Non Toxic Travel Mugs And Water Bottles – Which Stainless Steel Travel Mugs And Water Bottles Are Non Toxic?

This post contains affiliated links. Please read my disclosure page.

Non Toxic Travel Mugs And Water Bottles

Non Toxic Travel Mugs And Water Bottles – Which Travel Mugs and Water Bottles Are Non Toxic?

 

My husband and I drink coffee every day and carry coffee or water with us in the travel mugs to work.  We originally had Klean Canteen Stainless Steel Coffee Mugs. They were great travel mugs but we found they are not 100% leak proof. Therefore, we wanted to get travel mugs that are more spill and leak proof.  We also wanted mugs that are insulated and made from a stainless steel material. While looking for insulated stainless steel mugs, we saw some stainless travel mugs had coatings inside. Some travel mugs had a California Proposition 65 Warning about cancer and reproductive harm. I wanted to research further why stainless steel travel mugs would have a California Proposition 65 warning label.  Could insulated stainless steel travel mugs or bottles be harmful?  In this post, I share with you how insulated stainless steel travel mugs and water bottles can be toxic and what non toxic travel mugs and water bottles are available.

 

 

How Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mugs And Water Bottle Can Be Toxic

 

Lead Solder Spot In The Bottom of The Bottle

Natural Baby Mama together with Tamara Rubin, the founder of the Lead Safe America Foundation found lead in the bottom of some insulated stainless steel water bottles after with a XRF testing.  Some insulated water bottles contained high amount of lead in the dot on the bottom which is a lead solder point. A non toxic water bottle company, Pura Kiki’s water bottle, for example,  had a lead level of 397,000ppm. (Their new insulated water bottle is lead safe now.) According the World Health Organization, there is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe. Even blood lead concentrations as low as 5 µg/dL (0.05 ppm), once thought to be a “safe level”, may be associated with decreased intelligence in children, behavioural difficulties, and learning problems. Therefore, I would avoid an insulated stainless steel water bottle or travel mug with exposed lead solder spot in the bottom of the bottle. 

 

 

Interior Non Stick Coating

When I was researching some Zojirushi stainless steel travel mugs, I noticed that some models have an interior non stick coating. According to Zojirushi, their non stick coating is made of PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene, a polymer that is applied in a two-step process with a primer and a topcoat. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic fluoropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene.  The best-known brand name of PTFE-based formulas is Teflon by Chemours. Nonstick coated interior makes cleaning easy, however, teflon can be toxic to our health.   A synthetic chemical called Perfluooroctanoic acid (PFOA) was used to make Teflon in the past.  PFOA can cause testicular cancer, liver disease and thyroid disorders. It is a carcinogen, a development toxicant, an immune system toxicant, a liver toxicant and endocrine disruptor. We can be exposed to this toxic chemical being released when non stick coating is overheated above 500°F (260°C) or when non stick layer is worn off or damaged.   Although many non stick coatings don’t use PFOA any more since 2015, replacement chemicals for PFOA such as GenX and PFBS are supposedly also as toxic.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed that GenX is associated with harmful effects on the kidney, blood, immune system, liver and development. EPA also concluded that PFBS is associated with harmful effects on the thyroid and kidney, reproduction and development. Some non stick coatings may still contain PFOA. Although, hot coffee drinks do not reach above 500°F (260°C), the non stick coating can wear off or get damaged and we can be exposed to the harmful chemicals. Therefore, I would just avoid travel mugs with non stick PTFE interior coating. Zojirushi also has a travel mug (Zojirushi Slicksteel Stainless Steel Mug) that has no coating inside. I would choose the model with non coating inside if I were to choose.

