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Question from EM


Hello! I was recently trying to figure out what my garden hose is made of, and it turns out that it’s made of PVC (not surprising). What is surprising is that it’s advertised as “toxin-free — no lead, BPA or phthalates.” That’s confusing, and I’m suspicious. Your thoughts?


Lisa’s Answer

This is a great question.  The answer is complex because there is no government regulation of the term “toxic-free”.  That leaves the consumer in the position of evaluating the safety of the product.  Lead, BPA, and phthalates are among the more concerning chemicals in PVC but they are not the only ones.  PVC tends to have more chemical additives than some other plastics.  These additives are not typically disclosed.  They can include cadmium and biocides.  PVC also off-gases. The only way to know for certain what exposure you have from this hose is to test the hose itself or the water that passes through.  Out of caution, I’d steer clear of any PVC.


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