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A common summer scene involves kids squirting each other with the garden hose. Invariably, on a hot summer day some of the kids will take a drink from the hose. We've all done it, whether as kids or adults. It turns out that drinking from a plastic hose may be hazardous to our health.
Lab tests conducted on water left sitting for a day in 10 common brands of garden hoses revealed that 5 out of the 10 hoses had lead levels higher than the Environmental Protection Agency's safe levels for drinking water. Despite a mandate for manufacturers to significantly reduce lead levels in hoses by July 31st, it appears there are still brands with excessive lead leaching into the water.
You can avoid lead hoses entirely by purchasing hoses sold for boats or RVs, which don't contain lead. Flush out any hose before using it, and avoid hoses with brass fittings, which also contain lead.
Article published on July 30, 2007.