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Manufacturer Cited For BPA In Aluminum Bottles
Volume 642
September 8, 2009

Popular water bottle maker SIGG has revealed in a letter from its CEO that all its aluminum bottles made before August 2008 used a liner that contained bisphenol A (BPA). Reaction from its admission prompted CEO Steve Wasik to issue a second letter last Tuesday apologizing for the company's actions. "After reading and responding to hundreds of e-mails and viewing nearly as many blog & Twitter posts, I realize that my first letter may have missed the mark," wrote Wasik. "What I should have said simply and loudly to all of our loyal SIGG fans is: I am sorry that we did not make our communications on the original SIGG liner more clear from the very beginning."

SIGG products are listed in ESP Online as being sold through Novelty Printers (asi/74409) and Online Fitness (asi/75093). Online Fitness declined to speak to Counselor for this story.

Though the Environmental Working Group in 2007 had published a report stating that SIGG's aluminum bottles contained BPA (its stainless steel bottles do not have a liner), the Swiss water bottle maker had stated previously that tests showed its bottles did not leach BPA or other substances from its inner liner – a prime concern with plastic polycarbonate bottles containing BPA. Wasik says such reports have been available on the company's Web site for years. "I learned that, although SIGG never marketed the former liner as 'BPA Free,' we should have done a better job of both clearly communicating about our liner as well as policing others who may have misunderstood the SIGG message," Wasik wrote in his September letter.

Wasik wrote that in June 2006, SIGG set out to develop an "EcoCare" liner without BPA. In August 2008, the company began producing all its bottles with the new liner, though a letter about the change did not come out until a year later. "The primary reason that I am writing this letter today is because I believe that the BPA conversation has changed dramatically in the last 12 months," Wasik wrote in his first letter last month. "Last year, the primary concern was that of BPA leaching from bottles. Since that time the dialogue has evolved such that now some people are concerned about the mere presence of BPA and some states are considering legislation."

BPA has come under mainstream scrutiny in the past two years after medical reports had linked the chemical to cancer, heart disease, birth defects and more. A year ago the Food and Drug Administration ruled that BPA was safe in trace amounts, but it has since agreed to review its own decision. Many companies have opted to stop creating bottles with BPA as a result of the controversy and lack of consumer demand. SIGG has stopped shipping any inventory with the old lining, and is also offering a free exchange to any customer who mails in their old bottle by October 31. 

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