Drinking out of the garden hose is something many of us did as kids to beat the heat.
However, according to Dan Allan, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic, drinking from the hose carries some significant risks, and is something parents should try and steer their children away from.
”We’ve learned some things more recently that would certainly talk about the risks,” says Dr. Allan. ”Probably the biggest risk is some of the chemicals that are in the water itself.”
Such chemicals include BPA (Bisphenol A) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which have both been banned from childrens products.
Dr. Allan says these types of chemicals have been linked to cancer, hormone problems and developmental problems in children.
”If there’s lead – that can lead to a host of neurological problems – so there are a lot of things to be concerned about,” says Dr. Allan.
While skipping sips from the garden hose all together is the best way to prevent problems, there are some measures parents can take if they just cant keep kids away.
Dr. Allan says some hoses are made without harmful chemicals, and are marked as such.
He says the hose fixture matters as well. Brass fixtures, for example, release lead which will contribute to health risks.
If drinking out of the garden hose is unavoidable, the best thing to do is to let the water run for a few minutes before taking a drink.
Doing so will flush out water near the top of the hose that could be contaminated with lead, mold or bacteria.
Dr. Allan also says to make sure the hose is stored properly.
“If the hose sits in the sun or is stored in the sun, it will release a lot more chemicals,” adds Dr. Allan.
“If youre going to use a hose for drinking, certainly it should be safe, but store it out of the sun because the suns heat will release the chemicals.”
You can find a variety of chemical free garden hoses on Amazon:
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