At Patagonia, they think he lied. "We very clearly asked SIGG if there was BPA in their bottles and their liners, and they clearly said there was not." But most communication from SIGG is just very economical with the truth. SIGG quietly changed its liner formula to eliminate BPA last year but did not recall its older bottles. It took an investigative report by SNEWS, an outdoor and fitness industry trade journal, to blow the story wide open. They concluded:
"Leaching is not really the question, though. It was and is a simple question of lining content. Did the linings contain BPA? Yes, the answer is, they did. Only now that Laken and SIGG both have a new, BPA-free lining are we finding this out for certain. ... On one level, if you are selling a product as something it is not, that alone is false advertising. On a more ethical level, if consumers buy a product from you and they believe it to be BPA-free because of information on signs, in catalogs or told to them by a salesperson, and then they find out it is not BPA-free, we suspect most would be more than a bit upset at all parties involved."
Are old SIGG bottles dangerous? Probably not. They still consistently test to leach no BPA at the lowest levels of detection, and you are already swimming in BPA from your canned food and many other sources. BPA is used to make the white epoxy lining in tin cans and has been detected in the lids of glass bottled organic baby food. Even if you can your own fruits and vegetables, if you use metal lids, you are exposed to BPA.
It is certainly way lower than the polycarbonate bottles that it replaced and is no longer an issue, as SIGG has now offered to replace bottles free of charge (although the customer has to pay for the shipping) so you are not stuck with an old one. If you have a no-name knockoff aluminum water bottle, you should probably consider replacing it.
The real story here was an issue of transparency and trust. We went to SIGG because we believed they did not contain BPA. We were bamboozled by the language "does not leach BPA," which turns out to be a very different thing.
What can you do to avoid BPA in your or your kids' diet?