Author’s Blog
28th Jul

2016

Not All Garden Hoses Are Created Equal

unnamedIt’s summertime, school is over, and we are spending many more hours outdoors. The hotter days make us thirsty, and kids sometimes use the backyard garden hose for a drink, especially if it is lying around to fill pools and other backyard water games.

Not all garden hoses are created equal, and many of them can contaminate the water with toxic chemicals that are dangerous for your child.  The heat will also increase the leaching of the chemicals from the hose material into the water.

Avoid PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic hoses, as they may contain lead and other heavy metals, brominated flame retardants, BPA and phthalates and other chemicals of concern. PVC hoses are not safe for drinking from and they should never be used to water vegetable gardens or edible plantings.  Don’t be fooled by advertising for recycled PVC hoses that are labeled “drinking water safe,” as they were still found to contain significantly elevated levels of phthalates and other chemicals found in e-waste.

Polyurethane hoses are a little harder to find, but are your best choice.  Choose a brand that is labeled “drinking water safe” and “lead free”.  “Lead free couplings” on the label only refers to the metal fittings and does not give you the same safety assurances.  Although polyurethane hoses are slightly more expensive, they consistently have very low levels (if any) of worrisome contaminants.

Regardless of the hose you choose, let it run for a few seconds to clear out the water that has been sitting in it for an extended period of time before watering vegetables or filling pools. Store hoses in the shade, if possible.

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