TreadmillReviews.net did extensive laboratory testing on twelve refillable water bottles that were used by athletes over the course of one week. The testing revealed a buildup of bacteria that can be dangerous. On average, the plastic bottles contained more than 300,000 colony-forming units of bacteria! Many of the bacteria have been linked to skin infections, pneumonia and blood poisoning. The researchers said that the amount of bacteria found on the reusable water bottles is comparable to the germs you would find on a toilet seat. Yuck!
The researchers tested water bottles with a variety of lid types, including slide-top, squeeze-top, screw-top and straw-top. Bacteria measurements are in Colony-Forming Units (CFU) per square centimeter. The slide-top had the worst results, while the straw-top had the least CFU. Here's how the four measured up:
The straw-top is believed to have the least amount of germs because water drips to the bottom of the straw instead of sticking around at the top attracting bacteria that thrive on moisture. The researchers say that stainless steel water bottles, or even glass bottles, are optimal for a number of reasons. Not only do they harbor fewer germs, but they don't leach toxic chemicals into your drink.
Plastic water bottles, especially when exposed to heat or sunlight, are known to leach endocrine mimicking chemicals such as BPA (bisphenol-A) and phthalates. Endocrine mimickers, or hormone disruptors, interfere with the body's natural sex hormones, leading to an array of health problems, including: infertility, early puberty, cancer, thyroid problems, and more. Even low-dose exposure to these chemicals can significantly affect your health.
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