Ecology Center Report: No More Drinking from the Garden Hose
How many times have you or a family member taken a sip from the garden hose on a hot summer day?
At one point in time or another we have all done so.
But a recent study by the non-profit environmental group Ecology Center suggests that a drink from the hose may contain more than just H20. The report, posted on the group’s Healthy Stuff website, identified several hazardous chemicals (lead, cadmium, phthalates, BPA) in water hoses and other common gardening products.
In fact, two-thirds of the 179 screened garden products tested positive for chemical levels of “high concern.” Most alarming to the public, one-third of water coming from the sampled garden hoses exceeded legal levels for lead. Every one of the hoses tested also contained several plasticizers which are currently banned in children’s products.
Other key findings from the Ecology Center’s report included:
• 17 percent of tested plastic hose materials contained more than 100 ppm lead.
• 29 percent of tested brass hose fittings contained more than 2,500 ppm lead.
• Water sampled from one hose contained lead levels that were 18-times higher than the federal drinking water standard.
How are such high chemical levels allowed in water coming from garden hoses? Isn’t there a federal law that hinders the public from being exposed to such safety hazards?
Despite hose water being regularly used by the public to water plants in gardens, fill pools in backyards and even often given to children and pets, it is currently not federally regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). But the Ecology Center does list a number of tips consumers should consider, such as letting the water hose run for a few seconds before using and storing the hose in the shade.
With many Americans spending time in their gardens this summer growing vegetables intended to be consumed at the dinner table, the Ecology Center’s findings are quite concerning. It will be interesting to see whether such similar and reoccurring studies on water from garden hoses leads to any calls for federal legislation.
Are you surprised by the Ecology Center’s findings? Do you think garden hose water should be federally regulated? Please share your comments below.
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