What is Tritan Plastic & is it Safe?

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If you’re thinking about buying a water filter pitcher, you’ve probably come across Tritan plastic in your research.

This plastic is commonly used in food contact products, and is a popular material for making plastic water filter pitchers.

In this guide, we’ve discussed everything you need to know about Tritan plastic, including what it is and whether it’s safe.

📌 Key Takeaways:

  • Tritan is a plastic that’s free from BPA, BPS, and other bisphenols.
  • There are several uses for Tritan, including in plastic bottles, food containers, and other kitchen items.
  • Tritan is safe as far as we know, and doesn’t appear to contain any dangerous chemicals with adverse health effects.

🤔 What Is Tritan Plastic?

Tritan plastic is a type of durable, transparent, BPA-free copolyester material that’s used to manufacture a variety of consumer products. It was developed by US company Eastman Chemicals in 2009 and has been a popular alternative to traditional plastics since then due to its practical properties.

Tritan plastic is heat-resistant, food-safe, rigid and almost impossible to break, and safe to use in the dishwasher up to 176°F. It’s easy to see why Tritan is so widely used in the food and water industries today – including by many water filter pitcher manufacturers.

Containers made from Tritan plastic

🔎 What Is Tritan Plastic Used For?

You probably already use, or at least know about, a product that’s made with Tritan plastic. It’s used to make water bottles, food storage containers, baby bottles, and many other plastic products that need to be food-safe.

Some of the products made from Tritan plastic include:

  • Water filter pitchers, like the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher and the Epic Pure Water Filter Pitcher
  • Water bottle filters, like the Epic Nalgene
  • Blenders, like Vitamix and Ninja
  • Plastic containers for storing food and water, like Tupperware and Thermos

If you’re unsure what type of plastic a product is made from, you should be able to find this information in the product description. If not, check the manufacturer’s FAQs or contact customer service to ask directly.

✅ Is Tritan Plastic Safe?

Yes, Tritan is technically a safe plastic – but there are a few things to be aware of.

To start on a positive note, Tritan plastic is FDA-approved, and Eastman has stated that the material has been “rigorously tested” by third-party laboratories to confirm its safety. Plus, Tritan is BPA-, BPA, and BPF-free and non-toxic, according to the manufacturer.

However, Tritan is still a relatively new material on the market, and, while we know that it’s completely free from BPA and other bisphenols, as well as estrogenic and androgenic activity (according to Eastman), we can’t say for certain that it’s free from all other endocrine disruptors.

This research from 2014 dives into the topic in more detail, but essentially, BPA-free plastic products may still leach estrogenic chemicals, so having a BPA-free status isn’t the be-all-end-all.

George Bittner, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin, said that there are “a couple hundred or maybe a couple thousand other chemicals” used to make various plastics that may pose the same problems as BPA, including many estrogen-mimicking chemicals. However, Bittner then went on to make his own company that manufactures plastics without estrogenic chemicals, so it’s arguable that his information is biased.

In response, Eastman says that Tritan plastic is free of estrogenic activity and has been comprehensively and repeatedly tested by third-party labs, which found no evidence of binding or gene expression by estrogenic or androgenic pathways.

There are several tests that evaluated the safety of Tritan and the materials used to make the plastic, including assessing their molecular structures and their ability to bind to estrogen and androgen receptors in the human body. These tests were conducted by several organizations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

With all that said, we would still advise proceeding with caution. As far as evidence suggests so far, Tritan is free of estrogenic activity and safe to use, but more third-party data is needed to confirm this.

The bottom line is that all plastics, including BPA-free plastics, aren’t ideal. It’s best to limit your exposure when possible and reduce your use of polycarbonate plastics to stay on the safe side.

