Dangers That Could Be Lurking in Your Plastic Water Bottles

Posted on August 1, 2012
Dangers of Plastic Water Bottles

Last updated: 11/10/2020

You’re committed to providing the safest working environment possible for your employees. For this reason, you offer plastic water bottles. After all, bottled water is supposed to be cleaner and safer to drink than tap water, right?

This is what the majority of people think, but many studies are pointing toward the fact that bottled water isn’t always as safe as tap water. According to National Geographic, a four-year study conducted by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) revealed that while most bottled water is safe to drink, approximately 22 percent of the water tested had contaminant levels that exceeded strict state health limits.

Municipal water treatment facilities operate on stricter guidelines than most bottled water companies. For instance, municipal water systems are required to notify their customers if contaminants are found in their local water supply. Meanwhile, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), bottled water companies do not have to abide by those same strict standards. Bottled water companies are self-regulated and in charge of conducting their own tests. Contaminants are more likely to slip through the filters when looser restrictions are in place. It’s therefore important to know what you could be ingesting when you drink from a plastic water bottle. That’s where your Quench Water Experts come in.

We’re here to provide you with the information you need to make more informed decisions about your drinking water. The following list highlights some of the most common toxins found in bottled water and the potentially harmful effects of plastic water bottles.

1. Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals (EDC)

Studies show that endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC) can leach into the contents of bottles made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET is the main ingredient in most clear plastic containers, including plastic water bottles. Traceable levels of EDCs have been found to leach into the contents of plastic containers kept in storage for up to 10 weeks.[1]

Adverse health effects: When EDCs get in the body, they have the potential to affect development and leave the body open to a staggering range of diseases, including cancer. EDCs affect the body’s endocrine tissues, which produce essential hormones that help regulate energy levels, reproduction, growth, and development.

2.  Arsenic

Although rare, arsenic has been detected in plastic water bottles in the past. From 2016 to early 2017, Starkey Water – a Whole Foods’ brand – recalled more than 2,000 cases of plastic water bottles after regulators found traces of arsenic beyond the federally mandated threshold of 10 parts per billion. Whole Foods conducted follow up tests that revealed the amount of arsenic in those recalled bottles was under the federal limit and could have caused adverse health effects if regularly consumed.[2]

Adverse health effects: Regular consumption of heavy metals like arsenic can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers and lower IQ scores in children.[3]

3. Plastic Particles

How ‘bout some plastic to go with your H₂O? A liter of bottled water from name-brand companies like Dasani, Aquafina, and Nestle can contain roughly 10.4 plastic particles, according to a 2018 study released by Orb Media. That same study found that 93 percent of bottled waters contain “microplastic” synthetic polymer particles. That means there are tiny plastic particles swimming around in plastic water bottles that are nearly untraceable.

Adverse health effects: Center for International Environmental Law found that plastic poses distinct risks to human health. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune conditions are just some of the harmful effects of plastic water bottles that contain microplastics.

4. E. Coli

E. coli are bacteria found in the environment, foods, animals’ intestines, and, in recent years, some bottled water as well. In 2018, it was discovered that West Virginia-based Sweet Springs Valley Water Company had bottled and distributed water from a source contaminated with E. coli.[4] Before that, in June of 2014, a water bottling company revealed that one of the springs they sourced their water from tested positive for E. coli. That discovery led to the recall of 14 bottled water brands.[5]

Adverse health effects: Symptoms of E. coli poisoning include diarrhea, stomach cramps, pain or tenderness, nausea, and vomiting.[6]

5. Mold

If your plastic water bottle was sourced from a well, then you might be at risk for mold in your water if the well cap was damaged or not properly sealed when the water was pulled from it.[7] The fungus is more likely to be found in plastic bottles during the warmer months, particularly in May and June.[8]

Adverse health effects: If ingested, mold can lead to coughing, throat and eye irritation, and allergic reactions that may negatively affect your respiratory system and lead to other immune-related illnesses.

A Quench Bottleless Water Cooler is Your Answer to Clean Water

Instead of purchasing potentially contaminated single-use plastic bottles, reduce water bottles and avoid the harmful effects of plastic water bottles by going bottleless. Bottleless water coolers (also known as point-of-use water coolers) hook up to a building’s existing water supply and filter the already treated public water a second time on-site.

Quench bottleless water coolers act as mini water filtration plants for your workspace.  Many Quench water machines come fully equipped with several advanced water filtration and sanitization technologies, such as advanced carbon filtration, reverse osmosis filtrationultraviolet sanitization, anti-microbial protection, and food-grade tubing.

A bottleless water cooler is not just safer than a plastic water bottle, it’s more environmentally friendly. You can reduce water bottles in the office and save 7,000+ single plastic bottles from entering the environment every year by getting a bottleless water cooler for your business. Discover more ways to reduce water bottles in your workplace here.

Interested in creating a healthier more sustainable work environment for your employees? Give a Quench Water Expert a call. We’ll hook you up with the perfect hydration machines your employees will love. To get started, click the green “Get a Free Quote” button and fill out a form, or call us at 1-888-877-05961!


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2854718/

[2] https://www.ajc.com/news/report-bottled-water-sold-whole-foods-amazon-has-high-levels-arsenic

[3] https://www.ecowatch.com/arsenic-whole-foods-bottled-water-2646260944.html

[4] https://www.consumerreports.org/bottled-water/the-fda-knew-the-bottled-water-was-contaminated-the-public-didnt/

[5] https://www.huffpost.com/entry/bottled-water-e-coli-contamination_n_7640010

[6] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/e-coli/symptoms-causes/syc-20372058

[7] https://www.lvecowater.com/water-purification/signs-mold-water/

[8] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6604837_Fungi_in_bottled_water_A_case_study_of_a_production_plant

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