Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Which water bottle for your globetrotter kid?

We live in a developing country, which means that we don't drink water from the tap, which means that there is no potable water at the Bambina's school, which means that she has to bring a bottle of water with her every day to school.  

So the question is, which kind of water bottle should she use?

This question is also relevant for globetrotter families who are on the go and want to have one or more bottles of water on hand for the kids.

One obvious answer is your standard disposable plastic bottle of Evian or other bottled water.  But they get grody after a while and they are difficult to wash.  Plus have you ever looked at the water inside a bottle of Evian after your child has drunk from it?  There are food particles in it because kids backwash.

Another possibility is a hard plastic bottle like the kind you can buy in our local Jumbo grocery store here.  The Frenchman bought one of these for the Bambina last year and I nearly had a keniption.   Besides the fact that your water ends up tasting like plastic, the bottle itself was made in China, reeked of "new plastic" and was probably leaking polyvinyl chloride and/or Bisphenol A into the water.  That and the fact that it leaked all over and broke after about two weeks of use meant that we had to search for another bottle.

An alternative to plastic is a metal flask with a drinking spout.  There would seem to be two kinds on the market - those made of aluminium and those made of stainless steel.  Decathlon, the French sporting goods giant, sells an aluminium one (pictured above).  The Frenchman was very keen on buying these but I determined from the coding on the bottom of the flask that it was, indeed, made of aluminium and I had some reservations.  Aluminium in unlined water bottles leaches into the water, leaving a metal taste, not to mention possible concerns about alzheimers disease in the long run.  No link between aluminium and Alzheimers has been proven - yet - but it's just not something that I want to have to worry about.

Aluminium cans with a lining, such as a the famous Sigg line, come with concerns about what, exactly is in the lining.  Sigg swore that the lining in their water bottles contained no Bisphenol A - until they changed their minds and admitted that all bottles sold before August 2008 did have Bisphenol A "but only in tiny amounts".  Great.

Rather than worrying about what may be in the lining of an aluminium bottle, you can always get a stainless steel bottle instead.  Stainless steel is made of chromium, iron and nickel.  Stainless steel bottles don't generally have lining inside, as stainless steel doesn't leave a metal taste in your month and there is no danger in ingesting the molecules (iron is good for you!).   There are a few brands out their but we bought the Crocodile Creek brand at Le Bon Marché department store in Paris.


Esther and Brian said...

how interesting of a post...i honestly, have not even thought about this, well, the boys are not in school yet and we are not in a developing country...but yeah, i agree- get the safest possible one...and goods from china do really smells at times.

ps: i love decathlon- wished we had one in the states, too :)

The Globetrotter Parent said...

LOVE Decathlon! We make a trip there whenever we're back in France.

Jamie said...

I recently bought Ewan bottles for our family. They are Stainless Steel.
I had similar concerns to yours, about aluminium, plastic linings etc.