Please be aware that some water hoses pose a cancer risk. When purchasing a hose, read the fine print. You might discover a small warning label that indicates this very fact.
For example, a four-ply hose made by the company, “trueliving”, has the following warning displayed on the bottom-left part of the packing label:
This hose contains one or more chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. Do not drink water from this hose. Wash hands after use.”
According to ABC News.go.com, this is not the only company that makes hoses with this or a similar warning label. They actually bought ten garden hoses made by different companies and had the water tested. What was the result?
“Five of the 10 hoses came back with levels of lead higher than what the Environmental Protection Agency allows for drinking water. … Four of those came back with extremely high lead levels.”
Their write-up offered the following two alarming facts as posed by Charlie Pizarro, the “associate director at the Center for Environmental Health.”
1. “Hoses tend to be made of PVC, which is a dirty plastic, and lead is used as a stabilizer in that plastic.”
2. “Lead is a potent neurotoxin. There is no amount of lead that’s safe for a child. They create a public health risk to children. They put children at risk for brain damage, developmental disabilities and a host of other very serious problems.”
How was this discovered in our home? We had been using a TrueLiving 4 ply hose at our house to refill the kiddie pool that our three rescue puppies use for drinking water when they are outdoors. Thankfully, we had only been using this for a week when my husband decided to purchase a spare hose. That was when he noticed the warning label.
So, if a hose poses a cancer risk if used to re-fill kiddie pools, to provide drinking water for pets, or perhaps to water crops, what could it safely be used for?
My husband and I could only come up with a rather short list:
- Washing cars
- Cleaning side walks
- Washing porches
- Washing decks
Needless to say, we quickly got rid of this hose and replaced it with one known to be safe.
So please be aware that some hoses contain a cancer risk.
If you have children, you certainly wouldn’t want to fill a swimming pool using this hose since children often put their fingers in their mouth and water could accidentally be splashed into their open mouths.
If you have horses, dogs, cats, or farm animals, you would not want to put them at risk by filling their water bowls, pools, or troughs from hoses with a cancer warning label. Bird baths should not be filled using this type hose either.
The ABC News site states, “Experts say it’s probably safe to water your vegetables with water from a garden hose,” but is that a risk you are willing to take? That word “probably” feels problematic.
So, please be aware. Check the hose at your house. Is it safe for human or animal consumption or does it pose a cancer risk?
As the old expression goes: “Forewarned is forearmed.” Now that you know, you can make an informed choice.
Source for quotes used above
- Dangerous Lead Levels found in some Garden Hoses by ABC News
For further reading and some great suggestions of where to purchase safe garden hoses
- Is Your Garden Hose Safe? By Kerry Michaels on about.com
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