The only plastic water bottle in my home is a standard, run of the mill 500 ml (16.9 oz) size container. I don’t normally purchase clear plastic bottles of water unless I’m travelling through a third world country where the tap water may be of questionable safety.
This particular bottle was a gift from my guru in 1996 from the distinctly first-world city of San Bruno, California. She told me to keep the bottle in my home and to use it only if I needed to take in a physical form of compassion. She had blessed the bottle of water and told me to store it anywhere in my kitchen.
When I arrived home, I placed the bottled water in an out of the way corner of a cupboard near some serving and mixing bowls. I soon forgot about it. A few years ago, I decided to change the shelf paper in that cupboard. I came across the bottle of compassion. I noticed the bottle seemed a bit misshapen, but didn’t give it much thought. I placed the bottle back in the same part of the cupboard.
This week I wanted a medium sized serving bowl to store some potato salad. I stumbled upon the bottle again. I was astonished to find out that it looked squashed. I carefully examined the bottle. I first checked the cap. It was still securely closed; the safety ring was fully connected. There were no holes or cracks. I could not find any detectable leaks at all.
It had not been exposed to any extreme temperatures nor bright light because it was in a dark, cool corner of my cupboard. I double checked to make sure it was indeed the same bottle. It had my handwritten “Compassion Water” pencilled onto the label. Plus the date code showed it was old. The expiration date says “052498”. It is 13 years past the expiration date. I’ve had it for about 15 years.
I realize that 15 years is a drop in the water clock compared to water that’s been locked away in the Antarctic Ice Shelf. Millions of years. Still, 15 years in a plastic bottle is amazing. Unlike the million year old Antarctic water, I don’t think the bottled water is safe to drink. So, I’m going to keep it around the house as a continued experiment. Besides, I might need some liquid compassion someday. Maybe I can sprinkle it on myself as necessary.
I don’t own an electron microscope so I need to figure my own hypothesis. I’m guessing that the method of escape for the water from the plastic bottle is similar to the escape of air from a plastic party balloon. The air molecules are smaller in size than those of the balloon. You’ve seen how a balloon wilts after a couple of days. It’s possibly the same situation. I’m not exactly certain of the chemical composition of the clear “Crystal Geyser” water bottle, but the complex compounds are at least as large as those composing water.
Plastics are manufactured from hydrocarbons. Water is hydrogen dioxide. If you remember your grade school chemistry, you know H2-O. An oxygen atom is fused to two hydrogen atoms. A water molecule is smaller than a hydrocarbon molecule so there is my reasoning. Possibly, over the years, water vapor found its way past the hydrocarbon barrier. Perhaps it combined with the BPA in the plastic to form some sort of solvent to enhance the atomic level seepage? Of course, water alone is one of nature’s most efficient solvents.
Is one of my readers more of a chemist than I am? Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon? Meantime, I will continue to use stainless steel water bottles that I refill myself with my own supply of water from the tap. I chill it in the fridge for a very refreshing, satisfying beverage.
The Blue Jay of Happiness hopes you drink more water in the summertime, especially if you drink caffienated beverages or booze.