The Ecology Center in Ann Arbor tested 179 kinds of garden products, including garden hoses, tools, gloves and kneeling pads. They found 70% of the products contained levels of "high concern" of one or more toxic substances... including lead, cadmium and mercury.
From the report:
- 30% of all products contained over 100 ppm lead in one or more component. 100 ppm is the Consumer Product Safety Commission Standard (CPSC) for lead in children’ products.
- 100% of the garden hoses sampled for phthalates contained four phthalate plasticizers which are currently banned in children’s products.
- Two water hoses contained the flame retardant 2,3,4,5-tetrabromo-bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (TBPH).
Jeff Gearhart is the Ecology Center’s research director. He says the biggest concern is garden hoses – because a lot of people like to drink out of them on a hot day.
"We found that one-third of them contained lead in excess of the U.S. drinking water standards that apply to products like water faucets."
He says the problem is – garden hoses are not regulated. Some hoses have warning labels telling you not to drink from them.
But Gearhart says they tested some polyurethane and natural rubber hoses and found they were lead-free.
"There’s a variety of polyurethane-based hoses that are made out of food-grade polyurethane and have lead-free fittings that are on the market. And there’s also natural rubber hoses we tested that don’t have the types of contaminants that are typical of the vinyl hoses."