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The Geezer
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What are the scientific findings of plastic sealed water ...

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What are the scientific findings of plastic sealed water bottles (spring or distilled water) left in a hot car. Is it safe to drink? What is the heat factor or cut-off factor when it is not safe to drink?

Are the bottles decomposing from the heat, not hot enough to burn the skin but very warm water in the bottles in the trunk etc.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  The Geezer replied 7 years ago.
There are no scientific studies of the specific question you are asking. However, let's break down the question into parts.

1. Are the plastic bottles safe? When left in a hot car, the temperature can rise to 130-140 degree F or so. The plastic bottles don't melt or degrade at that point (unlike cooking temperatures on the stove or in the microwave).

2. Does the plastic or any part of it dissolve in water at 130 degrees more readily than at room temperature? Not significantly more. You would need a mass spectroscope to see any difference - you probably breathe in more pollutants in a mile of driving than you would drink in a year from warm plastic water bottles.

3. Does the water change in any way if heated to 130 degrees and then cooled to a drinkable temperature? No. If it did, nobody would drink hot tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, all of which are made with water that is boiled (212 degrees).

BUT... if the water bottle has already been opened and someone has taken a sip, there are bacteria introduced into the bottle. These bacteria will grow better in warmer temperatures. Not good if you drink THAT water later.

If the bottles are unopened, the water is safe to drink, although it would be more refreshing if consumed at room temperature. If a bottle has been opened, discard it to avoid drinking contaminated water.
The Geezer, Successful careers
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Satisfied Customers: 1387
Experience: Retired Civil Engineer, USC Professor & Realtor, financier
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