Freedom from SIGG-nificant BPA


This is a new SIGG water bottle with a Keith Haring lady liberty design, part of a limited edition series celebrating America, land of the free, home of  thirsty. Perhaps you could score one of these cool designs for free by getting rid of an old SIGG bottle that contains poison, and you can enjoy the benefits without having to worry about exposing your body to a synthetic drug known to disrupt normal endocrine function.

I simply won’t stand for that in a water bottle. How about you?

If you bought a metal SIGG bottle before August of 2008, you have until Halloween to trade it in for a bottle with the new and improved EcoCare liner free of bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic sex hormone chemical linked to cancer and neurological problems. In other words, switch that trick for a treat.

What is the trick in the SIGG exchange program? Last week, Steve Wasik, chief executive officer of SIGG Switzerland, shocked the reusable water world by admitting that the liners were made with an epoxy resin that contains BPA. As Elaine Shannon of the Huffington Post pointed out, this was an about-face from his previous posture that the bottles simply didn’t leech the harmful chemical and were totally safe.

“He decided on his authority, consumers didn’t want or need to know more,” Shannon observes, adding it is difficult to see Wasik’s stance as anything but cynical.

Wasik’s posting on the SIGG website explained that the BPA debate has heated up dramatically in the last 12 months with the conversation progressing from a focus on leeching to the mere presence of BPA in products. He stresses that this dialogue has evolved to the extent that “some states are considering legislation.”

In fact, last May, Chicago was one of the first U.S. cities to ban the sale of baby bottles and sippy cups containing the chemical and the Food and Drug Administration recently announced it would undertake a new BPA review. In 2008, the FDA resisted recommending retailers discontinue using products that contain BPA until it had completed its risk assessment process. “However, concerned consumers should know that several alternatives to polycarbonate baby bottles exist, including glass baby bottles,” the feds said.

Meantime, you have to follow your own instincts and decide if you want to exchange your SIGG or simply find another aluminum or other bottle brand.

In terms of determining if you have the old kind of bottle, SIGG has provided the best kind of crisis PR fact sheet on its site with visuals that show the difference between the bad and good liners.

The EcoCare liner has a dull, pale yellow appearance while the former liner has a shiny copper bronze appearance.

For details on the exchange program and other issues pertaining to the safety of these bottles, go to the My SIGG website.

Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.