 

 

California Proposition 65

My husband and I purchased Zojirushi Stainless Mugs after recommendation from a friend and we were quite excited to use them.  The Zojirushi Stainless Steel Travel Mug is one of the most recommended travel mugs by users with many positive feedbacks. Many mentioned that it is 100% spill and leak proof.  However, when the order arrived, my husband immediately noticed a warning label on the travel mug saying ‘Warning: Cancer and Reproductive Harm – www.P65warnings.ca.gov’. We wondered why a stainless steel travel mug would have such a warning label. Therefore, I wanted to research further why a stainless steel travel mug would have California Proposition 65 warning label.

What is California Proposition 65? California Proposition 65 is a California state law that requires businesses with 10 or more people to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposures to chemicals that are known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. A warning must be given for toxic chemicals unless the exposure is low enough to pose no significant risk of cancer. This law only applies when the products are sold to Californians. However, due to California’s market share, many companies become California proposition 65 compliant or display warnings on their products.  However, there is some controversy with a California Proposition 65 warning label. Some believe just because a product has a California Proposition 65 warning, it doesn’t mean the product is unsafe. The warning doesn’t list the reason why there is a warning. According to the California government, a California Proposition warning informs consumers they are exposed to carcinogens or reproductive toxins that exceed certain threshold levels. However, this is not the same as a regulatory decision that a product is “safe” or “unsafe.”  They suggest the business issuing the warning should be contacted for specific information, such as what chemicals are present, and at what levels, as well as how exposure to them may occur. Consumers can find out actual levels of exposure from the manufacturers and decide whether to use or avoid the product.  

Amazon had this question from a customer and an answer from Zojirushi customer service regarding Zojirushi Stainless Mugs having California Proposition 65 warning label.

Q: Why does this product have a prop 65 warning?
A: Thank you for your inquiry. The stainless steel in the interior of the vacuum mug and spring in the lid contains nickel. Nickel is an important alloying element in food-grade stainless steel. It provides high anti-corrosive properties to the stainless steel (surgical steel contains nickel). The sticker on the bottom of the outside of the vacuum mug contains DBP. (Dibutyl phthalate). Please note that the bottom of the vacuum mug does not come in to direct contact with food or beverage. For further information, please go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov

If you are allergic to nickel, this warning may be concerning. Also, DBP is Dibutyl phthalate. Dibutyl phthalate may damage the developing fetus and  damage the testes (male reproductive glands). It may also affect the nervous system and kidneys. We can be exposed to DBP by breathing in DBP present in air and dust, absorbing DBP through the skin from DBP containing products and transferring DBP from hands to mouth and swallowing. Therefore, I would probably get rid of the sticker located in the bottom of the mug and wash that area clean before using.

Non Toxic Travel Mugs - California Proposition 65 Warning

Non Toxic Travel Mugs – Some Stainless Steel Travel Mugs have California Proposition 65 Warning.

 

 

Ceramic Coated Interior

A travel mug such as Contigo Vaccum-Insulated Stainless Steel TwistSeal Glaze Travel Mug and Kyocera Stainless Steel Travel Mug have a ceramic coated interior. According to Kyocera, the ceramic coating supposedly eliminates metallic taste, never rusts and will not stain.  I have not found any study that a ceramic interior coating in a travel mug can be toxic.  However, I personally do not feel comfortable about ceramic coated interior.  In cookware, ceramic coating used as a non stick coating is called Thermalon (like you see on Green Pan). Thermalon gives teflon-like performance without harmful chemicals such as PFOA and PTFE used for teflon. However, there are concerns with Thermalon since it contains nanoparticles.  One study found quasi-ceramic non-stick coating released titanium dioxide nanoparticles.  Although nanoparticles were released during cooking, its mechanical degradation studies showed that the surface wear due to scratches and other types of damage occurring during normal use may lead to significant release of titanium-containing particles. Titanium dioxide is a naturally occurring earth element and it is generally not harmful. It is actually used in a lot of products. However, studies have found nano sized titanium dioxide can be very harmful to human health. Nanoparticles are so small that it can travel through the blood and the organs. Nano sized titanium dioxide can produces oxidative stress, resulting in cell damage, redness, and immune response. It can also cause a toxic effect on cells in the brain. It is classified as ‘possible carcinogenic to humans’ by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.  We can be exposed to titanium nano particles through ingestion, inhalation or dermal penetration. When ceramic coating is scratched, chipped or damaged, it can release nanoparticles into the food or drink. Interior coatings or linings can also eventually disintegrate over time.  

