What Brands of Bottled Water Don't Have BPA in Them?

Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical used for decades to manufacture hard plastics, particularly water bottles, baby bottles, reusable cups and the lining of metal cans 2. Studies from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration claim the chemical in food containers does not affect children or adults 4. In fact, the department's 2010 "Update on Bisphenol A for Use in Food Contact Applications" assures citizens that the FDA has been carefully monitoring BPA and reducing exposure 14. However, Europe has gone so far as to ban all products made for children under the age of three that contain BPA (in 2006). Presumably, BPA levels would be just enough to affect small children and undeveloped brain functions, but would not affect more mature bodies. Fortunately, changing technology and plastic developments have put many excellent BPA-free plastic bottles on the market recently.

What is BPA?

Bisphenol A is a xenoestrogen, or “hormone disrupter.” According to medical experts at "Trusted, M.D.," synthetic xenoestrogens can be crippling to young children and infants--and are linked to decreased testosterone levels in men, insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes, and breast cancer and uterine cancer in women. Although the FDA claims the chemical does not affect children or adults in "Update on Bisphenol A for Use in Food Contact Applications, 2010," it has admitted "some concern for effects on the brain, behavior and prostate glands of fetuses and the very young." Scientific studies have also raised concerns about the chemical's link to breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, reproductive failures and behavioral problems, according to a "Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal" report in 2010, based on statements from the FDA website 4. In 2006, San Francisco followed Europe's lead and banned BPA products made for children under age three.

You can tell whether your bottle contains BPA or not by looking at the bottom of it--#2 HDPE (high-density polyethylene), #4 LDPE (low-density polyethylene), or #5 PP (polypropylene) means your bottle is fine. A #1 is recommended for one-time use. Unfortunately, some of the fun, colorful bottles so pervasive on the market today often contain polycarbonate plastics. You can identify them by the #7 recycling symbol.

Read more about how to tell if plastic is BPA free.

Stainless Steel

Klean Kanteen is a company providing alternatives to plastic that contains BPA or controversial aluminum bottles. It manufactures stainless steel containers in various sizes, shapes, and styles. Other premium choices for stainless steel bottles include:

  1. Intak by Thermos Stainless Steel Hydration Bottle
  2. Reduce Stainless Steel Water Bottles (plastic lid)
  3. Nalgene Backpacker Stainless Steel
  4. Gaiam Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Polyethylene Plastic

Polyethylene is a plastic manufactured without BPA.This type of bottle is durable and easy to clean; however, it's manufactured and tested carefully to ensure no trace of BPA. Depending on the brand and style of bottle, these choices are varied in their colors and features, but share common characteristics of safety and affordability.

  1. CamelBak Podium Bottle
  2. Product Architects Inc. Polar Bottle
  3. FuelBelt

Eastman Tritan Plastic

Eastman Tritan plastic is another material that claims to be BPA-free because of its copolyester makeup. Various manufacturers create bottles using this substance, including the following:

  1. Nalgene
  2. Intake by Thermos Beverage Bottle
  3. Stanley brand
  4. CamelBak Better Bottle
  5. Contigo Hydration Water Bottle

Other Alternatives

Other BPA-plastic alternatives include aluminum bottles with non-BPA plastic liners, such as Sigg's Lifestyle water bottles. Reduce WaterWeek, a popular beverage container, features ABS plastic with a polypropylene cap and is a recommended choice for BPA-free users. These bottles can be obtained from wholesalers, stores, or directly from the manufacturer.

Read more about the dangers of plastic food storage containers.