Getting the dirt on reusable water bottles

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By Julia Abelsohn

By now you’re used to carrying a refillable water bottle around with you because you know that it’s better for the environment and better for you, right? Not exactly.

A recent study by Treadmill Reviews found that water bottles harbour huge levels of potentially harmful bacteria.

Results from this study are extremely cringe-worthy. Drinking from the average refillable bottle “can be many times worse than licking your dog’s toy.”

Bottles with a slide-top contained the most germs with squeeze-top bottles running a close second.

Screw-top bottles weren’t quite as bad but still contained 159,060 CFU, which is about as bad as lapping up water from your kitchen sink.

Overall more than 60 per cent of germs found on water bottles can make people sick with traces of antibiotic-immune bacteria, such as the food poisoning causing E.coli.

Before you throw away your water bottle and go back to disposable bottles, here’s some simple advice.

Bottles should be hand washed after each use with a weak bleach solution or cleaned in a dishwasher.

Choose a stainless steel or glass bottle over plastic and never let your half-drunk bottle sit in the bottom of your bag for days. Warm weather can increase bacteria production even more so make sure to remove your water bottle from your car after every trip.

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Julia Abelsohn

Julia Abelsohn is a writer, editor and clinical aromatherapist. She has been sharing her expertise and passion for health and wellness for over 25 years. When not at her desk she can be found exploring the many trails and green spaces near her home in Edmonton, Alberta.

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