Phthalates are plasticizers added to PVC to make it flexible. Babies
certainly shouldn't use any item containing phthalates, because they
are likely to suck and chew the plastic.
As to whether adults should totally avoid phthalates - well, that's up
to the level of risk that you are prepared to accept. Personally, I
would avoid them wherever possible.
Fortunately, it's not too hard to avoid phthalates. Firstly, avoid any
soft PVC. The easiest way to identify PVC is by the recycling triangle
(more properly called the "Resin Identification Code") that appears on
the bottom of most drinking bottles. The code for PVC is the number
"3" inside a triangle.
You have asked for a specific brand of water bottle that does not
contain phthalates. You could consider the Nalgene brand water bottles
(this is an example, not an endorsement):
"...Phthalates aren't found in Nalgene bottles ... the hard,
clear bottles ... are made of polycarbonate. The softer,
more plastic-feeling bottles are high-density polyethylene
- no phthalates there either."
Outside Online - Gear
Nalgene bottles are widely available at camping and outdoor recreation
stores. The polycarbonate bottles feature the number "7" inside the
triangle (which actually means "other"), and the high density
polyethylene bottles feature the number "2" inside the triangle.
You may prefer to choose the high density polyethylene bottles,
because polycarbonate also has an associated controversy - the
leaching of estrogen analogs such as Bisphenol A:
"Bisphenol A (BPA) was identified in 81 of 115 published
animal studies to have harmful effects such as early
onset of puberty, changes in hormones, increased prostate
size, decreased sperm production, and breast tissue
changes in mice..."
Chemicals in Plastics
Nalgene's own website discusses the issues of phthalates and Bisphenol
A, and claims that the experimentally-observed levels of leaching are
very low indeed:
Nalgene Labware - Phthalates as Endocrene Disrupters
If you want to steer clear of plastics altogether, you could use a
lightweight stainless-steel water bottle. The Klean Kanteen range is
one example (again, this is not an endorsement):
"The Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle ... a reusable,
light weight, risk-free stainless steel water bottle that does
not leach toxins into its contents."
Shop Greenfeet - The Klean Kanteen
Google Search Strategy:
"water bottle" "no phthalates"
triangular plastic recycling symbol
"stainless steel" "water bottle OR flask"
Wikipedia - Resin identification code
Wikipedia - Nalgene