Why You Should Never Leave A Water Bottle In A Hot Car

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We’re all guilty of leaving items in our cars, from food to clothes; it’s a natural thing to do. Some of you might even consider your car to be a second bedroom of sorts. There is, however, one item you should be wary of leaving behind in your car – water bottles.

Believe it or not, leaving plastic water bottles or glass reusable bottles in your car is actually a fire hazard (1). One man learned this lesson the hard way in early July of last year (1).

A Bottle, A Car, and A Fire

 

Dioni Amuchastegui, a battery technician for a power company in Idaho, was on lunch break when he suddenly noticed smoke coming from his truck (1). He went to investigate what was going on and to his surprise, the bottle of water he’d left in his car was refracting light and causing the seat to catch on fire (1)! In the aftermath of the incident, two burn marks were left on the seat (1). All things considered, it could’ve been a lot worse!

Incidents like these are pretty rare, but these are occurrences we should all be aware of. Firefighters have even issued a warning to drivers about hazardous water bottles (1).

The Oklahoma Midwest City Fire Department conducted a test on the matter and found that sunlight magnified by a water bottle can reach 250 degrees Fahrenheit (1). Firefighter David Richardson explained that the sunlight “uses the liquid and the clear material to develop a focused beam and sure enough, it can actually cause a fire, a combustion” (1).

Why Plastic Bottles Pose an Extra Risk

Plastic water bottles are even more dangerous to leave behind because they also leak harmful chemicals when left in heat. In a study investigating the effects of storage temperatures on the release of chemicals like antimony and bisphenol A, it was found that more chemicals were released as temperatures rose (2). The experiment also revealed that when the water bottles were stored at 158 °F for 4 weeks, the release of bisphenol A and antimony didn’t meet regulation standards for chronic daily intake (2).

Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, is a chemical that has gotten an extremely bad rap in recent years, and for good reason. It has been proven to alter hormone levels and is specifically linked with lower testosterone levels in men (3). BPA also contributes to cancer development and progression (4). Antimony, on the other hand, can cause stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach ulcers (5). It’s safe to say that ingesting large amounts of either of these chemicals isn’t good for anybody.

You’re probably going to be drinking a lot of water during the upcoming summer months, but be cautious of the bottles you’re drinking from and where you leave them. Drink out of reusable glass bottles and take them with you – you’ll preserve your health, the environment, and your car that way! Read this next to learn more reasons why you should stay away from plastic water bottles.

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