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Not a drop to drink. At least not a BPA-free drop.


It seemed like a great way to kill two birds with one stone.  Now I’m wondering if it’s killing—or at least harming—me.

Welcome to my water dilemma.

Last year, my concerns were mounting about both the evils of inherent in the privatization of water and the health risks of exposure to Bisphenol A,  used to produce many common plastics.  So the members of our household stopped using the Brita filter, and started toting straight-from-the-tap goodness with us wherever we went.  Toting it in SIGG water bottles, which were sold as a plastic-free, all aluminum alternative to BPA-laden bottles.

Trust the Swiss their website said.

Yeah, trust the Swiss . . . to sell you out to the Nazis.

Turns out, SIGG bottles were manufactured for years with BPA liners, something the company has until recently denied.  Now their story is that the liners, though loaded with harmful Bisphenol A, were never “proven to be leaching” BPA.

Yeah, well, no one has ever proven that I ate the last of those brownies, either.

Now SIGG is saying that they stopped using BPA in its liners—which ironically, are now manufactured in China, which has become synonymous in the minds of many American consumers with chemical exposure (both for Chinese workers and for U.S. consumers)—last August.  But the SIGG I bought in October had the liner, at least according to the handy illustration over on Treehugger.

And in the months since, that liner has chipped away, as the handy illustration at the top of this post shows.

Wonder how much of it I drank down?  Yeah, so do I.

SIGG’s response to customers like me who are outraged at being concurrently lied to AND exposed to a carcinogen?  Well, if I want, I can send my SIGG bottle back to them at my own expense, and they’ll send me a new one.  Which I’m sure I’ll want to wrap my lips around some time soon.

If I hadn’t broken my Jewish mother’s heart by becoming a writer instead of an attorney, I’d be filing a class action lawsuit right now.  And if anyone out there hears of one, please be sure and let me know.

In the meanwhile, please drink to my health.  Just make it tap water, sipped out of a nice, old-fashioned glass.

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5 Responses to “Not a drop to drink. At least not a BPA-free drop.”

  1. Margarita Says:

    There are many concerns with tap water as well, even when drunk from a old-fashioned glass: by products of chlorine treatment, runoff, out of date plumbing, lead leaking, arsenic…the list goes on.

    I believe we are in a water crisis, and its not shortage, but quality that’s posing the real risk. We need more studies on the effect of tap water (or any other chemically treated water) on our health and replacement of pre-World War 1 era water delivery systems.

    Otherwise, what’s a little more carcinogen in our water from SIGG bottles when its already the product of such weak safety and quality standards.

  2. Karen Says:

    Britta makes it very clear that their pitchers are not made with BPA. I do not know about the filter casing however.

    Someone stole my SIGG a few months ago. I was bummed, but replaced it with a BPA-free Nalgene bottle. Now I feel like the thief did me a favor.

    I bought my daughters SIGG bottles. One hated the taste from the start, so she now uses a BPA-free Nalgene bottle. The other will get her new BPA free bottle as soon as we return the SIGGs to REI!

  3. Lois Leveen Says:

    Margarita, although it’s true that even in the U.S., our water supply is not as well protected as it should be (and people in many other countries have even less access to clean water), it’s important to focus on pressuring governments at the local and federal level to ensure a clean water supply, rather than just attacking tap water as unsafe. Too many people buy bottled water thinking it is cleaner/safer than tap water, when in fact bottled water is often LESS regulated and LESS monitored, and it contributes to the overall privatization of water that already has devastating effects on health throughout the world.

  4. Lawrence Says:

    It should be noted that the health concerns about BPA are generally based on studies that either (1) involve fetal mammals or (2) involve daily intakes several orders of magnitude higher than what a human in an industrialized country would consume. So it makes sense to be worried about baby bottles, usage by pregnant women, etc., but there’s still an active controversy over what (if anything) happens when adults ingest it in typical quantities.

    To my knowledge, there’s also a paucity of statistical information available about the effects of BPA on humans, as opposed to laboratory animals. (Given the presence of plastic everywhere in the food processing world, I imagine it would be almost impossible to run collected data in any meaningful way.)

  5. beth Says:

    Two words: Klean Kanteen.


    Since switching to these, I can tell you that water tastes like… water. Dishwasher-safe, scrubbable inside and out, and the caps are alphabet soup-free.
    The most durable bottle I’ve ever used (it’s survived several drops out of my bike’s bottle cage with only a few small dents) my be the safest as well.

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