Is bottled water bad for your health?

By Dan Carroll - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Have you gotten that e-mail going around that claims drinking bottled water can cause cancer?

Is it truth or fiction? FOX19 investigates.

So you drink part of a bottle of water, then let it sit in the car, in the sun, while you run into a store for a quick errand.

Most of us wouldn't think much of it, or maybe you didn't, until an e-mail started going around, claiming bottled water left in a car can leach chemicals that can lead to breast cancer.

Some people believe it, but most don't. Should they?

Dr. Marianne Marchese is a naturopathic physician who focuses on women's health and environmental medicine.

She says chemicals from plastic bottles are linked to breast cancer, and other hormonal conditions such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and early puberty in young girls. In men, it can lead to decreased sperm counts and prostrate cancer, and water bottles aren't the only concern.

"The liquid that's in the plastic bottle doesn't really matter," said Marchese. "It could be a plastic water bottle, a plastic soda bottle, a plastic juice bottles."

Marchese says plastics contain some toxic chemicals that can act like estrogen, and interfere with hormone levels. She also says people who have reproductive problems usually have elevated levels of these chemicals.

"We can make a correlation, but we can't say that it's causing it," said Marchese. "Heating causes more leeching from the plastic bottle, but just sitting on the shelf at the store can cause leeching of these chemicals."

But what about that e-mail going around warning about cancer causing agents leeching into your bottle of water? says the plastic bottle scare is based on a thesis from an Idaho grad student, and got reported on by the media despite it's lack of peer review.

The web site for the Food and Drug Administration says in 2007, bottled water volume was 8.8 million gallons and the FDA regulates every drop, and you can't find anything the least bit alarming about plastic bottles and carcinogens on their Web site.

Even the American Cancer Society shoots down any link between bottled water and cancer. Despite all that, Marchese says she has a stack of research that says differently.

"If every single day we're having a little bit of this chemical, a little bit of that chemical we build up a lot of chemicals in our body. And that's when we start to see hormonal problems," she said.

There are a lot of us who grew up with just about everything we use coming in a glass bottle, and concerns about plastic are sending some people back to glass, or now even metal.