By Liesl Clark
One of the cheapest, happiest forms of warm weather play for children is a garden hose with a sprinkler hooked up to it. For our children, it means hours of joyous play.
The challenge for us is the knowledge that most hoses are made of toxic chemicals and hence are full of pthalates and Bisphenol A. Both are known endocrine disruptors and if children drink from a hose their BPA levels will rise significantly.
Lead has also been detected in most garden hoses. It’s unknown what the effects are to the soil and plants, but what’s clear is that the next time we buy a hose we should refer to the latest study and get one of the recommended BPA-free hoses.
We do have one PVC-free hose and that’s the one we use for kid water-play. In fact, we use it as often as possible, as we phase out our other old hoses. An irrigation project we’re longing to do is a hose-free drain system from our pond to the vegetable garden so we can skip the hose quotient altogether. No wonder our waters are full of estrogen-mimicking chemicals that are affecting indicator species like fish.
If you’re interested in phasing out your old hoses or reusing one that’s broken, we have many hose reuses, as well as several important resources if you’re interested in learning more about the chemicals found in garden hoses: