Dont drink the water from your hose

That childhood favorite: drinking fresh water from your garden hose, is now among the things you shouldn't do, according to a new study.

According to, high levels of hazardous chemicals, many of which have been banned in childrenâ??s products, were found in garden hoses for the second year in row. Phthalates and the toxic chemical BPA were all found in the water of a new hose after sitting outside in the sun for just a few days, according to researchers at the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center, which has just completed a study of toxic chemicals in garden hoses.

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.

Highlights of Findings

  • 21 new garden hoses were purchased from Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, Target and Kmart. One-third (8 of 21) of the garden hoses tested contained high levels of one or more chemicals of concern. These hoses are widely available and top selling brands.

  • Of the 21 garden hoses tested, 67% (14 of 21) were polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and 4.5% contained brominated flame retardants.

  • 5 hoses were tested for phthalate content. Total phthalate content in those hoses ranged from 11 to 18% by weight. Phthalates are not chemically bound to the material and can be released to the air and water.

  • 100% of the PVC hoses tested for phthalates contained one or more of the phthalates which have been banned by CPSC in childrenâ??s products.

  • Hazardous metals were also found in hoses; including organic tin stabilizers (29%); and antimony (52%);

  • Overall the level of lead in garden hoses declined between 2012 and 2013. The percentage of hoses with greater then

  • 100 ppm lead declined from 50% in 2012 to 14% in 2013.

For the complete study: