Testing of beverage bottle cap liners reveals widespread use of toxic phthalates and PVC

In collaboration with our partners at Defend Our Health, the Healthy Stuff Lab has discovered that the gaskets lining caps or lids of glass-bottled beverages are frequently made of vinyl containing high levels of phthalates. "Vinyl" is short for polyvinyl chloride or PVC and "phthalates" is short for ortho-phthalate esters, a class of hazardous plasticizers added to vinyl plastic. Phthalates are not bound to the plastic, and we know from prior research that the chemicals migrate into food or liquid. 

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The good news is that several beverage companies have already taken quick action after we communicated our findings to them, and we continue to engage with companies. 

Phthalates have been phased out of many food-contact materials due to concerns about their links with health impacts including abnormal genital development and asthma. To determine their frequency in bottled beverages (non-alcoholic), we collected 273 caps from glass-bottled beverages and 10 caps from plastic-bottled beverages around the United States and Canada and tested the gaskets. 

Individual sample listings are below.** Results for gaskets from the 273 glass-bottled beverages are also aggregated as an Excel spreadsheet downloadable here.

**Due to our engagement, some companies have switched to different materials for their cap gaskets since their products were tested. Test results provide a snapshot of cap gaskets purchased in late 2019 and throughout 2020. 

Published on July 13, 2021

Sample Listing

Topo Chico Twist of Grapefruit Carbonated Mineral Water 12 oz
Polystyrene copolymer
Towne Club Michigan Cherry 3% Juice 16 fl oz
PEVA
Tree Fort Root Beer
Phthalate plasticizer, PVC
Tropical Banana Soda
Polystyrene copolymer
Unity Vibration Kombucha Grapefruit Sage 16 oz
Polyethylene
Vichy Catalan Sparkling Mineral Water
Polystyrene copolymer
Victor Allen's Coffee Iced Latte Chilled Coffee Drink
ESBO plasticizer, PVC
Victor Allen's Coffee Vanilla Ice Latte Chilled Coffee Drink 9.5 fl oz
ESBO plasticizer, PVC
Virgil's Root Beer
Phthalate plasticizer, PVC
Virgil's Root Beer
Phthalate plasticizer, PVC
Vitamin Water Squeezed Lemonade Flavored
Polystyrene copolymer
Voss Lemon Cucumber Sparkling Water
PEVA
WBC Black Cherry
Phthalate plasticizer, PVC
WBC Black Cherry
Phthalate plasticizer, PVC
WBC Chicago Style Root Beer
Adipate plasticizer, PVC
WBC Craft Sodas Vanilla Cream
Phthalate plasticizer, PVC
WBC Orange Cream
Phthalate plasticizer, PVC
WBC Spicy Ginger
Adipate plasticizer, PVC
Welch’s Sparkling Red Grape Juice Cocktail
ESBO plasticizer, PVC
Whole Foods Italian Sparkling Mineral Water
PEVA
Whole Foods Lime Mint Elderflower Italian Sparkling Mineral Water with Organic Flavors 1L
Phthalate plasticizer, PVC
Whole Foods Market Citrus Blend Italian Sparkling Mineral Water
Phthalate plasticizer, PVC
Whole Foods Market Italian Sparkling Mineral Water
Polystyrene copolymer
Wild Kombucha Elderberry, Organic
Phthalate plasticizer, PVC
Wild Kombucha Mango Peach Kombucha
Phthalate plasticizer, PVC
Wonder Drink Organic Cherry & Black Currant Kombucha 14 fl oz
ESBO plasticizer, PVC
Yong Hua Coconut Fruit Yogurt Drink
DOTP plasticizer, PVC
Yoohoo Chocolate Drink
ESBO plasticizer, PVC

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