Health | Food | Did You Know

Water Bottles Have An Expiration Date And Here's The Alarming Reason Why

Food isn't the only thing that could harm your health if consumed after a certain amount of time has passed. Personal care items, makeup, medicine and even household items like cleaning agents and power strips have a time stamp.

While expiration and best before dates are pretty straight forward when it comes perishable items, it becomes very tricky when it involves non-perishable products like water.

The Gate

Yes, as strange as it may sound, bottled water does come with an expiry date.

But if water does not go bad, then why do these plastic bottles of water have expiration dates etched on them?

Bottled water has had a lot of controversy surrounding it, from its impact on communities to its contribution to the destruction of our oceans.

Now you can add another reason to stop purchasing bottled water to that list.  

Water bottles first started showing expiration dates on them in the late 1980s after a New Jersey state law started required manufacturers of consumer goods to clearly display a date on every item. Even though the law has since been axed and the U.S Food and Drug Administration does not require bottled water to have a limited shelf life, companies still continue to abide by the law as an indication of quality.

Today, the date on a bottle could mean a variety of things, but there's one everyone should know about.

See, the retail bottles are usually made with polyethylene terephthalate (PET), while the cooler jugs are made with high-density polyethylene (HDPE). As time goes by, the plastic may begin leaching into the water, affecting its taste and smell. Additionally, the porous bottle can cause a buildup of odors and harmful elements to contaminate the water. While some reports argue that this isn't necessarily harmful to your health, others warn that there is a possibility of serious complications down the line.

If you haven't exposed the water bottle to long periods of direct sunlight, pesticides or gasoline, the water can be consumed for a while after the date on the packaging. It's unlikely that an "expired" water bottle will make you ill, but it may be best to just reach for a new bottle and protect your health.

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.