Drinking lots of water in the summers is absolutely necessary but leaving water bottles in your care might do you more harm than good.
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things one needs to do during the summers. Especially with temperatures soaring to record highs everywhere. Keeping bottles of water in our cars for this purpose is obviously a good thing but one should be careful when doing this. Dioni Amuchastegui, a technician with Idaho Power, had just finished his first shift at work and was having an early lunch in his truck when he noticed something he never imagined a simple water bottle could do. Smoke was coming out from his front seat where he had kept his bottle of water.
When he got to into the car he noticed smoke inside and was confused where it was coming from. He told ABC News, "I was taking an early lunch and sitting in the truck. I happened to notice some smoke out of the corner of my eye, and I looked over and noticed that light was being refracted through a water bottle and was starting to catch the seat on fire."
The water bottle had been kept on the seat of the car and the bright rays of sunlight fell of them directly. This had burnt up his seat. It left two small burn marks on the seat, and according to Amuchastegui, the material was hot to the touch. "It's not something you really expect — having a water bottle catch your chair on fire," he said.
Please be careful when you leave car in hot sun & a water bottle on the seat. It can cause fire. pic.twitter.com/KgEYWncKea— Harinder Sikka (@sikka_harinder) June 4, 2019
Beware! Avoid keeping that old, half-full plastic water bottle in your car during these hot summer days, as it can cause a #fire to ignite quicker than you think! #FirePrevention https://t.co/BjZD320pQd— TotalFire Protection (@totalfire1) July 19, 2019
Amuchhastegui posted a video of his experience on his Facebook account back in 2017 according to the ABC report, and since then it was widely shared. Following the incident, the Midwest City Fire Department in Midwest City, Oklahoma created the same scenario in a controlled environment in order to see what would happen.
It showed the danger of a simple bottle of water on a hot day. Left unattended, Amuchhastegui's car could have been burnt down. A video posted by David Richardson, from the department showed a hole being burnt through a piece of paper with a water bottle placed in direct sunlight. Although Richardson said the experiment was successful due to a number of perfectly placed circumstances it's dangers still could not simply put aside.
Nobody ever told me that leaving a water bottle in the car on a hot day can cause a fire. It makes sense. But nobody told me 🥴— Slick Drick (@slick_drick) July 14, 2019
"This was a clear bottle with a clear fluid in it. If this was empty or partially filled, it probably wouldn't have worked or magnified this. Keep in mind that all the factors have to be in place for this to work," said Richardson. Another concern that people have raised is whether drinking water from plastic bottles was safe. According to a release from Lena Ma, professor of soil and water at the University of Florida said, "Plastic water bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate. When heated, the material releases the chemicals antimony and bisphenol A, commonly called BPA."
He added, "While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said BPA is not a major concern at low levels found in beverage containers, it continues to study the chemical’s impacts. Some health officials, including those at the Mayo Clinic, say the chemical can cause negative effects on children’s health. And antimony is considered a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization."