Friday, October 2, 2009

SIGG Water Bottles and Bisphenol A

SIGG is a Swiss company that prides itself on manufacturing environmentally sound water bottles, made from either aluminum or stainless steel. Backpacker magazine has dubbed SIGG “The World’s Toughest Water Bottle” after putting a series of water bottles through a rigorous test, including being pummeled by golf balls shot from a cannon. Aluminum SIGG water bottles have been tested repeatedly to ensure that aluminum does not leach into the water.

SIGG water bottles also have a plastic coating on the inside that prevents them from building up a smell or residue. According to their website, these bottles “exceed FDA requirements and have been thoroughly tested to ensure 0.0% leaching – so they are 100% safe.”

However, on September 7, 2009, the CEO of SIGG, Steve Wasik, publicly apologized about not disclosing that the plastic linings of the popular SIGG stainless steel water bottles contained bisphenol A (BPA). This came as a surprise and a disappointment. SIGG has marketed itself as a great alternative to plastic water bottles. Many consumers who chose SIGG water bottles did so intentionally to avoid further exposure to BPA.

I have already written about the links between BPA and many diseases, including breast cancer, obesity, and diabetes. In my video, I even show a SIGG water bottle that I drank from regularly. It’s a shame that Wasik did not feel that BPA exposure was not a pertinent issue for the consumers who chose SIGG water bottles. He has risked the trust of these consumers and the stability of the company. But to his credit, he has apologized numerous times, and has taken action accordingly.

SIGG began to produce water bottles with a lining that does not contain BPA in August of 2008. The company has also offered a voluntary exchange program for anyone who bought a water bottle prior to August 2008, and who would prefer to have a BPA-free water bottle. This exchange program will be effective until October 31, 2009.

Whether or not the lining does leach contaminants of any sort, it appears that BPA may not be necessary to make an effective lining for water bottles. And this can only be good for the health of consumers.

Ideally, you should drink from water bottles that are BPA-free. Even better, consider avoiding plastic water bottles across the board. Pure stainless steel water bottles (SIGG does sell these) and even glass containers are still the best, healthiest, and most environmentally sound water bottles around. But as an acquaintance pointed out, glass may not be the best choice for children due to its being relatively fragile. So stick with stainless steel for children, and go with either for adults.


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  1. We ditched our Sigg and bought stainless steel.
    Why even bother with aluminum if there's the slightest bit of risk.

  2. Excellent point. And what a great website! Thanks for sharing.