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Firefighters Are Warning People Not to Leave Their Water Bottles in the Car

According to an article from the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, 90% of all natural disasters are water-related. But storms, floods, tsunamis, and droughts are not the only threats we face. As our article shows, we should be very careful with even a small bottle of water on a hot day.

Today, Bright Side wants to warn you that water bottles left in the car can cause fires or result in other (major or minor) damages. If you are puzzled with the idea of how it is possible, scroll down.

How it happens:

Have you ever tried to set a sheet of paper on fire using a magnifying glass under direct sunlight? This involves the same process as that.

When sunbeams go through plastic and liquid it has the same effect as a magnifying glass. In a test conducted by the Midwest City Fire Department, sunlight that went through a bottle of water reached 250º! That’s hot enough to convince you to become a full-time pedestrian.

The photo below shows a minor consequence. How can it be avoided?

The preventive measures may seem obvious enough, but we still want to remind you.

  • Try not to keep water bottles in your car. Modern lifestyle, increased pressure, and stress are to blame for our growing levels of forgetfulness. So, are you sure that a water bottle in your car will not become one of the forgotten things?
  • If you can’t live without a bottle of water on a hot day, set a phone reminder and take the water bottle with you when you go out. It will only take seconds of your time, and you won’t return to a burned car.
  • If you do not want to carry the heavy bottle with you, make sure you leave it in a place where sunbeams can’t reach it (for example, the trunk).

Some other threats:

The safety of our cars is still less important than our own health. This research done by the University of Florida found out that plastic usually used in water bottles can release antimony and bisphenol A (the dreaded BPA) if it’s exposed to sunlight over some period of time. The more plastic bottles stay in a hot environment, the more antimony and BPA are released. Here is a short list of problems that this issue can lead to:

  • changes in hormone levels
  • heart problems
  • increased risk of cancer
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting

Some studies have also linked it to spontaneous abortions and retinal bleeding.

Have you heard about this phenomenon? Do you know any other facts about plastic water bottles? Share your information with us!

Please note: This article was updated in May 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
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