Every Day Water Hose or
How many ways do
you use a water hose in your daily life with your dog? Fill their water
pails? Fill a baby wading pool? Give them water from a hose while
walking on a hot day? Play water games? Do you use your water hose to
water home grown vegetables? Do your kids play with the water hose
during those hot summer months? All of these?
For some reason,
the really important things that affect our immediate health never
become major headlines in the news. Let Al Gore come out with a global
warming story and watch that take over the nightly news, or another
recall from Chinese products will surface with world shattering news
Unless you have been reading the small print in the back pages, you may
not know that every time you open that hose for your dog or your kids,
you are exposing them to one of the most lethal toxins known—LEAD!
Never mind toys manufactured in China, “Made in America” water hoses are
a profoundly dangerous item that we all use every day.
Row upon row of
neatly wound water hoses in the garden sections of stores all contain
the same ingredients but only in California did voters make this
information mandatory to
the public when they approved Proposition 65 in 1986.
message must clearly communicate that the chemical in question is known
to the state to cause cancer, or birth defects or other reproductive
harm. Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude a person
from providing warnings other than those specified in subsections (b),
(c), and (d) which satisfy the requirements of this subsection, or to
require that warnings be provided separately to each exposed
Hoses are sold
with a large label attached at various points. When you get it home,
and if you turn it over to read further, you’ll see the
following: “Warning: This hose contains chemicals, including lead, known
to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects and other
reproductive harm. Wash hands after use.”
triggering a small spate of back page news items was from Consumers
Report: “…the water standing inside may contain worrisome amounts of
lead and other chemicals that leach from the hose itself. Many hoses are
made of polyvinyl chloride, which uses lead as a stabilizer.
We tested 16 new hoses, brands sold at national chains and on the
Internet. Four were labeled safe for drinking; six had warning labels.
The remaining six weren’t labeled either way.
The four hoses labeled safe for drinking typically contained less lead
in their construction than the others. In our tests, those hoses leached
minuscule amounts of lead into water that had been standing in the hose
for 20 hours or more. We measured concentrations well below 15 parts per
billion, the level in drinking water at which the Environmental
Protection Agency requires remedial action. In fact, tap water contained
as much lead as some samples. (The time the water stands in the hose;
water temperature and
acidity all affect the amount of lead leaching.) Hoses containing the
highest amounts of lead, only two of which carried a "do not drink"
label, leached 10 to 100 times allowable lead levels in the first draw
of standing water.
However, even extremely low levels of lead may cause health problems. A
recent study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests
that lead levels in the blood even lower than the current definition of
toxicity may adversely affect a child’s IQ.”
On July 12,
2007 “Good Morning America” covered a story about reporters from ABC's
Phoenix affiliate KNXV-TV. The reporters bought 10 garden hoses
randomly at places like Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Target and Ace Hardware.
sections of the hoses with clean water, sealed the ends and put them
outside for about a day. Then they delivered that water to a lab. Five
of the 10 hoses came back with levels of lead higher than what the
Environmental Protection Agency allows for drinking water: 15 parts per
billion. Four of those came back with extremely high lead levels. Of the
four hoses with the extremely high lead levels, the lab found one with
lead levels of 290 parts per billion, which is almost 20 times higher
than what the EPA allows for drinking water.
"Hoses tend to
be made of PVC, which is a dirty plastic, and lead is used as a
stabilizer in that plastic," said Charlie Pizarro, associate director at
the Center for Environmental Health.”
look at the effects of lead:
THE THYROID AND
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM: Whether or not long-term exposure to inorganic lead
is associated with harmful effects on thyroid and immune system function
has not been well studied yet and the available evidence is weak. In one
study, firearm instructors with low exposure to inorganic lead had
reduced numbers of some types of immune system cells. This observation
is a very early indicator of impaired immune response.
SYSTEM: Effects on the gastrointestinal tract tend to be observed
following high exposure to inorganic lead compounds, although they have
sometimes been noted in workers with moderate exposure. Symptoms include
loss of appetite, inflammation of the stomach walls (gastritis) and
colic, with severe abdominal pain, cramps, nausea, vomiting,
constipation, anorexia (loss of appetite), weight loss and decreased
urination. In severe cases of lead exposure, a deposit of lead occurs in
the gums near the base of the teeth. This deposit is visible as a
Reversible kidney injury has been observed in some workers with repeated
low exposure to inorganic lead compounds. Irreversible kidney damage has
been observed following long-term, moderate exposures. An increased
number of deaths due to kidney disease were observed in smelter and lead
production workers with moderate lead exposure.
