1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

DO NOT boil drinking water in plastic bottles!

Discussion in 'Where, When, & How Do We Carry All This Stuff?' started by liquidsunshine, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. liquidsunshine

    liquidsunshine Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi everyone,

    as this trick has recently been talked about quite a lot I just wanted to point out that while a plastic bottle may structurally withstand being heated up to boiling point and above while boiling water in it, it is a very bad idea to drink that water afterwards - as the high temperature makes all sorts of chemicals leak out of the plastic which then happily dissolve into the water.

    With many plastics, that even happens at room temperature, which is why, for example, BPA has come under fire as a material in plastic used for drinking water bottles.

    Bottomline: Boiling water in a plastic bottle over the fire is a nice trick to show off - but not suitable for drinking water in my opinion.

    Cheers,

    Matt
     
  2. jma78

    jma78 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    391
    Ummm.. Boiling water in a plastic bottle?

    I´ve never even thought of doing that because it´s.. well, stupid.

    I guess people doing that are the reason for various warning like stencilling on the side of a firearm "caution, death or serious injury may occur if you point this toward yourself and pull the trigger".

    My 2 cents.
     
  3. Gorbag

    Gorbag Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    79
    Just because something is possible doesn't mean one should do it. Boiling water in a Nalgene bottle is one of those derrrrr moments.
     
  4. Krustofski

    Krustofski Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    8
    Uh... I'd never thought of doing this. I mean, I like my bottle being shaped like, well, a bottle, not like a golf-ball sized piece of molten plastic goo.

    Oh, and BPA is rather harmless. There is other nasty stuff, though.
     
  5. Synaptic Misfire
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Synaptic Misfire Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,228
    Likes Received:
    246
    It can be done. Frankly I will take a slow death from some minute toxin leach over a convulsing explosive diarrhea death from contaminated water. Also the science behind the claim that plastic bottles release toxins when heated is shaky and inconclusive at best.

    I just drank a bottle of water that had been in the trunk of my car since may of last year in the Florida sun, didn't even taste funny.
     
  6. lukem

    lukem Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    What chemicals leach out, and at what temperatures do they begin to leach out?
     
  7. Krustofski

    Krustofski Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    8
    If we are talking PET (i.e. plastic soda bottles), than it's acetaldehyde, antimony, and some estrogen-like substances. PET in generall often contains phthalate esters as well, but those are illegal in food-grade plastic. And the days where acetaldehyde was spoiling bottled water are long over.
    In polycarbonate bottles (i.e. Nalgenes, plastic canteens, baby bottles), that'd be BPA.

    All in concentrations far below anything that could cause potential harm. The industry, consumer protection organisations, and authorities worldwide are after the legal limits. The standards are rather strict, especially for polycarbonate bottles, as nobody likes harmfull chems in little Lucy's formula.

    Seriously, don't worry a heated bottle could release anything dangerous into the water, unless it's partially molten.

    I still wouldn't boil water in a plastic bottle, though. Why take the risk of melting it. Carry a canteen cup or something.
     
  8. liquidsunshine

    liquidsunshine Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi again,

    well I did look into it quite seriously, nonetheless I haven't seen any evidence that is scientifically correct and convincing that BPA and all the other stuff that's in all those different plastic bottles (and in the inside coating of almost all aluminium bottles as well, by the way) is actually harmless. I don't want to get into doses, the body's response to hormones, accumulation of stubstances in the body and all that - because that's not necessary to make a decision on this one.

    If you carry water in a plastic bottle, one day you may have to boil water in a plastic bottle.

    If you carry a stainless bottle, that will never happen. Stainless is also tougher, doesn't go brittle from sunlight or in the cold, is easier to clean, and you can happily boil water in it all day long without any worries. Use a stainless steel bottle. Problem solved.

    A possible alternative is to carry a rolled or folded up piece of thick aluminium sheet, like a piece cut out of an oven liner, which you can shape like a small pot and boil water in safely if you need to.

    If I can reliably prevent a potentially serious problem in the first place by one small gear adjustment rather than having to deal with the fallout of the problem later on, that's exactly what I'll do, every time. It's a total no-brainer.

    Cheers,

    Matt
     
  9. lukem

    lukem Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    I too have seen no credible studies showing a danger in consuming the miniscule quantities of BPA that might leach out of a Nalgene bottle in normal use.

    I'd avoid throwing a bottle into a fire to boil the water anyways, I agree about carrying a canteen cup for that purpose instead. (I have a nice one that fits the bottom of my Nalgene!)

    I'm glad I didn't buy one of the Sigg "stainless steel" bottle that were really lined with BPA after all...

    Liquidsunshine: have you read up on chromium? one of the components of stainless steel? or the links between Aluminium and alzheimer's?

    Glass has the fewest possible toxins of all the water bottle materials, but has it's own downsides.

    Every report I've read about the hazards of BPA say "MAY leach out, and MIGHT act like an estrogen in the body, which POSSIBLY could affect your health negatively."

    Of course, it's a moot point now that pretty much all bottle manufacturers have moved away from BPA.
     
  10. Lord Bear

    Lord Bear Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    13
    :bow::ty:
    This is such useful stuff that I am forced to pull it UP again. Bravo Krustofski. :censored: that's good!
     
