Many drivers are guilty of it: leaving trash, especially water bottles, scattered around their cars. While it may seem harmless, experts warn that this common habit could actually pose a hidden health risk.
According to research, drinking from a bottle left in a car can expose you to harmful bacteria and pests. The problem worsens if the liquid inside the bottle has been exposed to sunlight or excessive heat. Studies have also shown that toxins in plastic bottles can slowly leak into the liquid over time.
Researchers conducted tests on fresh water bottles and found no harmful bacteria. However, bottles that had been left in the sun tested positive for chloroform, creating ideal conditions for the growth of E. coli. "If either E. coli or total chloroform is present, it's considered a health-damaging effect in your drinking water," explained Steve Fickett from Thorton Laboratories.
Bill Carroll, a chemistry professor at Indiana University, emphasized that the real threat is bacterial growth in the water.
"I'm not concerned about chemicals leaking from the bottle. My concern is related to bacteria, as you could end up with something growing in it," he said.
This comes after drivers were issued another warning about being cautious when traveling in their cars in hot weather. Disposable vapes contain batteries that can overheat and fail due to their lithium content under warmer weather conditions.