Warning: Your Garden Hose May Be Poisoning Your Plants!
Choosing a safe, high-quality garden hose for your garden might not be as easy of a task as you think. There are so many options to choose from and most of these garden hoses will have a very small visible difference. You will probably be tempted to just buy the cheapest one you can find but you should know even a small difference can make a huge impact on its durability and the safety of your plants.
A top of the line heavy-duty rubber garden hoses can last five to ten years (or longer) but are they safe to use in your garden? Often times many people are on a budget when it comes to buying something like a garden hose will usually opt for the cheapest one that they can find. However, this may not be the best idea once you find what chemicals can spew into your water. Low-quality garden hoses need to be replaced in usually just one year as they usually tend to crack, rot, or leak after using it for just a short time.
If you will be using your hose for watering your garden then there are several things you should be looking at. The first step is to get into the details and know exactly what options are available for different garden hoses. The quality of the hose makes a big difference and the other important things that you should look in your garden hose include:
Toxic Chemicals Coming from your Garden Hose
According to the testing performed by the Ecology Center in 2016, the average garden hose carries various toxins. The Ecology Center examined thirty-two new garden hoses from Home Depot, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Meijer, and Target and looked at the levels of cadmium, lead, mercury, arsenic, tin, bromine, antimony, PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), BPA (Bisphenol A), and chlorine.
These chemicals and metals have been associated with impaired learning, birth defects, obesity, diabetes, premature births, liver toxicity, cancer, hormone disruption, and infertility, and several other health problems.
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Most of the tested hoses are made of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), which is considered as a toxic plastic that contains BPA, phthalates, and organotins, and all these toxins can hamper reproductive and hormonal development.
Thirty-Eight percent of the hoses also have antimony and bromine chemicals that can cause kidney, thyroid, and liver damage with extended exposure.
What Should You Look For in a Garden Hose?
When you looking at different garden hoses, here are four of the most important things to keep in mind:
Hose Materials: If you want the garden hose that lasts long, then you should look for the hose material. The best hose will be strong and allows you to use it more frequently. Know what your hose is made of and how easy it is to use, then you can use your garden hose for a longer period.
Hose Length: It is also one of the important factors to consider when you buying a good-quality hose. You don’t need to buy a long hundred foot hose for your small yard. Also, avoid buying a short hose, the best thing to do is, measure the distance from the tap or spigot, and then buy accordingly. You can buy a bit longer than you need.
Hose Diameter: when buying a garden hose, you will find various garden hoses with different diameter choices. Choosing the right diameter hose is also very confusing sometimes, generally, the standard piping diameter will be normally ½ inch. Also, in general, most household gardens need hose size of a ½ inch diameter. You can also look for 5/8inch diameter hose, but it will add extra weight.
Hose Durability: When you start shopping for your garden hose, you will observe the words like light duty, heavy duty, medium duty, super duty, etc., and you might be wondering what these are? However, you don’t need to go deep into those details. You should just know that the light-duty hose is the best option for your garden needs. Get a durable garden hose that can long last.
Non-Toxic Garden Hoses. Do they really work?
Many little kids like to drink water from the garden hose, especially during hot summer days. But, the fact is, water from the hose is not safe at all to drink. Even, it is not good for your pets, and the garden hose may transport dangerous chemicals to produce in your garden. If you or your loved ones are drinking from the hose, then stop immediately. The garden hose has ported all kinds of toxic chemicals.
The garden hoses that are tested among them one-third of the hoses contained a large number of chemicals like lead, which is ranked as a high concern. Also, the compound called Phthalates that are presently excluded from children’s products were actually found high-levels in water hoses.
Several water samples collected from different hoses shows that they contain a quite a large number of dangerous chemicals, including lead, BPA, and phthalates.
You can look for a garden hose that contains a lead-free label. This label ensures that the hose does not deliver lead content water so, it may be safe for children and pets to drink water from garden hoses, and these lead-free hoses can reduce landing lead in your backyard. However, make sure to let go some of the initial water from the garden hose before drinking.