I have inquired both Contigo and Kyocera if their ceramic interior lining is Thermolon. Kyocera said their ceramic coating uses Kyocera proprietary ceramic coating and it is not Thermolon. They said that their coating is non stick coating but it does not contain nano titanium dioxide. However, if Kyocera’s ceramic coating is proprietary, we won’t know exactly what the coating is made of.  I have not yet gotten a response from Contigo.  Personally, I just feel safe choosing uncoated stainless steel travel mugs. Then you don’ t have to wonder if interior coating contains harmful chemicals. You won’t also have to worry if harmful chemicals can be released when interior coating wears off or gets damaged.  A ceramic coated interior may be safe but I would rather choose an uncoated stainless steel interior.

 

 

Non Toxic Travel Mugs And Water Bottles

 

Insulated tumbler, travel coffee mugs, water bottles, all of them can be a travel mug. They are all able to keep liquid hot or cold up to certain hours. Each type has a different types of caps since coffee or tea is sipped in smaller amount than water or cold drinks are drank due to the temperature of the liquid. You may personally want to drink coffee or tea from a tumbler or a travel coffee mug instead of a water bottle. However, you can use both hot or cold drinks in all of these travel mugs or water bottles. I find that water bottles are mostly leak proof whereas some travel coffee mugs are not leak proof. Therefore, find out what you would be using the travel mug for and if 100% leak proof is important to you. For me, finding a travel mug that is 100% leak proof was one of the top reasons why I wanted to get a new travel mug.  I also noticed that most of the travel mugs come with a plastic cap. If you don’t like the idea plastic touching your drinking liquid, you can get a Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Water Bottle and purchase a Stainless Steel Loop Cap or a Stainless Steel Bamboo Cap separately.

 

 

Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug

  • Interior: stainless steel interior (No Nickel nor Aluminum, 100% Stainlesss Steel)
  • Wall: Thermolock Vacuum Insulation
  • Cap: bpa-free plastic lid
  • Keep your beverages hot or cold for: Keep hot up to 5 hours and cold up to 12 hrs
  • Leak Proof: Yes
  • California Proposition 65 Warning: None

More Info

 

 

 

 

 

Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Water Bottle

 

  • Interior: 18/8 stainless steel interior, electropolished which is a safe and non-toxic process which helps with cleaning and won’t retain or impart flavors.
  • Wall: Double Wall Vacuum Insulation
  • Cap: Plastic but they also sell 18/8 stainless steel, 100% leak proof Steel Loop Cap or Stainless Steel Bamboo Cap separately. 
  • Exterior: KLEAN COAT powder coat is specialty formulated to be safe for people and planet while being 4X more durable. All color Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottles from 2018 feature this coating which is chip and scratch resistant.
  • Keep your beverages hot or cold for: keeps hot for 30 hours and iced for 100 hours
  • Leak Proof: Yes
  • California Proposition 65 Warning: None

More Info

Klean Kanteen also has a Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Coffee Mug but it is not leak proof. 

 

 

 

Hydro Flask W32TS435 Wide Mouth Water Bottle

  • Interior: 18/8 stainless steel interior
  • Wall: Double Wall Vacuum Insulation
  • Cap: BPA-free Plastic
  • Exterior: Powder-coated matte finish exterior that never sweats
  • Keep your beverages hot or cold for: cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 6 hours
  • Leak Proof: Yes
  • California Proposition 65 Warning: None

Hydro Flask also has a Hydro Flask Coffee travel mug but it is not leak proof.

