Environmental Information

Garden Hoses

Most homes have a garden hose for watering edible gardens, lawns, flowers beds, and more. Kids play in sprinklers attached to these hoses, and some even drink from them, but most people never questioning the safety of the hose.  Do you ever question its safety?  It is a garden hose, with that name alone you may never question whether you should water your garden with it. Let alone drink from it, or even play in the sprinkler attached to it.  Most people never think there could be harmful chemical like lead, BPA, bromine, and phthalates coming out of that hose.

Garden hoses are not regulated by the safe drinking water act, which monitors the nation’s public drinking water supply. A 2012 study from the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan found that water coming from garden hoses tested exceeded legal safe levels of lead.  Thirty-two hoses were studied after sitting in the sun for 48 hours full of water, one hose had levels of 68,000 ppm of lead detected, many hoses rated over 2000 ppm, and some were 100 to 500 ppm.  Some studies have found harm from consuming water when lead levels are above 5 ppb(.005ppm) of lead, which is the maximum amount of lead contamination the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows in bottled water. 

Water Potable Hoses are safer for your daily watering.   A water Potable hose means it is safe to drink from; even so 3 out of 10 have tested for levels of phthalates. So to be on the safe side, drain all water from any hose after use, in an area of the yard that is rarely used by people or animals, and store  them in the shade for future use. Buy water potable hoses for any watering chores, and for playing in.  Manufactures have to regulate recreational vehicles hoses for the chemical build because it is assumed you are often drinking water from the hose while camping, so consider buying a boat or camper hose.  Both the NeverKink Boat & Camper and the the Miracle-Gro UltraLite are lead free and water drinking safe. Any hose you buy for your home should have emblems on them indicating it is safe for drinking.

 Little changes can make a big difference in your health and the health of your loved ones. Have a great Summer and be just a bit cooler with a safe water potable hose this year.

By Barbara Shay

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