Nalgene Recall


UPDATE:  If you're worried about drinking out of water bottles with BPA.  Check out our list of BPA free Alternatives.

After all that ranting and raving about Nalgenes here we are dying of cancer at the hand of our water bottles. What is the world coming to? Is nothing sacred? We are now faced with the possibility that our Nalgene bottles are potentially dangerous. Now to some this is nothing new, some companies actually began removing water bottles and other food containers made with Bisphenol A two years ago (Patagonia Inc., and Whole Foods Markets) due to research showing the potential for medical problems as a result of this substance being release into what ever food or drink was contained in it. Here is an excerpt from Reuters:

Bisphenol A is added to hard, clear polycarbonate plastics like those used in reusable water bottles and baby bottles, as well as the resins lining food cans and in some dental amalgams and sealants, said Aaron Freeman, policy and campaign director at Environmental Defence, an environmental advocacy group. Research on lab animals has linked the chemical to changes to the genital tract, prostate enlargement, declined testosterone levels, pre-cancerous breast cells, prostate cancer, early puberty in females and hyperactivity.

Essentially is seems as though the only real threat is if the bottle is heated or begins to breakdown such as if it starts to warp. But who knows it seems as though everything will give you cancer these days. The FDA is actually conducting tests currently and a report is due out this summer. And just to clarify not all Nalgene bottles are made with the nastiness, some are safe… for now.

  • Travelin’ Matt

    So now Nalgenes are doing to us what we were already doing to ourselves by eating preservatives and genetically enhanced foods, cooking on Teflon, and otherwise just waking up and getting out of bed in the morning? I guess we’ll add ’em to the list….

  • Yeti

    It is sad that anything is subject to be labeled a hazard depending on who is looking and from what angle. I think that everything in and on this planet whether natural or man made will cause some impact on living organisms, its all a matter of time.

  • Rob

    Oh that’s just GREAT!


    Makes me feel soooo much better about smoking a pack and a half of Newports everyday 10 years ago!

  • valerie

    I agree that way too much is made of every little thing these days, but….I am a little nervous about allowing my grandchildren to continue drinking from their Nalgene water bottles now (no. 7 PC). What to do? Take them back to the store where I purchased them? Send them to you?? Or toss them & call it a loss?!? Some real info would be nice….thanks! Valerie in Pocatello

  • Yeti

    Hello Valerie,
    You raised some great questions as to what exactly we should do with the bottles. I contacted Nalgene with just that question and I will post the answer here as soon as I receive it. Unfortunately in our sue happy society I can only imagine the potential fall out from this. As for your grandchildren I would go pick up some bottles made out of a different material. Camelback has bottles that are BPA free as does Nalgene in their opaque bottles as seen in my original post. I also want to add that tossing them as a loss is not something I am prepared to do, @ $8-$10 each that’s a lot of cash to throw away!!!

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  • Juice Box

    While not issuing a full on recall, Nalgene has decided to stop selling the BPA Water bottles.

    I’m not ready to replace my colorful collection of Nalgenes. But, if anyone is, the No. 7 plastic the BPA Bottles are made of is recyclable (at least at our local center.) So don’t just toss them.

    On a side note, I find it ironic that water taste much more fresh and less plastic like out of the BPA bottles.

  • Coastie

    I’ve had my Nalgene since I started backpacking (i started when i was 9) and I haven’t gotten cancer yet. Honestly everything seems to give you cancer. We participate in activities everyday that are much more likely to give us cancer than our water bottles, yet we do not suspend these. If you are really worried about it I would recycle the bottle and go buy a camelbak. I was issued one when I joined the military and I find myself using it everyday. If you think you look like an idiot with a camelbak on then I’m sorry you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Stop complaining about everything.

  • Yeti

    Thanks for the encouragement Coastie! You are correct, everything does seem to have a link to cancer at some level. As stated in both posts about Nalgenes, (here is the other) we love them and are not ready to give them up…yet. However if a definitive link has been scientifically supported I would tend to pay creedence. There have been no complaints, at least no serious ones. We at upadowna love cake and eat it everyday. Oh and I look awesome wearing my camelbak.

  • Bob

    So what about a refund I paid good money for a water bottle I now cant use. What the hell.

  • Yeti

    Yeah, I hear you Bob. We are all sort of hanging out trying to figure out what we will do with our collections of Nalgenes. Aside from recycling them who knows, although I do wonder if during the melting down of the bottles for recycling are we not going to cause potentially more damage? After all that was one of the big no nos, the whole heating the plastic causes it to break down and release more nastiness. And if you think about it I currently own 5 or 6 of these bottles (and countless other before that) which equals at least $60, it is a real shame to lose that cash, after all I am not rich! Any suggestions?

  • macg

    hey yeti,
    you’re not rich but you decided to lay out $60 on water bottles? $60 on water bottles??? i bet you didn’t fully fund your IRA last year but you went out and blew $60 on something you could have gotten for free (a bottle to schlep water in). if you’re concerned, throw it away and call it a loss. that’s my suggestion.

