Sigg comes clean on BPA in their water bottle liners

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For a couple of years at least, consumers have been abandoning their plastic reusable water bottles in favour of metal ones in order to avoid the endocrine disruptor BPA.

Retail stores reacted to customer concerns about BPA, and pulled the hard polycarbonate plastic bottles from their store shelves and replaced them with metal bottles, such as those made by the Swiss company, Sigg. This was completely a consumer-driven change.

Nalgene, along with other plastic water bottle manufacturers that for years had declared that there were no health issues related to BPA, were forced to take the BPA out of their bottles due to consumer demand. It was not until October of 2008 that the Canadian government declared BPA a “hazardous substance”, and it was placed on the toxic substance list.

Then in March 2009, the US put through legislation that forbids the sale of “any bottle, cup, or other container that contains bisphenol A if the container is designed or intended to be filled with any liquid, food or beverage primarily for consumption from that container by children three years of age or younger.”

According to the Canadian Gazette, “On March 16, 2009, in the United States, a bill to ban the use of bisphenol A in food containers, and for other purposes was introduced for the second time in the House of Representatives.” BPA is particularly hazardous to infants, and many countries have now banned it from sippy cups, liners of infant formula containers, baby toys etc.

Metal water bottle manufacturers were the huge beneficiary of the BPA problem, and the whimsical Sigg bottles became extremely popular. Over a year ago, a CBC reporter asked a Sigg representative point blank if the bottle liner contained BPA, and the answer he received to the question was “No”.

However, we know that was not the truth, as Sigg has now come clean and admitted to the world that their bottle liners contained BPA until August 2008, after which they were replaced by a BPA-free liner. Today, when I was in the store that sold me my bottle, I noticed that all the Sigg bottles were pulled from the shelves.

Sigg, in an effort to save face, is offering an exchange program where consumers can send in their Sigg bottles with the old liner for a replacement with the new liner, at the consumer’s expense for shipping. I bought my Sigg bottle in July 2009, and it still has the old liner, so just because you purchased your bottle recently does not guarantee you’ve got the BPA-free one.

If you own a Sigg bottle and are concerned, check which liner you've got by referring  to these pictures. The old liner is coppery in colour, whereas the new one is yellowish. Make sure you download the labels they want you to use, to ensure a smooth exchange.

My water bottle / BPA post that I wrote a few years back was extremely popular, and I got many questions with respect to the safety of particular brands of water bottles, Sigg being one of them frequently asked about. I apologize if I steered anyone wrong – I did not know that Sigg bottle liners contained BPA and find it astonishing that they would, since people were moving to metal bottles in order to specifically avoid that chemical.

According to Sigg, their new bottles are BPA free. I do wish that as consumers we could trust companies to use materials that are not implicated in health concerns, and I’m sure there are some reputable companies out there, but how is a consumer to know which companies to trust?

Just to let those of you in the Vancouver Lower Mainland know, I am going to run my popular Nutrition Seminar again on Sept. 23, ’09 from 7-10pm. If you are confused about nutrition with all of the conflicting information out there, come out and learn some simple strategies to know instantly whether or not a particular food is healthy. Click here to find out details and how to register.

If you want to subscribe or search for other posts by title or by topic, go to www.wellnesstips.ca.

Related Tips:
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3 Comments »

  1. S. Hain said,

    February 21, 2010 @ 10:40 am

    Hi,

    Thank you for all of the info on BPA, and most recently your email regarding BPA in canned food liners. I know that fresh food is always best, but I wanted to ask you – I had heard that Eden brand canned food is BPA-free. Do you know if this is true? Are their any other brands like this? Thank you. -Syd

  2. Vreni said,

    February 21, 2010 @ 1:47 pm

    Hi Syd,

    Looks like Eden really does try to be BPA free, and it is not in the lining of the cans, but Consumer Reports recently did a study and found some BPA even in the Eden products. The owner says it is because they get their tomatoes from another supplier which comes in BPA-lined cans, so the tomatoes have BPA in them, which then gets put into their BPA free cans. So, once again, watch the tomato products. Many of them can also be found in glass, so that is a great option. But one can really applaud the efforts of Micheal Potter of Eden Foods for refusing to use BPA lined cans.

    Here is the Consumer Report article.

  3. Planet Zero Gravity said,

    April 10, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

    Great article and website! One of the most important aspect of a healthy detox is drinking water. I just wanted to let you know about Planet Zero Gravity’s Stainless Steel 1-liter wide mouth and 16 oz sports and water bottles. They are BPA Free, wide mouth and easy to clean. The 16-oz bottle design is unique and the bottles are made to fit in your car cup holder, kayak water holder, adjustable bike bottle rack and are easy to carry.

    Planet Zero Gravity’s mission is to help reduce plastic pollution and to help people lead an active and healthy lifestyle. The owners are avid outdoor enthusiasts.

    Stay hydrated with The Planet Zero Gravity Stainless Steel Water Bottles. Perfect for the trail, road, or office, they are made from food grade stainless steel. Why buy plastic water bottles that can be dangerous to your health, make your water taste terrible, pollute the environment and put a big dent in your wallet? Planet Zero Gravity’s bottles do not need an inside liner as aluminum bottles do because stainless steel has been safely used in the food industry for many years. They also have a wide mouth for easy cleaning – which allows you to add ice cubes or anything else you may put in your drink.

    Planet Zero Gravity supports eco friendly living to help preserve our planet for the future generations. People and businesses need to give back to the earth if we are to put a stop to global warming and the increasing pollution that is occurring worldwide. Planet Zero Gravity is a member of 1% For The Planet. Please visit http://www.planetzerogravity.com for more information

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