A new study published in the September 2014 issue of the scientific journal Environmental Pollution investigates how storage conditions influence the release of antimony and bisphenol A (BPA) from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. A team of scientists from the University of Florida (UF), U.S., and Nanjing University, China, investigated 16 brands of bottled water from China. There, consumer demand for bottled water has grown rapidly in recent years, as overall water quality deteriorates.
The researchers led by Lena Ma, professor of soil and water science at UF, stored water bottles at different temperatures and over varying time periods to simulate three real-life storage conditions. The temperature of 70 °C and storage period of four weeks were conditions that represented a reasonable “worst-case scenario” for human consumption. Only one brand exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard for antimony and BPA. The results show, however, that with longer storage duration and higher temperatures both antimony and BPA levels increased. Therefore, the authors recommend to avoid storing PET bottles at elevated temperatures. Furthermore, they conclude that further research into other beverages packaged in PET bottles and other container types is needed.
IFAS News (September 22, 2014). “Don’t drink the (warm) water left in a plastic bottle, UF/IFAS study says”
Fan et al. (2014). “Effects of storage temperature and duration on release of antimony and bisphenol A from polyethylene terephthalate drinking water bottles of China.” Environmental Pollution 192, 113–120.