On a lot of bottles of so called mineral water, it is advised not to refill the bottle (with ordinary tap water, or any other drink e.g. cola) as doing so may present a health hazard. Is there any evidence behind this warning, or is it simply companies trying to get you to buy more bottles of water?

  • I'm always trying to reuse bottles, bags of the supermarket, and avoid using disposable materials... I never got sick reusing the bottles of water... Commented May 5, 2011 at 0:27

1 Answer 1


The University of Calgary study referenced here only has the possible build up of bacteria as a risk, and even that is avoidable if the bottles are washed between uses and occasionally something stronger such as bleach is used.

The same link also discusses the other myths around dioxins and pthalates leaching from the plastic to the water, and the original paper on that is available here.

  • 4
    The link is broken...
    – Rabskatran
    Commented Sep 29, 2011 at 15:34
  • 15
    Do you have independent sources? I really don't trust 'plasticsinfo.org' on that issue.
    – Holger
    Commented Sep 29, 2011 at 15:37
  • If the bottle is made of PET there would be phthalates in the water (from monomers / small oligomers). Would they be enough to have some health effect- I don't know if that has been established conclusively yet. They are endocrine disruptors but at the same time the amounts would be exceedingly small.
    – Dan S
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 23:00

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