Is Bottled Water Safe in Florida Heat? Science Says Nope

Malinda Fusco

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If you're anything like me, you've probably left a case of water in the car before. However, there's a real danger to drinking bottled water if you leave plastic water bottles in a hot environment (like, say, the trunk of your car) for too long.

This article takes a look at the science behind why bottled water can actually be hazardous if heated and how we Floridians can still drink our water and stay safe in the upcoming summer months.

Heating Bottled Water Can Be Really Bad For Your Health

There is one thing that makes drinking bottles of water dangerous for your health, and that one thing is something we Floridians get plenty of: heat.

Although we definitely want to stay hydrated as we head into summer, think twice about your bottled water if it's been in the heat or sun for too long. In general, storing food or drinks in plastic containers (or bottles) can cause a negligible amount of plastic to leak into the food. However, when heated to an extreme temperature, the chemical bonds in the plastic break down even further, which causes more plastic to leak into the water.

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Ralph Haldon, a director of environmental engineering, commented on this chemical process and the result.

“The hotter it gets, the more the stuff in plastic can move into food or drinking water."

The more you drink from water bottles heated to extreme temperatures, the more likely you are to increase harm to your long-term health.

A Study of Plastic and Heat

In Florida, the inside of cars can be deadly hot. When enclosed, they can reach temperatures of 150 degrees Farenheight, even 200 degrees at times.

A study by Arizona State University took a closer look at the effects of heat on water bottles. It found that the more heat and time that passed, the more chemicals leaked into the water. In fact, it only took 38 days at 150 degrees Farenheight for the water to be contaminated enough to be considered unsafe.

Florida Cars and Other Dangers; Tips to Stay Safe This Summer

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As we approach the warmer months of the year, we Flroidaisn need to be careful about leaving our plastic water bottles in the heat. Here are some quick tips to keep yourself safe and healthy:

  • Never leave plastic water bottles in the heat for an extended period of time.
  • If plastic bottles were left in the heat, consider not drinking from them.
  • Change from plastic single-use bottles to metal reusable bottles for a safer experience.

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