Bad News - That Garden Hose Water We Drank Is Loaded With Toxins

File under: Well, shit.

At this point, you've probably seen a dozen memes half bragging about how we were the generation that drank water straight from the garden hose in the summer. You may have even shared a few of these memes. And while we may have some serious nostalgia tied to quenching our thirst with no assistance from a cup, we may all wanna reconsider the humble brag that often accompanies that memory. Because drinking from your average garden hose is a big ol' NO. It's also a bad idea to give drinking water to your pets when it comes from these harbingers of nastiness.

Apparently, it's a great place to find mold, bacteria, critters, and toxic chemicals like antimony, BPA, bromine, lead, organotin, and phthalates. Some hoses may even release vinyl chloride. The worst part is that we're not talking about a small chance of a possibility; studies have reported unsafe levels of lead in 100% of the hoses they tested, along with over 30% containing organotin, 50% containing antimony, and 100% containing elevated and toxic levels of phthalates. 

If, like me, you're fairly clueless as to what most of these are, or why they're dangerous, here's a list of what these gnarly chemicals can do:

• Organotin can disrupt the endocrine system

• Antimony is linked to liver, kidney, and other organ damage

• Phthalates can lower intelligence, damage the endocrine system, and cause behavioral changes

• Lead poisoning can lead to a lower IQ, behavior problems, growth problems, anemia, kidney damage, hearing loss

The good news is you can reduce the risk! Buy a natural rubber hose and make sure it is advertised as safe for potable/drinkable water. Store it in a dark and cool place, don't use brass fixtures, and give it plenty of time to run and flush away any nastiness. Keep these practices in mind, and you can pretend you're a kid again...if you must.

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