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Lead in Hoses

hand-holding-a-hose-100169228Many garden hoses contain lead. Lead is in a lot of things that are made of supple plastics or synthetic rubbers. It is the ingredient used to treat the product that makes the material supple so that it does not crack or wear as quickly.   Warm water coming out of your standard garden hose will likely have lead in it as the longer the water sits in the hose, the more time the lead will have to leach into the water.

If you ARE using a standard hose, please consider flushing it out for at least a full minute with COLD water:

  • before letting your children play in the water,
  • before watering your garden with it (especially your vegetable garden) and
  • before letting anyone (pets included, see article below) drink from the hose.

Better yet: get a MARINE/RV grade drinking water delivery hose.  These are usually blue or white with a blue stripe down the side, although more and more hose manufacturers are wising up and upgrading their “regular” green garden hoses to be lead-free. Marine/RV hoses are used for boats and rvs to hook up to fill their drinking water supply tanks and they are lead-free / food grade to make sure the drinking water sources is safe.  They generally cost more money ($25 to $50 vs. the $15 to $30 for a standard hose) but they will not poison your children by contaminating the water.  [A reader just posted that she found some lead-free hoses for $8 at Walmart! So I guess they don’t HAVE to cost more!]  West Marine stores carry them and another reader told me she found lead-free hoses at a True Value Hardware store as well.

Thanks for reading.  Please let us know if you have any questions.

And some links.

PRODUCTS: We do not “know” or endorse any of these products specifically, but wanted to share these links with you as examples a quick web search produced.




2 Responses to Hoses

  1. breid1215 June 10, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

    Pity those of us who grew up in the 1950’s and 1960’s, who grew up eating fruit off the trees in our neighborhood (apricots, plums, pomegranates, quavas and avocados …) and who drank daily out of our neighbors garden hoses while we were out on fruit patrol raids. I cannot figure out how I made it to 58 years old. Worse yet, I never wore a bike helmet until I was 40 years old. If I make it to 60, I will consider myself a most fortunate man. It turns out we were living more dangerous lives than we realized.


  1. Danger in Your Home: Toxic Tap Water — Mamavation - July 24, 2014

    […] According to Lead Safe America, many standard garden hoses are still made with lead. They recommend flushing your hose with cold water for at least a minute before using, or buying a MARINE/RV grade drinking water delivery hose. I recommend not letting your children drink from your garden hose at all. […]

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