NERVOUS SYSTEM: Peripheral nerve function (nerves of the arms and legs)
has been harmed in workers exposed to low to moderate levels of
inorganic lead. Effects were shown to be reversible following a 5-month
exposure. However, only partial recovery may occur, particularly if lead
exposure continues or treatment is not carried out.
neuropathy (e.g., loss of myelin which insulates the nerves) has been
observed following long-term overexposure to inorganic lead compounds.
This disorder is often referred to as "lead palsy" and symptoms include
weakness of the arms and legs and weakness and paralysis of the wrist,
fingers and ankles.
THE BLOOD AND
HEART: Inorganic lead can cause harmful effects to certain types of
blood cells, including reduced hemoglobin production and reduced life
span and function of red blood cells. Reduced hemoglobin production has
been associated with low-level exposure to inorganic lead in the
workplace. Hemoglobin is the molecule responsible for carrying oxygen to
exposures, anemia has been observed in lead-exposed workers. Low,
moderate or high exposures to inorganic lead compounds may increase
blood pressure, particularly in men. In two studies,
electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities were observed in workers with
moderate exposure to inorganic lead compounds.
NERVOUS SYSTEM: Central nervous system (CNS) or brain function has been
harmed in workers with long-term, low-level lead exposure. Symptoms
typically occur with low to moderate exposure and include forgetfulness,
irritability, tiredness, headache, fatigue, impotence, decreased libido
(sexual drive), dizziness, and depression. Repeated exposure to moderate
to high levels can cause encephalopathy (a progressive degeneration of
certain parts of the brain). Early symptoms of encephalopathy include
dullness, irritability, poor attention span, headache, muscular tremor,
loss of memory and hallucinations. More severe symptoms occur at very
high exposures and include delirium, lack of coordination, convulsions,
paralysis, coma and death.
vision have been observed in workers after months to years of
overexposure to inorganic lead compounds. Symptoms range from very
slight visual changes to a gradual decrease in vision, with slow
recovery or, in some instances, progression to blindness.
Changes in hearing
ability have also been reported in lead-exposed workers, particularly
those with moderate to high exposure.
Are we looking at
possible causes of hypothyroid disease in dogs and the epidemic of
hyperthyroid disease in cats? Can this explain the astronomical
increase of bloat? The neuropathies like myasthenia gravis,
degenerative myelopathy, polyneuropathy? The immune-mediated diseases
that plague nearly all breeds? Can cardiomyopathy be coming from that
simple water hose? I have no answers but like you, I have lots of
The number one
killer of all breeds of dog is cancer. Now that we know we are using
water hoses that leach chemicals from polyvinyl chloride lined hoses,
what type of cancer has been linked to PVC?
Brain and lung cancers,
is the human equivalent of hemangiosarcoma—cancer of the blood vessels.
What about the
lead and a link to cancer? The International Agency for Research on
Cancer (IARC) has determined that the evidence for carcinogenicity of
inorganic lead compounds to humans is inadequate and has classified
these compounds as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B). A
comprehensive review of more than twenty human studies involving workers
exposed to inorganic lead compounds in battery industries, smelters,
pigment factories, printing trades and the glass manufacturing industry
concluded that there was a significant excess risk of overall cancer
(stomach, lung, and bladder cancers), but not cancer of the kidney. The
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has
designated elemental lead as an A3 carcinogen (confirmed animal
carcinogen with unknown relevance to humans).
bioaccumulates in the body which means a little lead in your water every
day would not be so harmful if the body processed it out, but it is
stored in body tissues unless removed by chelation therapy. Water hoses
are just one source of lead—the animals used for food are also watered
through contaminated hoses and they contain various amounts of lead in
their flesh, and so on and so on. There is no legislation to protect
you, your pets or your kids from lead contamination that is MADE IN
AMERICA! There is also no outcry against this tragedy.
expensive but a little safer are hoses marked “For Drinking Water.”
They come in ½ inch diameter and much shorter lengths so you need to
purchase more of them. Now how did that happen???
Read more at the Leo Links area.
© 2007 Barbara