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Are You Filling your Water Storage with Lead?

garden-1037454_1920Judy in Chicago had just purchased a new hose for her grandchildren to use as they played in the backyard during the summer. However, she immediately returned the hose when she got home and read on the label, “Wash hands after use” due to the possibility of leached lead!

Many commercially bought water hoses contain dangerously high levels of lead which leech into the water flowing through them. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, water sitting in a garden hose that has been left in the sun can contain a level of lead that reaches 100 times over what is considered a safe amount.

Many garden hoses are made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) - a toxic plastic - and lead is often used as a stabilizer in PVC. The dangerous levels of lead in garden hoses could potentially cause lead poisoning, cancer, birth defects and/or reproductive harm. (Read the Natural News article.)

A few years ago, ABC did a report where they purchased 10 garden hoses from nation-wide distributors. They filled the hoses with water, sealed both ends, and allowed them to sit in the sun for a day. The water was then tested for lead.

Four of the 10 hoses were found to leak extremely high levels of lead into the water.

Filling your water storage with a hose
Many people use a simple garden hose to fill their water containers or tanks. This means that if you’re using an unsafe type of hose, you could be storing lead in your water tank!

Obviously, you don’t want to fill your emergency water supplies with lead! By purchasing a lead-free hose or a filter, you can ensure that this won’t happen.

What hoses are safe?
We’d answer that question by saying it’s OK to drink from a hose only if it’s labeled safe or if you flush it first. Otherwise, the water standing inside may contain worrisome amounts of lead and other chemicals that leach from the hose itself. Many hoses are made of polyvinyl chloride, which uses lead as a stabilizer...

When you buy a hose, choose one labeled safe for drinking. With any hose, flush it by letting
the water run for a minute or so before you drink. (Read the Consumer Report article.)

Hose Safety by Consumer Reports
Safe for drinking Not for drinking (as labeled) Not for drinking (not labeled)
Gardener’s Supply Co. 33-469 Colorite Plastics Mainstays Light Duty Teknor Apex Light Duty
Teknor Apex Boat & Camper Self-straightening Colorite WaterWorks Light Duty Teknor Apex Mainstays Medium Duty
Swan Marine/Camper Gilmour Flexogen 716957 Companion 7169022
Better Homes and Gardens Kink-free Swan Fairlawn Reinforced Craftsman 7169612
Gilmour Flexogen 10-5805GY Teknor Apex Heavy Duty
Swan Heavy Duty Soft & Supple Craftsman 7169212

6 thoughts on “Are You Filling your Water Storage with Lead?”

  • Susan

    I am horrified to learn that water hoses could contain high levels of unhealthy lead. I am a 44 year old woman who just started gardening and I love it, but I am concerned about the lead. I just had a lumpectomy three months ago. A Cancer scare opens your eyes to all toxins in your life. Thank you for sharing this article!!!

  • chasmyn

    The only problem is that the first one doesn't exist; the second and third actually aren't safe to drink and do contain lead; and the fourth one doesn't exist. So ARE there any lead-free hoses anywhere? I cannot find them and have been scouring the internet for hours now.

  • Bart

    Try http://www.armadillohoseproducts.com/

    Not cheap but worth the price.

  • LindainCO

    White hoses, commonly used for RVs, are
    non-toxic, safe for drinking water.

    They have them at Walmart, too.

  • Gary

    Look in the RV section of warehouse stores - you'll find drinking water grade hoses there.

  • AnthonyB

    In answer to your quest regarding "lead free" hoses for drinking - Go to Amazon.com and enter "lead-free drinking water hoses" or just "lead-free hose". Amazon has numerous lead free hoses to choose from.

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