SIGG does leach bisphenol A & Big Bottle Swap

A curious note in the SIGG saga involving its liners and bisphenol A (BPA) is that SIGG’s pre-August 2008 epoxy liners apparently leach BPA.

According to a news article, Frederick Vom Saal, a professor of biology at the University of Missouri, found that hormone disruptor BPA does leach from the old SIGG liners, just at levels below the “level of quantitation” used by SIGG in its test reports. Remember? As I’ve posted about before, SIGG only tested at levels above 2 parts per billion (ppb). So below that number, SIGG couldn’t say whether or not leaching occurred. And to be frank, that’s why I never recommended SIGG and always stuck with stainless. Because aluminum must be lined, and those linings historically have contained BPA. SIGG wouldn’t disclose its proprietary lining so I wouldn’t recommend SIGG or any other aluminum bottle.

The problem with SIGG is that it claimed no leaching above 2 ppb. But the details of that claim got lost in the shuffle with consumers, and consumers assumed no leaching equaled no BPA. And SIGG took advantage of that assumption, dramatically increasing sales.

But below that level of 2 ppb, nobody knew what happened with SIGG bottles. Vom Saal states that he did test SIGG, and found that the bottles leached below 2 ppb. And Vom Saal, and others like him, believe that BPA’s hormone disrupting effects occur at the parts per trillion (ppt) level.

If you haven’t read about the SIGG/BPA controversy, suffice it to say that when SIGG admitted in a company letter posted online a little bit more than a week ago that its pre-August 2008 bottles had BPA in their liner, a tempest was created. Consumers were upset. Bloggers posted harsh criticism of SIGG, expressing feelings of betrayal by the company lauded for its perceived greenness.

Yesterday, SIGG posted another letter on its website. This new letter from SIGG’s chief executive officer Steve Wasik states that the first letter “may have missed the mark.”  Boy is that an understatement! The letter states that while “SIGG never marketed the former liner as ‘BPA Free’ [SIGG] should have done a better job of both clearly communicating about [its] liner as well as policing others who may have misunderstood the SIGG message.”

Hello? Personally, I think SIGG continues to mislead consumers by relying now on the claim that it never promoted its bottles as BPA free. SIGG actively let others do that, and reaped the benefits, as detailed by Z Recommends in a most excellent blog post.

Wasik admitted surprise over the harsh response in a telephone interview reported by The Associated Press. I don’t believe he didn’t anticipate such a reaction. He told Z Recommends that he knew about BPA in the liner in 2006, and he should have told the public, not demand retractions from the Organic Consumer Association and the Environmental Working Group in March 2007 about BPA in SIGG liners. And SIGG certainly should not MOCK concerned moms.

Want to dump your SIGG? You can – SIGG will swap it out for a new bottle, you just have to pay shipping.

Want to switch out of SIGG completely? You wouldn’t be alone. A lot of people are angry at SIGG. TheSoftLanding is hosting the Big Bottle Swap – you can swap your aluminum SIGG for a stainless steel bottle. Use the form, send your old aluminum SIGGs to TheSoftLanding, and you’ll get a 30% off coupon to buy new stainless steel bottles. And TheSoftLanding will properly recycle the old SIGG bottles. A pretty good deal.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.