Lead and Phthalates in Garden Hoses

The temperature will approach 100 degrees today in New York City. Whew! Sweet William and I filled the wading pool first thing after breakfast.

As I uncoiled the hose, I remembered HealthyStuff.org’s recent study of lead and phthalates in garden equipment. Researchers tested 179 common garden products, including hoses, gloves, and kneeling pads. More than two-thirds of the products contained high levels of one or more chemical hazards.

100% of the products tested for phthalates contained four phthalate plasticizers that are currently banned in children’s products.

33% of water hoses contained lead in excess of the lead content standards in the federal Safe Drinking Water Standard.

Water sampled from one of the hoses contained 18-times more lead than the federal drinking water standard.

What can you do?

• Don’t drink from the hose! That goes for pets, too.
• Store your hose in the shade. Heat increases the leaching of chemicals into the water.
• Let the water run for a minute before you use it, as the water sitting in the hose will have the highest levels of chemicals.
• Buy a lead-free hose. Look for hoses intended for RV or marine use.
• Be suspicious of brass connectors. Some contain greater than 2,500 ppm lead. Non-brass fittings are more likely to be lead-free.

Read more about the study at HealthyStuff.org.

P.S. Sweet William’s PVC-free pool is from Step2. He’s wearing Hanna Andersson’s Swimmy Rash Guard Suit, which offers 99% UVA/UVB protection. His recycled plastic tugboat is from Green Toys.

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One Response to Lead and Phthalates in Garden Hoses

  1. Caryn Hederman June 24, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    Nicely done! Angela recommended your site to me, and your work lives up to her praises. Thank you for a thoughtful site with helpful content.

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