SPOT on Safety

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Water Safety

It’s important to stay well hydrated, especially when you’re on a job site. Few of us forget our coffee thermos on the way into work in the mornings, but plenty of us forget our water bottles. So it’s only natural to grab one from the service station or even refill the one that’s been in our car since this time last week.


But did you know that water can go bad or that those flimsy plastic water bottles were never really intended to be filled up and used more than once? Even in an attempt to be environmentally conscious, reusing plastic water bottles or taking that last swig that’s been in there for a few days can be dangerous to your health.


Amanda Chan, a columnist for HuffPost, published an article about these very issues.

“In an article in a 2007 issue of the journal Practical Gastroenterology, experts pointed out that commercial bottled water manufacturers don't recommend that consumers reuse their disposable bottles. That's because "everyday wear and tear from repeated washings and reuse can lead to physical breakdown of the plastic, such as visible thinning or cracks. Bacteria can harbor in the cracks, posing a health risk," they wrote. In addition, "reuse of plastic water bottles can lead to bacterial contamination unless washed regularly," which entails washing the bottle with mild soap, rinsing it well (but not with extremely hot water) and making sure there is no “physical breakdown prior to use.”

The solution is simple: Be sure that you have a water bottle made from stainless steel or glass. Wash it everyday and refill it only after it’s been thoroughly cleaned and dried.

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jason dunn