Does Re-Use and Recycle Cause Health Concern? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/16/03

Does Re-Use and Recycle Cause Health Concern?

Water, it does a body good, but buying a new bottle every time you need to quench your thirst will cost you. NewsChannel 11 caught up with William Riley, an active water drinker at Bodyworks Gym. Riley said, "I go to Sam's and buy water by the 24 pack. I go through about three a week."

Most water drinkers we spoke with save money and reuse their bottles. Gabe Stagner said, "Typically, I bring in a bottle that I've had a previous time and fill it up with water at the water fountain." Courtney Godwin said, "I keep the bottles and refill them.' Jon Augesen also refills his bottles. "I refill it because it saves me money since I go through a bunch of water."

Reusing the bottles may be saving these consumers money, but is it healthy? To answer the question, we enlisted six Bodyworks employees for a three day test. We gave Niki, Natalie and Gilbert three new bottles of water each. All three drank from their bottles, only once, without refilling and reusing. Then we gave Dan, Shawn and Eric one bottle each. All three drank from their individual bottle for three days, refilling it and reusing it.

Then we took all 12 bottles to Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Lab. Technians swabbed the bottles for possible bacteria. Then, we waited for the bacteria to grow. After three days, pathologists gave us the findings. Dr.Jeffrey Oliver said, "What we found was the two sets were virtually indifferent. We didn't grow out anything dangerous from any of the cultures. We found all the organisms that are usually present in the mouth and almost the same number of organisms in both specifications." Dr. Olvier says the study suggests there is no cause for health concern when reusing the same bottle more than once. He adds, that if you do use the same bottle or container more than once, washing it or rinsing it out, wouldn't hurt either.

For NewsChannel 11's Consumer Connection, I'm Sharon Maines.

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