  11. Timbokhan

    Timbokhan Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    7
    Boiling stuff in the bottle is generally done specifically because you don't have anything else to boil it in, notably in survival situations. If that is the case, whatever amounts of chemicals you are going to get out of one bottle is nothing compared to how quickly you can become a quivering mass of death on account of drinking non-boiled water.
     
  12. liquidsunshine

    liquidsunshine Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    1
    lukem,

    > Every report I've read about the hazards of BPA say "MAY leach out, and MIGHT act like an estrogen in the body,
    > which POSSIBLY could affect your health negatively."

    Not having proven something to be dangerous does not mean it's harmless; it just means it's hard or impossible to prove - which is the case with BPA, as its effects are similar to a bunch of other substances and can't easily be traced back to each of those, which is why all those studies are forced to use this language. It's similar with the effects on victims of radioactivity - they can't prove that that incident at the nuklear power plant actually has caused their individual case of cancer, so the plant is deemed "innoccent". I don't like this line of pseudo-reasoning.

    > Of course, it's a moot point now that pretty much all bottle manufacturers have moved away from BPA.[/QUOTE]

    I would disagree, as in my view BPA is only one of many substances of worry in plastic bottles.

    Where possible, I'll still prefer to choose not to use something that carries some doubts - which BPA does, not only with me, but with quite a lot of experts! - if there are better alternatives.

    I'm aware of aluminium / Alzheimer, which is why I don't use aluminium.

    Glass would be good, but it's not practical as it breaks too easily.

    To me, the chromium in stainless steel is a much lesser risk than BPA and other stuff in a plastic bottle above a fire. Stainless is not nearly as influenced by heat as plastic is; and it has been around in cook ware for a very long time without any major effects becoming obvious, while plastic packaging and storage is relatively new and didn't have quite enough time to show its effects.

    Obviously, ideally I'd want an implant grade titanium bottle, which would be the ultimate choice, but aside from the fact that I'm not aware of any products like that being available, I also think that would kind of put a big hole into my wallet...

    Of course, everyone makes their own choices, I just wanted to bring this issue up as many people are so excited about the fact that it is possible to boil water in plastic bottles that this doesn't ever cross their minds.

    Cheers,

    Matt
     
  13. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,266
    Likes Received:
    2,019
    I agree on steel. Nearly all pots, pans, kettles and other cookware are steel, aren't they? People boil water and cook food in steel cookware all the time, so what's the difference between those and a steel bottle?

    As for the titanium bottle, see here. Not sure if it's implant grade, though.
     
  14. WillCAD

    WillCAD Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    56
    Yeah, we've all seen episodes of Survivorman or Man vs. Wild where the hosts boiled water in a plastic bottle to show that it's possible - though extremely difficult - in an emergency survival situation.

    Personally, I consider it a very, very last resort, and doubt that I'll ever have to worry about it, since I seldom find myself in wilderness areas where I might be in a survival situation. I consider the fact that water can be boiled in a plastic bottle to be an interesting factoid, but not a particularly practical fact.

    If my life ever changes to the point where I'm spending a lot of time in wilderness areas, I'll definitely pick up a nice steel canteen cup. I kinda like the old-fashioned GI-style cups that fit on the bottom of the GI 1-qt canteens, because they're large and have long folding handles. The more you can boil at one time, the better, in a survival situation where your access to water might be limited.
     
  15. lukem

    lukem Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yep, I dislike pseudo reasoning also, hence my umbrage with the repeated internet meme about the dangers of BPA.
    In some cases, BPA MIGHT POSSIBLY behave the same way that Soy is proven to behave.

    What other substances? what are their effects on the human body?

    Wherever possible, I prefer to use the best material for the job, whatever that material might be, and considering it's possible risks and benefits.
    That's why 99% of the time, I carry water in a Nalgene or similar bottle.

    The risk from Chromium leaching out from stainless steel cookware is so low as to be safely disregarded. But you might want to check the welding/soldering that's typically done on those bottles. it might not be as safe as we'd like to think. (especially if it's made in China...)

    I have noticed a metallic taste sometimes when drinking water from SS water bottles though, which was a bit disconcerting.
    oooh... Titanium! I want! (yeah, a titanium water bottle would be verrah nice... and pricey!)

    True, we all get to make our own choices. and informed discussion of the facts helps us all to identify the particular position on the risk/reward scale for each item we choose.

     
  16. 1holegrouper

    1holegrouper Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    23
    Or, don't iron your clothes while wearing them.

     
  17. Hoshnasi

    Hoshnasi Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    5
    This whole topic came to a fever pitch over that episode where Bear does it on "Man Vs. Wild" right?
     
  18. lukem

    lukem Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    Probably... I have to admit I don't watch it.

    It's another one of those "just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD" situations.
    I've heard you can aslo cook ground beef in a lettuce leaf. doesn't mean I'm going to replace my frypan though!
    I've seen the arguments for boiling water in a water bottle (plastic, metal, unobtainium, what have you) and frankly I don't see an advantage to it.
     
  19. 5axis

    5axis Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    I picked up a young lady for a date once at her garment industry office. She had her aides iron my clothes, we me still in them, while she finished getting ready. I didn't feel a thing but it was still a traumatic experience. She's my ex-wife now and we still laugh about this.
     
  20. gcbailey

    gcbailey Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    3
    what about baby bottles, does sterilizing them have the same effect? I know all of the ones we use recommend to boil them once a week for a good sterilization process.