Top 3 Drinking Water Safe Garden Hoses
Here are a few “Drinking water safe” garden hoses that actually offer the best performance and toxic-free water when you use it on a daily basis. There are many choices available in the market but most of them may not fall under the category of the best water hoses. But, some of them are the best choice as they made of high-quality materials and delivers toxic-free results. Here you can find three top-ranking water safe garden hoses that can last many years.
The Flexzilla garden hose is a premium hose that is a perfect option if you want to water your livestock, vegetable, or pets. It is not safe for drinking, but it very durable, do not twist or bend, and contains nickel plated fittings. In any weather, you can water your plants and keep them hydrated with this top-ranked Flexzilla rubber hose. This extra long hose that is of 100feet x 5/8inch help you reach the long spots of your garden easily.
- 5/8 inch diameter by 100 feet long, so you can put water in any corner of your garden.
- Made of Hybrid Polymer durable material which is safe to drink from.
- Unbreakable RTC (Radial Tire Cord) features 500psi force strength
- It comes with a new bowl-shaped hexagonal shape to decrease twisting that slows water flow.
- Brass coupler with crush-resistant can be fixed securely to the tap or spigot.
The reviews for this hose are amazing and I have been using this hose for several years to water my plants with no sign of harmful chemicals coming from the hose.
The Clear Flow garden hose is considered as a drinking water safe hose as it is made from an NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) approved materials. It supplies non-toxic and fresh water, and does not deliver rubber, or lead, and the ultraviolet rays pass through the hose to get rid of algae and bacteria growth.
It is made from a top-rated twist proof material and comes with crush-proof nylon fittings that are lead-free and freeze resistant. It is a perfect option for camping, home, indoor use, and marine as it is lightweight and easy-to-use. It has a 5/8 inch diameter and 50 feet length that is easy to coil and easy to store.
Benefits and Features:
- No Lead
- No Rubber Taste
- Drinking water safe
- No leaking
- 100 percent recyclable and delivers toxic-free water
- BPA Free
The water fight garden hose is manufactured in the U.S. and made of top-quality, 100 percent lead-free, NSF & FDA grade, UV stabilized polyurethane material. The hose expands comfortably to about forty-three feet and contains 12inch tails at each end of the hose that makes fixing the hose to the nozzle easy. The lightweight hose is ideal for smaller watering requirements on the patio, porch, small gardens, drinking water safe, and does not contain phthalates.
- Flexible in all weather conditions, including cold, hot, and freezing temperatures
- It contains strong machined brass fitting plated with chrome and nickel
- Strain reliefs on both ends of the hose
- Features 12inch tails that make it easy to attach the nozzle
Different Hose Materials and how safe are they?
You can find garden hoses available in many different materials, including vinyl, rubber, latex, PVC and more.
The safest option you should be looking for is “natural” latex. Natural latex is made from the Rubber Tree (Hevea Brasiliensis) and doesn’t use any synthetic materials. The problem with this material is that the hose may not last as long as synthetic materials but it will be safer for your plants.
The vinyl garden hose will last longer and is a more lightweight and cost-efficient option, but at the same time is not strong enough and may have chemicals spew out. This vinyl garden hose is prone to splitting, kinking, and cracking compared to other materials and it can weaken quickly if it is exposed to the sun or to harsh weather. However, it is the perfect option if you have budget restrictions.
The rubber garden hoses are actually the strongest and also long-lasting but they are very expensive as well. The rubber hose offers extra benefits as it can hold hot water, and still does not twist and completely resistant to hot sun and UV rays. The rubber hose is the perfect option for heavy duty use.
Reinforced or supported hoses that are supported with a mesh coating between layers of rubber and vinyl. These hoses are resistant to splitting and kinking and take higher-pressure water levels.
Which Garden Hose to Choose?
You need to decide how important your plants are? Do you want to chemicals leaching out of your garden hose on to your plants and into your pets or animals water? Choosing the right garden hose can help you keep away the toxic substances away from your garden and you should know that all garden hoses are not the same. Before selecting a new garden hose, be sure to read the fine print and look into what materials are used, your plants will thank you for it!
About the Author
Cindy has been gardening for over 30 years and you can find her blogging about garden hoses and other popular irrigation options on http://gardenhoseadviser.com. Garden hoses evolve every year now and sometimes not for the better. Different watering options produce different results for your garden. Come learn how the different materials can affect your garden.