  • Yeti

    Thanks macg. Your concern over spending on water bottles is greatly appreciated. However you should have read the post “Welcome Back” posted on January 5th(just search nalgene). From that post you would see how long I have had these bottles (years and years)which makes them a very sound investment much like the touted IRA, or any other long term savings investment. I am sure you realize that the plastic pop bottles are not the most durable and can leak rather easily from the cap, which is no bueno if you are carrying it in your pack for the duration of a hike. The flimsy nature of the bottles make them undesirable for those that spend a great deal of time on the trail. The Nalgene is a great bottle as are then newer style bottles with out the BPA, there are other options such as the aluminum bottles popular in Europe. I would like to say that one should really consider recycling as opposed to just throwing it away. Once again, thanks for looking at the site and leaving your feedback.

  • Katie

    Umm, so today someone told me camelbak version of nalgene bottles had that bpa stuff in them too. I just bought a couple of them not too long ago and I can’t find anywhere that tells me how to tell if they’re bad guys too…? (I don’t know if they’re pre or post this little ordeal) Also – from the reading I’ve done, it sounds like as long as you don’t abuse your bottles, they’re probably not going to hurt you?

  • Juice Box

    If your Camelbak Bottle is older, it may contain BPA. As of April 2008, Camelbak announced that all their bottles will be BPA free. So, chances are, if you bought your bottle before then and it doesn’t sport the ‘BPA Free’ sticker, you may be out of luck.

    There are still a lot of conflicting reports out there on the affects of BPA, so use your own judgment before throwing out your bottles.

    As a side note, Camelbak Bladders have never contained BPA.

    Hope this helps!

  • Just passing thru

    hey Yeti,

    If you have had your bottles for years…you have gotten your monies worth. Recycle them and buy new PBA free bottles. Let the recyclers worry about how they are to be treated properly. Or screw the testing and dont put hot liquids into your bottles. Invest in one stainless for that specific purpose.

  • Sara

    I’m going to keep my Nalgene water bottles and continue to use them. Nalgene is not issuing a recall, simply beginning to use something else in their polycarbonate bottles instead of BPA because of public demand. They stand by what they’ve said all along, which is that the products they use in their bottles are safe.

    Nalgene BPA info:
    “Question: Is this a product recall?
    Answer: No. We proactively made this decision to transition from polycarbonate to Tritan and our family of bottles and containers made of various non-BPA materials such as HDPE, PP, LDPE and PET to respond to consumer requests for alternative materials.”

    FDA Statement:

    European Food Safety Authority Statement:

    An analysis of the recent study results:
    READ IT. It’s interesting that the reputable studies were ignored by the American media, but a recent study with huge flaws in it was picked up and spread around like wildfire.

    I also find it interesting that the public is in an uproar about their water bottles, but some continue to kill themselves by the way they eat or by smoking. Those habits carry much larger adverse health effects. The attitude seems to be, “let me knowingly give myself cancer, but don’t you dare give me cancer unawares.”

    Nalgene is not issuing a recall; I suggest that you post an update to your original post to say as much. Thanks!

  • Sara

    By the way, you’re #1 in the Google search results for “Nalgene recall” today. :)

  • Marco

    Some of the postings suggest that the BPA bottles are safe provided that you refrain from transporting hot liquids. However, I believe the major concern is what happens to the bottles in the dishwasher (the drying cycle is much hotter than most soup or coffee)!

    This is the same reason that for many years, experts reported that heating baby bottles in the microwave was also risky!

  • Bill

    I heard of this a while back about the BPA situation and stopped using my nalgene bottle. Today, I was in an outdoors store and saw some that were for sale, 7 on the bottom in the recycle circle…they appeared to be the exact same material as the ones before to the naked eye(glossy, shiny and colored), however they had BPA free stickers on each one. So i don’t know whats up with the new ones.

  • Whitney

    I work for a plastics company, although not Nalgene.
    The evidence of the effects of BPA has been growing for some time. The effects on adults so far have not been considered a major concern. BPA is removed from the system fairly quickly. The major problem is in baby bottles where the BPA to body weight ratio is higher.
    Nalgene has started a new line of BPA free bottles made from a copolyester called Tritan. Which was developed by Eastman chemical in Germany. The look and feel is very similar to polycarbonate. They have also put a very tactful expanation on their website about removing the polycarbonate line.
    Unfortunately not all water bottle companies have been as responsive. There are still other polycarbonate bottles on the market.

  • Tawny

    I think that no matter what a product is made of it will cause a problem. they dont recall cigarettes do they? those are harful to life to. i love my nalgene.

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  • meh

    There are studies linking aluminum to Alzheimers also so I prefer not to use aluminum even though it is lightweight. How about titanium? Also, don’t leave your nalgene in hot car, don’t use for hot liquids, hand wash and rinse (old school I know lol) and you should be fine.

  • Joseph

    It was a great share!!

  • Steve

    It really help me in my work!Nice job done.