Last week we received a letter from Steve Wasik, CEO of SIGG Switzerland admitting our worst fear – trace amounts of BPA were found in the liner used for all of their aluminum water bottles manufactured before August 2008.
FROM STEVE WASIK
“Prior to its transition [in August 2008], SIGG utilized a water-based epoxy liner which contained a trace amount of BPA. The bottles were thoroughly and regularly tested in both the USA and Switzerland and all tests revealed absolutely no migration or leaching of BPA or any other substance from the protective inner liner. These tests have been public information on the SIGG website for several years and remain there today.
Despite the fact that these bottles were manufactured well within strict international regulations and posed no health risk, my team and I initiated a project in June 2006 to develop a new liner which would be both BPA free and produced in a more environmentally friendly manner. We recognized early that there were questions surrounding BPA and we wanted to be sure that we had a bottle liner that you, our customers, could have absolute confidence in.
After two years of comprehensive testing and development and a one million dollar investment in new equipment for our Swiss factory, SIGG began producing bottles with our new, next generation “EcoCare” liner in August 2008. Providing the same quality and protection afforded by the previous liner, this new powder-based, co-polyester coating has been thoroughly tested and is certified to be 100% free of BPA, phthalates, BADGE, BFDGE, and NOGE. It is also environmentally friendly as its application generates virtually no waste and utilizes no organic solvents or VOCs. Our new bottle liner is not only a technological advance; it’s a major step forward in SIGG’s journey towards sustainability.
To be clear, all SIGG bottles made since August 2008 contain our new BPA free EcoCare liner. SIGG bottles manufactured prior to August 2008 have the former water-based epoxy liner which contains trace amounts of BPA. These bottles have been thoroughly tested and showed 0% leaching of BPA. It is easy to determine which liner you have, as they are of 2 distinctly different colors. Visit http://www.MySIGG.com/liner to see photos comparing the two.”
If you have any questions, you can email Steve at Steve.Wasik.CEO@sigg.com.
SO, WHAT IS BPA?
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used primarily to make plastics, but also in the synthesis of polyesters, as an antioxidant in some plasticizers, and as a polymerization inhibitor in PVC. It is a key monomer in production of epoxy resins and in the most common form of polycarbonate plastic used to make a variety of common products including baby and water bottles, sports equipment, medical and dental devices, dental fillings and sealants, eyeglass lenses, CDs and DVDs, and household electronics.
Suspected of being hazardous to humans since the 1930s, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that current levels of exposure to BPA are not an immediate health risk. However, the FDA acknowledges that more research is needed. If you’re concerned about potential risk, Mayo Clinic suggests taking these simple steps to reduce your and your family’s exposure to BPA:
- Choose glass or BPA-free plastic baby bottles.
- Use glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers for hot foods and liquids.
- Avoid plastic containers with the No. 7 recycling label — they’re made with BPA.
- Don’t microwave polycarbonate plastic food containers. Use glass containers designed for microwaving.
- Reduce your use of canned foods — many cans are lined with a BPA-containing resin
OUR SIDE OF THE STORY
When we first considered carrying SIGG bottles years ago, owner Aaron Gottlieb and his staff researched the materials and manufacturing processes of SIGG Switzerland in depth to ensure this exact situation would never happen. Every piece of information we found about SIGG was positive, no sign of even the slightest worry of BPA contamination.
We are very dismayed to find out that we were misinformed, that SIGG itself was aware of possible trace BPAs in their liners and that not even the most thorough research was able to turn up any public information on the issue. This is just another example of how BPAs are hidden in our society – first plastic bottles, now aluminum bottles, what’s next?
Prior to this information being released, we had already decided as a company to no longer carry SIGG bottles in our stores. This decision was based on inconsistencies in the product and also the lack of transparency of the company (ie. they would not fully disclose what was in their liners). Once our current stock of SIGG bottles run out, we will be carrying a line called Klean Kanteen. We look forward to offering you a safer, quality option for reusable water bottles.
NOTE: This is not a recall of SIGG products. Testing has showed no leaching of BPAs from the liner into your water, however if you would like to return your old (manufactured prior to August 2008) SIGG bottle, you may bring it into either Native Sun location for a new replacement SIGG of the same size.