A very common event that happens during the day while a gardener is gardening is to take a drink out of the water hose, something that most people do, right? If it’s hot outside, in excess of 90∞, and you are outside with your hose watering the lawn, or even your flowerbeds, why would you go inside to get a glass of water? The difficulty with using your garden hose for this purpose is that it could actually be unhealthy, primarily because they are made of a substance called PVC, a compound that is commonly used that contains lead, a stabilizing factor for the creation of the hoses.
In between the time that you water your lawn or plants, the water tends to stay in the house, and the lead can actually leach into the water, causing detrimental and sometimes deadly problems. The lead in the hoses can actually be up to 100 times the allowable level of lead, according to US standards, which is clearly something that you should not put into your body.
There are certain states that are required to note on the packaging that the PVC material has been known to cause birth defects, reproductive problems and also cancer. Typically, this warning is printed in such small print that most consumers will miss it, and in other states it is not even mentioned at all that using a garden hose for drinking could be dangerous for your health.
You should also know that lead is very dangerous for children, especially young ones, those that are under the age of six years and it can cause nervous system disorders and damage to the brain. When this occurs, the damage is irreversible, and sometimes severe, leading to problematic situations the rest of their life.
Lead is a Chemical
Many people believe that plants actually do not absorb lead, so by watering them with these hoses that have lead, it’s not dangerous unless high concentrations are detected in the soil. I personally am not convinced about this opinion at all. Since lead is a chemical that can remain in the soil for many years, it will at some point become very harmful for the plans that you grow. It’s very true for plant vegetables and edibles, ones that have high concentrations of water, and if you are watering regularly, the lead content within these plants can grow.
You really don’t have to worry, however, because there are lead free hoses, those that are available in many locations so that you can avoid the risk of poisoning not only your garden but yourself.
If you do invest in one of these lead free hoses, or even a hose that states that it is drink safe, be sure to let the water run for quite some time before you actually take a drink.