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Do you suppose it's safe to drink from a hose?

Consumer Reports News: June 11, 2010 01:03 PM

Is it safe to slurp from a garden hose? I recommend that you don’t. Many garden hoses are made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that often uses lead as a stabilizer. The brass fitting on the ends of the hose are also likely to contain lead.  Based on some testing we did a few years ago, water left standing in the hose can absorb worrisome amounts of lead and turn your first gulp into a health hazard.

Some hoses have warning labels that they are not to be used for drinking. Others are labeled “drinking water safe.”  Still others are not labeled at all. Unless you know for sure that your hose is drinking water safe, don’t drink from it.  Even if it is labeled safe for drinking, flush it out first before sipping. It’s also a good idea to wash your hands after handling a hose since lead can transfer to your hands and then from your hands to your mouth when eating. Even low levels of lead may cause health problems.

—Don Mays

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