Below is a post I originally wrote and shared in June of 2014. I’ve slightly updated it for today. It’s a post I have shared often so I am re-sharing now, so those who are new to my page and my work have the benefit of the information provided. Thanks for reading, friends! – Tamara
Many 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 (standing) water coming out of your standard garden hose in the summer months 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 (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. If you are buying a new lead-free hose, make sure the nozzle and fittings are lead-free (and drinking water safe) as well.
Below I have listed several good choices I found available today (1/6/2017) on Amazon.com.
Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links where a purchase made
after clicking will support this website without costing you extra!
I 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 (hoses that are similar to the lead-free hose we own.) You’ll notice that these are mostly blue or white or blue and white, as that is the recognized industry standard for knowing you are using a drinking water safe hose out in the field (when boating or RVing). It looks like this brand “element” is making a solid effort in the field with a large variety of lead-free / drinking water safe hoses, however I have not personally tested or used any of their products.
- This one is marketed as both lead and BPA free and is a 25 ft hose for just $9.97
- This one is a 35 foot hose marked as lead free, BPA free and Phthalate free for $24.97
- Here’s a 50-foot hose marketed as lead-free, phthalate safe and drinking water safe for only $19.98
- Here’s a 75-foot lead-free hose intended for farm use for $45.85
- Also check out this Oregon company that makes lead-free hoses!
Thanks for reading, happy shopping, and as always, please let me know if you have any questions.
Unexpected Lead Expert
Mother of Four Boys
And some additional reading on the subject ( #LeadSafeGardening):
Affiliate link disclosure: If you choose to purchase any items after clicking the Amazon links above, Amazon pays me a small kick back as a thank you for sending business their way. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and helps support this website, allowing me to keep sharing information about childhood lead poisoning prevention (as well as making it possible for me to keep sharing about safe products for your home and family) ... Sharing this information in turn helps families everywhere protect their children from potential environmental toxicity in their homes. I only link to products that are the same as (or very similar to) ones that I either have direct personal experience with in my home or that I have personally tested with an XRF Instrument and found to be lead-safe or lead-free. January 2017