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Garden Hoses: Another Source of Dangerous Lead

A drink from the garden hose, a run through the sprinkler on a hot day, a wading pool full of cool clear water-these are some of the great joys of childhood. But is the water that’s coming through the garden hose safe?

Recent studies have found that many garden hoses contain unsafe levels of lead that can leech into the water that runs through the hose. Lead has been found to cause developmental delays, muscle problems and other health issues in children.

One study by “Consumer Reports” magazine found that water sitting inside a hose that has been left in direct sun can have more than 100 times the government’s maximum levels of lead for water that is considered drinkable.

Why Are Hoses Dangerous?

The lead problem seems to stem from the fact that many hoses are made of a plastic called polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Lead is often used to stabilize PVC and keep it from deteriorating as quickly. Since garden hose water is not meant to be directly consumed by humans, the government does not currently prohibit sales of PVC hoses.

Some studies suggest, however, that even watering vegetables and other foods with a PVC hose could cause people to ingest elevated levels of lead. Tests of garden soil in many areas show elevated lead levels. To avoid lead contamination, buy a hose that is not made with PVC. Several manufacturers offer PVC-free garden hoses.

If you or a family member has suffered from medical problems related to lead poisoning, and you believe the contamination originated from a garden hose or any other source, consult an experienced attorney familiar with the problems associated with lead poisoning.