Did you know that doing something as simple and mindless as turning on the hose in your backyard and taking a drink can be dangerous? Drinking directly from a hose can give you water that is loaded with chlorine, lead, cadmium, bromine, phthalates and bisphenal, a (BPA).0.

It is the presence of lead, phthalates and BPA that is the most shocking for people, especially since we have all undoubtedly used the hose to quench our thirst during the summer. This is due to the fact that garden hoses of yesteryear were made from different materials than we find today. Nowadays, some hoses are made from materials that contain these harmful chemicals and that have been traced to hormone disruption, birth defects and cancer.

As a gardener you want to be able to adopt healthy living trends and none is more important than growing your own organic produce for your family. You avoid the use of strong fertilizers, pesticides and other contaminants, but the fact remains that you may be unknowingly sabotaging your efforts with the hose you are using to water your plants. Saving money, by purchasing the least expensive hose you can find, may result in unsafe levels of toxins in the soil of your garden.

Types of Hoses to Use to Reduce Contamination

The first thing to do is make sure that your garden hose, which your water passes through on its way to the soil, is free from these harmful chemicals. Polyurethane or natural rubber hoses are made to avoid this contamination so that your organic garden benefits.

Gatorhyde hoses are 100 percent lead free and are made in America. They contain no harmful contaminants and are also free of BPA. Although there are newer hoses entering the market that meet the U.S. Water Act requirements, there is none as safe as a Gatorhyde. The brass fitting used on the hose, which usually contain lead, is plated to prevent exposure.

Take Things a Step Further with Your Nozzle

In addition to making sure that your hose is free from these chemicals, you should also find a new nozzle that will deliver exactly what you need. It is important to note that the brass found in residential water fittings and nozzles is not regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act of 2013. As such, you will need to do your research so you can get a new nozzle that allows you to have the safe water you want for yourself and your garden.

“Little Big Shot,” a simple garden hose nozzle, offers a greener solution for spraying your vegetables than both fully leaded and plastic versions. It uses a silicone insert that runs from end to end to deliver water without chemical contamination. Silicone has been approved by the FDA as having no toxic transfer and there is no current information that suggests silicone transfers chemicals. The Little Big Shot gives you 40 percent more water pressure while using 40 percent less water. This is extremely useful for those living in areas in draught or with limits on water consumption.

Here are some tips if you are worried about lead exposure in your garden:

  • Test the soil for chemical levels to see if there is any contamination
  • Avoid storing your garden tools and hoses in the sun or heat
  • Do not drink water from unlabeled hoses or fill pet water dishes or children’s pools
  • Always flush water from the hose into an area of your yard that is away from pets and human use.