Lead Contamination in Garden Hoses Poses Risk for Cannabis Farmers

Garden Hose

With heavy metal concerns being addressed in Phase 3 testing in California now, it’s important to consider all source points of contamination. And one concern is coming directly from the source that was supposed to provide life, the water. And as it turns out, many traditional garden hoses have become source points for pollution. Lead levels in water runoff from hoses have been found to be as high as 20 ppm!!!

Highlights of Findings ECOCENTER

  • PVC (vinyl) hoses frequently contained elevated lead, bromine, antimony, and phthalates in the flexible hose part. Non-PVC hoses did not contain these contaminants.
    • 29% of the PVC hoses (7 of 24) contained at least 100 ppm and as high as 68,000 ppm lead.
    • Phthalates were found in 75% of PVC hoses tested (18 of 24).
  • Bromine >1000 ppm and antimony >500 ppm were found in 50% of PVC hoses. Recycled electronic waste vinyl was found in a number of PVC hoses, resulting in high levels of bromine (indicating brominated flame retardants), lead, antimony, and tin (indicating organotin stabilizers).
  • BPA and lead were found to leach from the hoses into water.

While commercial growers may not typically use garden hoses, some small farms and backyard gardeners might. It is advisable to find alternative solutions, like high grade rubber hoses from Dramm. Drinking water hoses are also viable but they often develop kinks that make them more difficult to work with in horticultural environments.The rubber hoses are more expensive, but are traditionally more durable, last much longer and are clean! Here’s a link to the least expensive one we’ve found:

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