March 2, 2011

The safest water bottles
to use when you travel

As you may know, I like to travel and spend time outdoors. And I have to carry water along with me. I used to take water bottles along. But, for the most part, that's changed.

New studies are rather embarrassing for the bottled water industry. About 40% of bottled water is just tap water (which may or may not be filtered) put in plastic and sold for a premium. Public outcry finally forced Pepsi to admit that its Aquafina brand is nothing more than tap water.

And there's the question of plastic. Many types of plastic will leech chemicals into the water. So what's the safest way to carry water when you travel or spend time outdoors?

Fortunately, there are still some safe choices for water while you travel. Most of the toxins in water are organic chemicals and chlorine. You can easily remove these with charcoal. A portable charcoal water filter that filters as you drink is easy to carry. My recommend- ation here is the Seychelle stainless steel water filter bottle. They make this bottle with food-grade stainless steel, so it won't expose you to plastic chemical hormone disruptors like BPA (one of the chemicals that can leech out of plastic bottles). This filter won't take out fluoride, but we can't have everything, can we?

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For actual bottled water, my favorite is Oregon Rain ( The company collects its rainwater on a specialized rain farm in the Coastal Range of Oregon from storms that blow in directly from the Pacific Ocean. They test the water for 97 toxic impurities commonly found in water. What's impressive is that the water has no measurable toxins! Oregon Rain water is available in both bottles and glass. I prefer the latter.

If you buy water in plastic, pay attention to the kind of material indicated by the number on the bottom of the bottle. Numbers 2, 4, and 5 are the safest. But number 1, which they typically use in water bottles, also appears to be safe. However, heat, sun, and reuse may cause leeching of chemicals in bottles with thin membranes, so use these bottles only once. When I travel, I take a charcoal-filter portable bottle (like the Seychelle), or drink water from glass bottles when possible.

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