On Nutrition: Safety Concerns With Plastic Bottle Reuse | Lifestyles

Take a good visual inspection of the bottle to make sure it is not discolored, cracked, or damaged. Using a safe water supply, wash your hands thoroughly to check for bacteria. Then clean the bottle thoroughly and scrub with hot soapy water using a brush; rinse and air dry. Avoid sharing bottles whose contents come in contact with your hands or mouth, which allows the transfer of bacteria. If necessary, label the bottles for easy identification. Keep the container out of direct sunlight, away from heat. I don’t know if the hot water faucet would cause any problems. Limit reuse to a few times, then send the bottle for recycling.

A better option would be to use water bottles designed to be reused. Stainless steel containers would be at the top of the list, and you can find some double-walled to help maintain internal temperatures. There are also reusable plastic bottles. Many reusable items have larger openings to facilitate cleanings between uses. If you opt for a plastic bottle, it is better to check that it does not contain BPA (bisphenol A), an industrial chemical linked to several health problems. The FDA has banned the use of BPA in containers used for babies and children.

Ed Blonz, Ph.D., is a nutritional scientist and clinical assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the author of the e-book “The Wellness Supermarket Buying Guide” (2012), which is also available as a free digital resource at blonz.com/guide.

Send your questions to: “On Nutrition”, Ed Blonz, c / o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO, 64106. Email your inquiries to [email protected]

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