Is It Safe To Drink Bottled Water Left In The Sun?

It's easy to assume that many people keep an emergency bottle of water or two on hand in their cars. Whether it's a busy afternoon that's left you parched or hours stuck in traffic that have you reaching for that bottle that's been rolling around in the backseat floorboard, you might want to rethink drinking it. While there have been debates and varying information given on whether or not it is safe to drink bottled water that has been left in the sun, there is a clear answer on the subject.

According to Today, there have been two opposing forces presenting dialog on the safety of bottled water that has been exposed to heat which includes the industry and its representation through the International Bottled Water Association as well as the scientists who study and research plastics. The voices from the industry claim that the water bottle companies test the safety of their product when exposed to water and claim that their bottled water has been tested for safety after being left in hot cars and it is okay to consume. Plastics scientists, however, disagree.

This is why you shouldn't drink bottled water exposed to heat

Scientists who specialize in plastics explain that the hotter a bottle of water gets, the more toxic chemicals inside of the plastics leak out into the water they hold (via Today). In fact, National Geographic shared a 2008 study that analyzed just how long a bottle of water can withstand heat before it reaches an unsafe level of toxic antimony that is used in plastic.

The study found that bottled water is safe in 70 degree Fahrenheit weather, but during hotter days, that's not the case. When bottled water is exposed to extreme heat, such as the inside of a car on a summer day, it takes just five weeks of exposure to that much heat for unsafe levels of antimony to be detected in the water.

So, to avoid drinking water that isn't safe, be sure to regularly consume and change out the bottled water you keep in your car. Try buying a bottle of water when you need it rather than leaving extra bottles in the sun for too long. You can also keep a reusable bottle on hand so you can fill up whenever you need to without the risk of leaving water in the sun for extended periods of time.