Posted October 25, 2016
Is it safe to continually reuse the same drinking glass or plastic water bottle? Reusing a drinking glass or plastic water bottle is a commendable recycling strategy, but it may not be good for your health. These containers may become a breeding ground for bacteria and lead to health problems. Here are four things you should know:
1. Germs – Some people leave a drinking glass in the bathroom to use after brushing their teeth or by the bed to take sips of water during the night. However, make sure to take these precautions:
- Drinking glass – It’s important to use a clean glass each day, as microbe germs from the mouth can be transferred back into the glass. If the glass isn’t washed, bacteria may develop. When it’s reused, bacteria may be ingested and cause an infection.
- Plastic bottle – The same problem occurs with plastic bottles. Bacteria can flourish in the cracks of plastic bottles that continually are reused. Some plastic bottles are designed for reuse, but many others are not and should be disposed of after consuming the contents. Only reuse plastic bottles designed for multiple uses.
- To minimize the risk of ingesting harmful contaminants, experts recommend using containers made of glass or metal.
2. Untreated water – Tap water is cleaned and treated at city water plants with chlorine added to kill bacteria contaminants. However, bottled and well water do not contain chlorine. If the water in a drinking glass or plastic bottle is shared with others, the risk for bacteria, viruses and intestinal parasites increases.
- Water left in a clean glass is probably good for one to two days. However, after 12 hours the water may taste funny because carbon dioxide in the air mixes with the water
3. Dirty containers – If possible, use a clean drinking glass or disposable, recyclable plastic bottle each time to ensure clean drinking water. Otherwise, wash out the drinking glass (or multi-use bottle) with mild soap and rinse it well. Let it dry out before using again.
4. Heat exposure – When using disposable water bottles, keep them out of the sun. Researchers say chemicals used to manufacture the bottles, including bisphenol-A (BPA), can seep into the water. BPA has been linked to several health problems, including heart disease and cancer. Store bottled water in a cool place, use each bottle once, then recycle it.