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Gasoline fumes penetrate the plastic mineral water bottles sold at gas stations, according to Technion professor Joseph Miltz of the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering.

"During the summer, when the bottles are stored outside, heating increases the permeability of the plastic material to gasoline fumes - especially if they are stored close to the pumps," said Miltz.

In addition, bottles standing in the sun for long periods may undergo partial degradation and may release harmful materials into the bottled water.

Dr. Nehemia Sher, head of quality control for the Neviot water company, admitted that gas fumes may penetrate the bottles, and therefore the company instructs gas stations to store the water far from the pumps, and not in enclosed spaces along with oil or other volatile materials.

As to the danger of storing the water in the sun: "According to all the research we have, there is no danger to health. There may be an aftertaste," explained Sher.

Eden Springs, the producers of the Mei Eden brand, also said they instruct gas stations to keep the bottles far from the pumps.