HealthyStuff on Garden Hoses
… And then I saw the latest report from HealthyStuff.org: “Hazardous Chemicals found in Gardening Water Hoses.” A few highlights from the report:
Of the 21 new garden hoses purchased from major retailers like Home Depot, Walmart, and Target, two-thirds were made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). All of the PVC hoses tested for phthalates contained one or more of the phthalates which have been banned by CPSC in children’s products. Phthalates are not chemically bound to the material and can be released to the air and water.
One-third of the garden hoses tested contained high levels of one or more chemicals of concern: lead, cadmium, bromine (associated with brominated flame retardants); chlorine (indicating the presence of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC); phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA). These chemicals have been linked to birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity, premature births and early puberty in laboratory animals, among other serious health problems.
Hazardous metals were also found in hoses: for example, organic tin stabilizers (29%); and antimony (52%).
14% of the hoses had a level of lead greater than 100 ppm (down from 50% of the 90 hoses tested in 2012). Lead was a big focus of previous reports on garden hoses, and the good news is that consumer pressure seems to have helped get some of the lead out.
Water sampled from one hose after it was left in the sun for two days contained hazardous levels of BPA and phthalates. BPA levels were 3 to 9 times higher than the safe drinking water level used by NSF and the phthalate DEHP was found at a level is 2 times higher than federal drinking water standards.
PVC, We Meet Again
Of course. The hose! We purchased a new home recently, which entails buying all kinds of fun things, including hoses. Although my husband likes to say that I research-to-death all purchases, sometimes he just takes care of business and goes out and buys something. Like hoses, for example.