Q. Does my garden hose contain lead and other chemicals that are leaching into the water and thus into soil and plants?
Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that the answer is yes. The brass fittings on hoses contain up to 8 percent lead. Additionally, most hoses contain BPA and phthalates, both endocrine disruptors.
One easy way to cut down on the amount of lead in your immediate environment is to get a lead-free garden hose. Not only will it drastically reduce the amount of lead being deposited in your yard, it will also virtually eliminate direct exposure when watering by hand or tending to the garden. A lead-free garden hose is also safe for children to get a much-needed drink or play in the sprinklers, and pets will also be spared of potential lead poisoning from water bowls filled from the hose. The hoses are often white with a thin blue stripe, and are commonly sold in marine and recreational vehicle (RV) stores. Although sold for RV and marine use, these hoses serve as great lead-free garden hoes.
See The Ecology Center's information page for extensive information on garden hose safety. Among their recommendations are:
- Don't store your hose in the sun.
- Let the water run for a few seconds before using, because water that has been sitting in the hose contains the most chemicals.
- Don't drink from your hose or give your pets water from it unless you know for certain that it's safe.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service