Can Bottled Water Cause Cancer?

Have you ever received an email or read a Facebook post about singer Sheryl Crow or the Walter Reed Army Medical Center warning that drinking bottled water can cause cancer? We received the email version and debunked it in 2011 . It continues to make regular rounds by email, and now on Facebook too. So let’s debunk this hoax on The Rojak Pot.

Bottled water in your car is very dangerous!

On the Ellen show, Sheryl Crow said that this is what caused her breast cancer. It has been identified as the most common cause of the high levels of dioxin in breast cancer tissue.

Sheryl Crow’s oncologist told her: women should not drink bottled water that has been left in a car. The heat reacts with the chemicals in the plastic of the bottle which releases dioxin into the water. Dioxin is a toxin increasingly found in breast cancer tissue. So please be careful and do not drink bottled water that has been left in a car.

Pass this on to all the women in your life. This information is the kind we need to know that just might save us! Use a stainless steel canteen or a glass bottle instead of plastic!

LET EVERYONE WHO HAS A WIFE / GIRLFRIEND / MUM /DAUGHTER KNOW PLEASE!

Can Bottled Water Cause Cancer?

There is a second part to the hoax, which appears to be cut from a separate “article” :

This information is also being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

No plastic containers in microwave. No water bottles in freezer. No plastic wrap in microwave.

A dioxin chemical causes cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies.

Don’t freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently, Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard.

He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers… This especially applies to foods that contain fat.

He said that the combination of fat, high heat and plastic releases dioxin into the body.

Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So, such things as TV dinners, instant soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else.

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Paper isn’t bad but you don’t know what is in the paper. It’s just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc.

He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper.

The dioxin problem is one of the reasons….

Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran Wrap (Gladwrap), is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.

If you haven’t guessed it by now, this is yet another hoax that has been circulating in one form or another for years. It’s ridiculous how folks continue to believe such nonsense and keep this hoax alive by forwarding it!

Anyway, let’s dissect the claims one by one…

 

Claim #1 : Sheryl Crow’s breast cancer was caused by bottled water

Details Of The Claim : Bottled water in your car is very dangerous! On the Ellen show, Sheryl Crow said that this is what caused her breast cancer. It has been identified as the most common cause of the high levels of dioxin in breast cancer tissue.

Verdict : False

The Truth : Sheryl Crow taped a segment with Ellen Degeneres for the Breast Cancer Awareness Month on October 10, 2008. However, she did not talk about her own breast cancer story, much less warned viewers not to drink bottled water that have been left in the car.

About 18 months earlier, on March 28, 2007, she talked about her fight against breast cancer with Harry Smith on the CBS show – Eye to Eye. In that segment, she only advocated for more funding for the investigation of environmental causes of breast cancer. At no point did she ever mention bottled water.

 

Claim #2 : Sheryl Crow’s oncologist advised against drinking bottled water left in the car

Details Of The Claim : Sheryl Crow’s oncologist told her: women should not drink bottled water that has been left in a car. The heat reacts with the chemicals in the plastic of the bottle which releases dioxin into the water. Dioxin is a toxin increasingly found in breast cancer tissue.

Verdict : False

The Truth : There is no verified account of what her oncologist told her, but it’s almost certainly false because PET plastic bottles do NOT contain dioxin. So it would be impossible for her oncologist to tell her that heat from the sun causes dioxin to leach out from the plastic bottle.

 

Claim #3 : Walter Reed Warns Against Plastic Use

Details Of The Claim : This information is also being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. No plastic containers in microwave. No water bottles in freezer. No plastic wrap in microwave.

Verdict : False

The Truth : The Walter Reed Army Medical Center did not release any warning about plastic containers or water bottles or even plastic wrap.

 

Claim #4 : Freezing plastic bottles releases dioxins

Details Of The Claim : Freezing your plastic bottles with water in them will dioxins from the plastic.

Verdict : False

The Truth : Freezing plastic will NOT release dioxins because a) there are no dioxins in PET plastic bottles, and b) freezing will actually inhibit the release of any chemical from any material.

 

Claim #5 : Freezing plastic bottles releases dioxins

Details Of The Claim : Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers… This especially applies to foods that contain fat.

Verdict : Partially true.

The Truth : Edward Fujimoto does indeed exist, and he did talk about all that. However, that was only his belief and has yet to be backed up by any meaningful study.

The Food and Safety Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture published guidelines for safe cooking in microwave ovens, and warned against using materials that are not regarded as microwave safe. One of the guidelines is to avoid letting plastic wraps touch the food. That is another issue, however, and not related to dioxins or high heat in microwaves.

The FDA, on the other hand, was not so much concerned about dioxins leaching from plastics but rather, from the bleached manufacture of paper goods including milk cartons and some paper containers for microwave dinners. In other words, paper containers in some microwave dinners aren’t safe if you are worried about dioxins…

 

Claim #6 : Plastic wrap causes cancer

Details Of The Claim : He pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran Wrap (Gladwrap), is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.

Verdict : False

The Truth : A statement by the SC Johnson company says the “plasticizer” in Saran Wrap is derivative of naturally-occurring citric acid found in citrus fruits and is 100% dioxin-free.

The statement further adds that dioxins can only be formed with chlorine is combined with the kinds of high temperatures associated with waste incinerators. How hot? Oh, about 1,500 °F / 800 °C. Even the most powerful microwave ovens are not capable of coming close to those temperatures.

 

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