For people with healthy immune systems and reasonably good washing skills, even this risk of microbial contamination remains slight. And some people, of course, never reuse the PE Bottle(KEXON). The EPA, in a document entitled “Bottled Water Basics,” says: “Drinking water (both bottled and tap) can reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk.”
According to NAPCOR, the plastic in PE bottles is inert and does not leach harmful materials into its contents—either when a beverage is stored unopened, or when bottles are refilled or frozen.
Not everyone buys that line, however. William Shotyk, a geochemistry professor at the University of Heidelberg, has published two studies (here and here) that show that antimony, a potentially toxic trace element, leaches from PE bottles over time. This doesn’t mean there is a clear health risk, Shotyk says. But, he adds, “I would say it’s something to think about.”
“The amount of antimony in natural water that is not contaminated is extremely low,” he says. “The amount of antimony in bottled waters is hundreds, sometimes thousands, of times higher.” Still, Shotyk found it at levels no higher than two parts per billion (ppb), and EPA drinking water regulations permit antimony to occur at up to six ppb.
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