I know it’s fun, and I definitely used to do it, but there’s a lurking danger there that we weren’t as aware of in the 70s…
We’ve learned not to let kids eat paint chips, and to get tested for lead poisoning if they live in a home built before 1978, but many people don’t realize that most garden hoses are made with PVC or Poly Vinyl Chloride. PVC has lead in it, so if water is sitting in the hose there could easily be some lead contamination. A lot of the metal fittings are also made of lead.
Lead contamination is linked to lower IQ, as well as kidney and liver failure.
The Canadian Association Of Physicians For The Environment states that garden hoses are often made with phthalates.
“…plastic family chemicals called phthalates that’s what makes hose soft so you can bend it easily and phthalates are connected with hormone disruption, birth defects and there’s some connection with cancer. Bisphenol A is again a hormone disruptor and other concerns with cancer as well.” Says Gideon Forman, the association’s executive director.
If drinking from the hose is necessary for some reason, please be sure to flush the hose until fresher water is flowing. Water that has been sitting in the hose is more likely to be contaminated.