As a thirsty greenie living in Israel, I try to avoid buying bottled water, and instead have recently purchased a very cool stainless steel water bottle – made in the US by Klean Kanteen. But sometimes it’s difficult to avoid buying some water in plastic bottles – although after reading this story, I will think twice.
This report was spotted in this weekend’s Haaretz newspaper (11th July 08):
“‘Mineral Water with a Taste of Gas’: Gasoline fumes penetrate the plastic mineral water bottles sold at gas stations, according to Technion professor Joseph Miltz of the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering.”
“During the summer, when bottles are stored outside, heating increases the permeability of the plastic material to gasoline fumes – especially if they are stored close to pumps,” said Miltz. Dr. Nehemia Sher, head of quality control for the Neviot water company, appeared to agree. According to her, Neviot instructs the gas company to store the packs of water far from the pumps, and not with oil or other volatile materials. As well as the dangers from gas permeating into the water, bottles standing in the hot Middle Eastern sun for periods of time may undergo partial degradation, also releasing harmful chemicals into the water.
Oy! This feels a bit like a ‘damned if we do, damned if we don’t’ scenario. Not only is there a national water shortage, and the aquifers and lakes are low, the expensive bottled stuff is in danger of contamination. Drink in moderation, and with caution this summer, dear readers.