Look, we just want to preface that everything in this article can be avoided if you switch to a reusable metal or glass water bottle.
That being said, if you need bottled water, you should stop leaving it in your car, like... yesterday.
In an extreme case, if the sun catches the bottle at just the right angle, the bottle could act as a magnifying glass, create a dangerous hotspot and burn a hole in your car seat or eventually spark a fire!
But more realistically, you’re exposing those plastic water bottles to extreme heat. Heat helps chemical bonds break down. Broken down, it’s easier for the chemicals to leach into the water.
A study conducted in 2008 by Arizona State University researchers looked at how summertime temperatures inside cars, garages and enclosed storage areas “could promote antimony leaching from PET bottled waters.” Most of the water bottles available on the market today are made of PET or polyethylene terephthalate, a type of plastic. Antimony is used to manufacture the plastic and can be toxic in high doses.
Now, the study found that it took 38 days for water bottles heated to 149°F in a lab to show levels of antimony that exceeded safety recommendations. But the concern for leaving plastic water bottles in hot cars isn’t to prevent someone from drinking a 38 day old water bottle, it’s to warn against frequent consumption of these “cooked” water bottles.
Like we said before, all of this can be avoided if you switch to a reusable metal or glass water bottle! Bottled water has an important role in emergency situations, but for the average consumer there’s no life-altering benefit to drinking bottled water instead of tap or filtered water. So instead of having to worry about starting a fire, antimony in your water, and contributing to the one million plastic water bottles that are consumed every minute (91% of which are not recycled), say no to single-use and choose reusable!