The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) has taken the initiative to test plastic water bottles for the presence of Bisphenol A (BPA), a carbon-based synthetic compound used in making plastics. The water bottles – from 20 lesser-known brands – passed the test.

BPA is used in making polycarbonate or polysulfone, hard plastic ideal as liquid containers. These plastics are clear and tough.

There have been concerns that high urinary BPA levels are linked to heart disease and diabetes, following a study conducted by the University of Exeter in England. BPA is also said to interfere with reproductive development among animals and high doses of BPA may eventually affect the liver and kidneys.

Case bought the bottled water from supermarkets, outdoor shops and neighbourhood retail outlets for laboratory testing.

One brand, manufactured in China, showed 0.08 micrograms of BPA per millilitre of water but the value was still within the BPA migration limit of 0.6 mcg/ml set by the European Union and which has been adopted by the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore as its standard. This Chinese brand, however, did not claim to be BPA-free.

The danger is in the leaching of the chemical into the fluids being consumed by the public, which will eventually increase BPA levels in the body.

BPA in infant-feeding bottles is prohibited. Although the water bottles are safe for use, Case still reminded consumers about following the proper usage and cleaning instructions of each individual manufacturer. MIMS