July 7th, 2014

Don’t Drink From a Garden Hose and Other Things to Avoid This Summer

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Groovy Green Livin Don't Drink From a Garden Hose

How many times have you reached for a drink from the garden hose on a hot summer day? Guilty! My kids love it too.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to stop. That garden hose is harboring all sorts of toxic chemicals.

In 2013 HealthyStuff.org tested 21 new garden hoses from Lowe’s, Home Depot, Walmart, Target and Kmart. They found:

  • One-third of the garden hoses tested contained enough chemicals of concern to be ranked “high concern” including lead.
  • Phthalates ,which are currently banned in children’s products were found in water hoses at high levels.
  • Water samples from several hoses contained numerous chemical hazards, including phthalates, lead and BPA.

Is there a safe garden hose?

Look for a lead-free garden hose with a lead-free label. This will make taking drinks from the garden hose for pets and children much safer and also cut down on the amount of lead landing in your backyard. Here’s an example of a  lead- free garden hose, which is also BPA free and phthalate free (affiliate link).

Make sure to let the garden hose run for a bit  before drinking, even if it’s labeled lead-free.

Don’t use spray sunscreens

While spray sunscreens are convenient (I’m the first to admit that!), the FDA is reviewing their safety. I know how challenging it is to get sunscreen on a toddler. I have vivid memories of  my three boys resisting sunscreen for many years. I wish I could say that it’s gotten better as they’ve gotten a bit older, but it’s still a struggle. What I will tell you is that aerosol spray sunscreens are not the answer.

Many spray sunscreens-especially the aerosol sprays-contain ingredients that don’t belong on your skin. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is very concerned about inhalation of nano-sized and micronized zinc and titanium in spray sunscreen. When you spray  sunscreen you are likely to inhale the fumes and this is a  much more direct route of exposure than when you apply the sunscreen directly to your skin. It goes directly into your lungs.

If you just can’t bring yourself to ditch the spray or pump sunscreen make sure you never spray sunscreen around your face or mouth. When applying spray sunscreens on children, pay attention to the wind and spray in a direction that won’t blow into their faces. Lower your inhalation risk by applying it on your hands and then wiping it on your face.

Although the dangers of spray sunscreen are still being investigated, why risk exposing your children to inhalation of harmful chemicals? Switch to a safe, non-toxic sunscreen, or a non-whitening sunscreen and have a fantastic summer!

Have you switched to a lead-free garden hose? On my to-do list! How about non-aerosol sunscreens? Have you found a brand that you can’t live without?

10 Responses to “Don’t Drink From a Garden Hose and Other Things to Avoid This Summer”

  1. I always wondered why my mom told me not to drink from the garden hose! She also told me not to drink or cook with hot water from the tap. I think the reason for that is the possibility of lead as well.

    Earlier this summer I watched someone spray some aerosol sunscreen and shortly thereafter it seemed like that was all I could smell. I was surprised because they really were not that close to me! One of my favorite brands is still a pump (non-aerosol) spray but we have been using other types as well this summer.

  2. Awesome tips, often we do things with out even thinking about it. Hubby drinks out of the hose all the time when he’s working outside. I’ll be putting a glass jug filled with water in his shop fridge from now on.
    Melody recently posted..Summer Skin Care EssentialsMy Profile

  3. Great information, I really appreciated your research on these subjects.

  4. You’re very welcome Charlie.

  5. Thanks Melody. I agree-sometimes the habit is so ingrained that we don’t think twice!

  6. Your mom was is one smart cookie Marsha!

  7. I try to keep my kids away because not only will they drink out of it, they dig out puddles and make standing water mini-ponds. But ew YUCK!
    Gina B recently posted..This Week in Natural Food & Health, 7/11/14My Profile

  8. Ha! I know what you mean Gina. My kids do the same.

  9. My grandmother always gave us heck if she caught us drinking out of the garden hose. Who knows what chemicals were leaching out of them back in the day.

    When it comes to sunscreen, I burn easy so I use an SPF 15 skin lotion on arms and other exposed areas below the neck and then I use a zinc oxide white cream on my face like the nose. No messing around 😉
    Jeff Morgan recently posted..Modern Options in Replacement WindowsMy Profile

  10. Glad to hear you don’t mess around in the sun Jeff. Thanks for stopping by!

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About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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