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Guest Clarisa

F.Y.I.

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Guest Clarisa

FOOD SCIENCE

Refill at will; water bottles won't kill you

BY ROBERT L. WOLKE

Washington Post

Q: I have received the following e-mail. Is there any truth to it?

``Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in their newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center . . . . Don't freeze plastic water bottles with water in them as this releases dioxin from the plastic. Dioxin carcinogens cause cancer . . . Pass this on to your family and friends.''

A: That last sentence, ''Pass this on to your family and friends,'' is often the telltale signature of an Internet urban legend. This particular one erupted when one Edward Fujimoto was interviewed on KHON-TV in Honolulu on Jan. 23, 2002, and made some alarming statements about plastics. Your e-mail message has been circulating ever since, picking up such creative embellishments along the way as the purported imprimaturs of Johns Hopkins University and Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

In a word, the message is baloney. Dioxins are a class of probably carcinogenic chemicals, some of which are released when certain plastics are burned. But the simple fact is that there are no dioxins in plastic bottles. Period.

A more recent Internet story has it that reusing plastic water bottles is dangerous because toxic chemicals in them will poison the water. More baloney. There are no toxic chemicals in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles. Even if there were, do you suppose they would be lying in wait without contaminating the original contents until such time as the bottle is refilled, whereupon they would leap out to poison the unsuspecting refiller? Instead of continually buying little bottles of water at $8 a gallon to keep in my car, I refill one bottle repeatedly from my kitchen tap.

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Guest JMT

so is a bogus chain email.

BUT as far as ive heard, its is still a bad thing to heat up plastic containers in the microwave.

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Guest Clarisa

That's why you have to buy specifically marked containers that state MICROWAVE SAFE.

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