More Info

 

 

Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle And Travel Mug

 

  • Interior: 18/8 stainless steel interior
  • Wall: Double Wall Vacuum Insulation
  • Cap: Iron Flask comes with THREE different lids. Straw Lid with 2 Straws, Flip Lid (22 oz, 32 oz, and 40 oz ONLY), and a Stainless Steel Lid. *NOTE: The stainless steel lid is plastic from inside and stainless steel from outside*
  • Keep your beverages hot or cold for: cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours
  • Leak Proof: Yes
  • California Proposition 65 Warning: None

More Info

 

 

Mira Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Wide Mouth Water Bottle | Thermos

  • Interior: 18/8 stainless steel interior
  • Wall: Double Wall Vacuum Insulation
  • Cap: BPA-free and phthalate-free plastic, Mira sells a flip lid for hot drinks such as coffee
  • Exterior: Powder coat finish for extra durability and slip free grip
  • Keep your beverages hot or cold for: cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours
  • Leak Proof: Yes
  • California Proposition 65 Warning: None

More Info

 

 

 

 

Thermos Stainless Steel Travel Tumbler

  • Interior: Stainless steel interior
  • Wall: Vacuum Insulation
  • Cap: BPA-free plastic, built in tea-hook
  • Keep your beverages hot or cold for: cold for up to 9 hours and hot for up to 5 hours
  • Leak Proof: Yes
  • California Proposition 65 Warning: None

More Info

Thermos also sells another travel tumbler which is really popular.

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

For a non toxic stainless steel travel mug or water bottle, select a travel mug or water bottle that is not lined with any non stick coating. Also, check out if the travel mug or water bottle have a exposed lead solder point in the bottom of the bottle.  In addition, see if there is any California Proposition 65 Warning label for possible carcinogens and reproductive toxicants.  We originally purchased Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug.  Although this mug is 100% leak proof and had a lot of great reviews, we didn’t like California Proposition 65 Warning label on the product. You can probably take off the sticker in the bottom where it contains DBP (Dibutyl phthalate) and clean the area before using.  However, we just wanted to choose travel mugs without any warning label.  After researching  non toxic travel mugs and water bottles, my husband purchased a Contigo Autoseal West Loop Travel Mug. For me, since I carry water more than coffee, I got a Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Water Bottle.  I am also planning to get a Steel Loop Cap or Stainless Steel Bamboo Cap for Klean Kanteen Classic water bottle separately so that I can avoid plastic completely.  So far the water bottle and travel mug have been great.  They are not only non toxic but also they don’t leak at all. My husband and I are very happy about our choice. 

 

Non Toxic Water bottle and Travel Mugs – My husband and I chose a Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Water Bottle and a Contigo Autoseal West Loop Travel Mug.

 

 

 

If you are interested in non toxic mugs, please read my post, ‘Non Toxic Mugs – Which Mugs Are Lead Free?

Read my post ‘Non Toxic Dinnerware – Which Dinnerware Is Lead-Free?‘ to see how dinnerware can be toxic and what non toxic dinnerwear is available.

If you are interested in non toxic cookware, please read my previous post, ‘Non Toxic Cookware Guide – What Is The Healthiest And Safest Cookware?

If you are interested in non toxic bakeware, please read my next post, ‘Non Toxic Bakeware Guide – Which Bakeware Is Safe And Non Toxic?

f you are interested in pressure cooker, Instant Pot, please read my post, ‘Non Toxic Pressure Cooker – Is Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Non Toxic?

If you are interested in non toxic rice cookers, please read my post ‘Non Toxic Rice Cookers – Rice Cookers With A Stainless Steel Inner Pot‘.

 

 

PLEASE SHARE THIS POST WITH YOUR FRIENDS OR LEAVE ME A COMMENT! 🙂

2 Comments

  1. Myriah May 23, 2019
    • go_new_mommy May 24, 2019

Leave a Reply

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons