Recycling and environmental factors aside, drink manufacturers have long pushed plastic over glass.
They have steadfastly maintained that the type of food-grade plastic bottles they use – polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – are safe to drink from due to the absence of the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol-A (BPA). But a new German study has found that thousands of other potentially harmful chemicals are still leeching from plastic products into food and beverages, including an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) known as di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate, or DEHF; a plasticizer chemical that is used to make plastic bottles – including PET bottles – more flexible.
DEHF was clearly identified in the tested water as the most consistent and obvious culprit causing anti-estrogenic activity. Despite trace amounts of more than 24,000 other potentially damaging chemicals, DEHF stood out as the only possible EDC capable of inducing this particular observed activity. The study found that 13 of the 18 bottled water products tested exhibited “significant” anti-estrogenic activity, while 16 of the 18 samples were found to inhibit the body’s androgen receptors by an astounding 90 percent.
Additionally, the other 24,520 chemical traces besides DEHF were also identified as exhibiting antagonistic activity, which means that they, too, are detrimental to the body’s hormonal system. Whether or not the risk of drinking water from plastic bottles is hazardous to health or not remains to be conclusively proven. However, considering kombucha tea’s high acidity and stringency we would caution against storing any strength of Kombucha tea in – or drinking from – plastic bottles, PET or otherwise.