Is drinking from a garden hose safe for children?

Posted at 6:01 AM, Aug 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-25 06:37:14-04

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic wanted to know if drinking from a garden hose was safe.

It's something people have done for years. But, it looks like it carries some serious risks.

"Probably the biggest risk is some of the chemicals that are in the water itself. Many garden hoses are not made for drinking water and so they'll release lead, they will release different chemicals in the plastics, much like a lot of the plastics that have been banned in kids' products," Dr. Dan Allan said. 

Some of those chemicals include BPA or PVC, poly vinyl chloride.

Allan says that ingesting these chemicals can increase your risk of cancer, hormone problems or neurological problems, and can even affect development in children.

If you can't seem to avoid drinking from the garden hose, you can do take some precautions.

Look for hoses made from polyurethane or natural rubber, which will not release any chemicals. Also, let the water run for a few minutes before you take a drink. It's also important to check the hose fitting.

"If it's brass, that will release a lot of lead and if you run the water for enough time to flush the hose, that first bit of water that was up by the brass fitting is going to be loaded with lead, so you have to let it run for a couple of minutes to make sure you're safe," he added.