Summer is almost here – time to get in the dirt, sow some seeds, and take full advantage of your area’s best growing season. It’s great exercise and a fun way to provide your family with healthy and inexpensive food! But are there some hidden toxic hazards in your tool shed?
A recent study of gardening tools from HealthyStuff.org found that two-thirds of garden hoses, garden gloves, and other gardening tools tested contained levels of chemicals of high concern such as lead, phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA)!
Much of the problem comes from the presence of these chemicals within the vinyl (PVC) in hoses, on gloves, and on tool handles. Lead, phthalates and BPA pose a risk of being absorbed into your hands or leaching into your soil and potentially contaminating your healthy garden. But the good news is that safer alternatives do exist, so you can avoid this unnecessary exposure to toxic chemicals.
What Can You Do?
- Check out www.HealthyStuff.org to view their report and helpful video to help you avoid the most problematic items.
- Store your hose in the shade (heat will increase the leaching of chemicals from your hose).
- Let your hose run for a few seconds to flush out the water that has been stored in the hose (which will have the highest chemical content).
- Don’t drink from a hose unless you know it has been certified as drinking water safe and lead-free.
- If you decide to replace a toxic gardening tool you have already purchased, contact the company and tell them why! Your voice is so important to help drive the industry towards making safer products!