The Canadian Bottled Water Association advises against reusing the
  containers altogether. It says the containers are made for single use and
  should be recycled afterward, not reused. People would be unable to properly
  sterilize the bottles at home, and the industry doesn't evaluate the safety
  of the bottles for multiple uses, said Elizabeth Griswold, executive
  director of the Canadian Bottled Water Association.  Reuse of the plastic
  bottles "is not something we recommend," said Griswold.

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