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Are Your Kids Drinking Lead from the Garden Hose?

Drinking water safety

drinking water safe hosesMost garden hoses are made of one of three different materials (or a combination of two): rubber, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), or polyurethane. The material least likely to be drinking water safe is PVC as most vinyls use lead (among other metals) and plasticizers containing phthalates in their production. Healthystuff.org recommends PVC-free hoses, and your Littleton plumbing specialists agree with them, so hoses containing PVC are not high on the list of recommendations.

According to the experts who research toxic chemicals in everyday stuff, “rubber is naturally flexible while also being very durable without the nasty habit of leaching contaminants.” Information provided at Healthy Stuff, polyurethane, though a polymer like PVC is less likely to contain lead, BPA, or phthalates, and is a lighter weight alternative to rubber.

Garden hose fittings

drinking water safety related to hoses

Outside of the hose itself, it’s important to consider hose fittings. Most fittings are made out of brass, chrome/nickel coated brass, aluminum, or plastic. Brass is often touted as being what to look for, but given that it contains lead (unless it’s specifically marketed as lead-free brass) and is prone to oxidation (especially after the lacquer wears off) it may not be the best choice.

Aluminum and plastic should also be avoided as both are prone to failure due to cracking or bending, according to your most referred Littleton plumber. “The best choice is nickel or chrome-coated brass as it eliminates lead contamination while also minimizing corrosion due to copper oxidation which means it won’t be impossible to remove because of corrosion that builds up in the threads,” say the experts at Healthy Stuff. “Nickel is also a lot harder which reduces the chance of stripped threads which is a major cause of leaks.”

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