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?
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 coverage.
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 individual.”
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
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.
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.”
Let’s look at the effects of lead:
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 blue-gray line.
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
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
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 body tissues.
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.
to 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.
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? I have no answers but like
you, I have lots of questions!
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
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.
more 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???
Here are links for additional reading:
The Real Truth about PVC
More on Lead Hoses
PVC and Cancer
Lead and Cancer
© 2007 Barbara