Safety of Plastic Bottled Water Containers
PET plastic bottles, commonly small, portable 16.9 (half-liter) and 24 ounce sizes, are safe and reliable for food contact use. PET is used in a variety of packaging for many foods, including everything from peanut butter, soft drinks, and juices to beer, wine, and spirits. PET is approved as safe for food and beverage contact by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and similar regulatory agencies throughout the world, and has been for over 30 years.
As with all food packaging materials, bottled water containers must be made from FDA-approved food contact substances. That means the plastic and glass containers used for bottled water products have undergone FDA scrutiny prior to being available for use in the marketplace. FDA has determined that containers used by the bottled water industry are safe for use with food and beverage products—including bottled water—and they do not pose a health risk to consumers.
The idea that harmful chemicals can leach into bottled water is incorrect, and is actually a popular urban myth that has been debunked by many credible scientific sources in recent years. PET plastic bottles, commonly small, portable 16.9 and 24 ounce sizes, are considered safe and reliable for food contact use. PET is used for numerous types of packaging for many foods, including everything from ketchup, peanut butter, soft drinks, and juices to beer, wine and spirits. PET is approved as safe for food and beverage contact by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and similar regulatory agencies throughout the world, and has been for over 30 years.
Even though PET plastic does not contain bisphenol-A (BPA), regulatory agencies in several countries and the FDA have ruled favorably on the safety of BPA. The consensus among these international regulatory agencies is that the current levels of exposure to BPA through food packaging and does not pose a health risk.
When issuing its January 2011 statement on this subject, FDA did not take any formal action to prohibit the use of BPA in any food products. In fact, FDA cautioned against making any changes in food packaging or consumption by either industry or consumers that could jeopardize food safety or reduce intake of food needed for good nutrition. In an April 2012 statement, the FDA reiterated its stance concerning the safety of BPA.
On June 4, 2013, the FDA clearly confirmed the safety of BPA in a question-and-answer post on its website. Responding to the question, “Is BPA safe,” FDA’s position is clear:
“Yes. Based on FDA’s ongoing safety review of scientific evidence, the available information continues to support the safety of BPA for the currently approved uses in food containers and packaging.”