Hot Water: How SIGG Lost My Trust (And Kind of Broke My Heart)
Over this last week we have learned that SIGG bottles manufactured before August 2008 (not 2009, as I mistakenly mentioned earlier) contained Bisphenol-A (BPA) in their liners. BPA is a chemical used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins and is part of a group of molecules known as endocrine disruptors.
Endocrine disruptors are defined by the National Institute of Health as
naturally occurring compounds or man-made chemicals that may interfere with the production or activity of hormones of the endocrine system leading to adverse health effects. Many of these chemicals have been linked with developmental, reproductive, neural, immune, and other problems in wildlife and laboratory animals. Some scientists think these chemicals also are adversely affecting human health in similar ways resulting in declined fertility and increased incidences or progression of some diseases including endometriosis and cancers.
BPA is everywhere: in plastic bottles, in metal food cans, in food and toys. But where we did not think it existed was in our SIGGs. I have gone on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Martha Stewart Show, the Ellen DeGeneres Show and told scores of magazines, newspapers, radio programs and lecture audiences to get reusable water bottles. My follow-up line has often been, “I use SIGGs” – accompanied by a gesture towards the bottle that was nearly always on my person, one that I had known and loved for years.
I got my first SIGG because of my concerns about BPA and, well, because they were prettier than the stainless steel options. When others started to ask about them, I gave the same spiel. I reasoned that if it was good enough for me, of course it was good enough for your kids, my students and the world. In fact, the very first time I appeared on Oprah, I laid down the line and said I could not promote the bottles in their giveaway because they were #7 polycarbonates known to leach Bisphenol-A. The producers ended up replacing them with another kind of plastic bottle because they already had a deal set up with the company. But when it came to the bottles I talked about on-air, I spoke about SIGGs.
Read more about SIGG water bottle and BPA at The Huffington Post.