Installing the top reservoir of the Clearly Filtered pitcher

⚖️ Pros And Cons Of Tritan Plastic

Here are the key advantages and disadvantages of using Tritan plastic instead of other plastics:

Pros:

  • BPA-, BPF-, and BPS-free
  • Shatter-resistant, sturdy, and shock-proof
  • Affordable
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Safer than many other plastics on the market
  • Lower risk of chemical leaching

Cons:

  • May still contain some endocrine disruptors
  • Lacking unbiased data to confirm its safety

📑 Final Word

So, is Tritan plastic safe?

On the surface, yes. From what we know so far, it’s clear to see that Tritan is safer than many other materials in the plastics industry. So if plastic safety is your priority, look for plastic products made from Tritan.

Just keep in mind that Tritan is still a relatively new material on the market, and we can’t be 100% certain that this material is completely safe – and we won’t be until more third-party labs have the chance to test Tritan and give their verdict.

Pouring a glass of water from the Epic Pure pitcher

❔FAQs:

Is Tritan plastic BPA-free?

Yes, Tritan is BPA-free plastic. That means the plastic isn’t manufactured with bisphenol-A (BPA) or other bisphenol compounds, such as bisphenol-F (BPF) and bisphenol-S (BPS). These are classed as endocrine-disrupting chemicals because they’ve been found to interfere and prevent natural hormones from binding to their receptors, and can also mimic hormones, leading to increased risk of cancer, reproductive problems, and disturbances in immune and nervous system function. So, it’s good news that Tritan is BPA-free.

Is Tritan plastic toxic?

No, Tritan plastic isn’t toxic. In fact, Tritan has been called “the safest plastic in the world”, and some Tritan plastics even have a medical-grade status, meaning that they can safely be used in medical products. Because it’s BPA-free and doesn’t leach toxic chemicals into water, Tritan can be used for food containers and water bottles without the risk of health effects. It is NSF certified to standard 51 for materials safety.

Is Tritan plastic better than glass?

No, in terms of safety, we wouldn’t go as far as to say that Tritan is better than glass. That’s because we know for certain that glass doesn’t contain anything dangerous that could leach into water, while Tritan plastic is safe, but lacks independent data to prove this 100%. However, Tritan plastic is more lightweight and shatter-resistant than glass, which makes it better for certain products, like water filter pitchers.

Is Tritan plastic FDA-approved?

Yes, Tritan is FDA-approved, which is why it’s suitable for use in so many food-related items. Health Canada and other regulatory agencies across the world have also approved the use of Tritan, after independently reviewing the test results that confirm the plastic’s safety.

Does Tritan leach?

No, as far as we currently know, Tritan doesn’t leach anything into your food or water, even when heated. Tritan plastic isn’t said to contain any toxic contaminants or endocrine disruptors, which gives it no opportunity to leach anything into food or water. However, we do acknowledge that we’re missing more information and data from unbiased sources that could provide 100% reassurance of Tritan’s safety as a plastic.

Is Tritan plastic dishwasher safe?

Yes, Tritan is dishwasher safe and can be washed in temperatures up to 176°F. If you want to put a Tritan water filter pitcher in the dishwasher, check the user manual to make sure it’s safe to do so (some pitchers might also use other plastics that aren’t suitable for dishwashing) and remember to remove the filter and housing, which are obviously not dishwasher-safe.

Can you microwave Tritan plastic?

Yes, Tritan products are microwave-safe, and, according to the manufacturer, exposing Tritan to heat won’t increase its risk of leaching chemicals into your food because the material doesn’t contain anything dangerous that could leach out. It’s up to you whether you choose to microwave Tritan plastic, or whether you’d rather play it safe and wait for more research into this material.

  • Brian Campbell
    President & CEO, CWS, CWR

    Brian Campbell, a WQA Certified Water Specialist (CWS) and Certified Water Treatment Representative (CWR) with 5+ years of experience, helps homeowners navigate the world of water treatment. After honing his skills at Hach Company, he founded his business to empower homeowners with the knowledge and tools to achieve safe, healthy water. Brian's tested countless devices, from simple pitchers to complex systems, helping his readers find the perfect fit for their unique needs.

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