Nothing says summer like kids running through a sprinkler or a water hose. But, danger could be lurking right inside that hose. Water left inside the hose in very high temperatures can result in potential scalding and second-degree burns. Incidences are rarely reported, so it’s hardly top of mind but it is one that is worth a little time and thought.
Water temperatures can be upwards of 140 degrees Fahrenheit when water is left sitting in a hose that has been left out in the sun. It’s a burn risk for kids, adults, and even our pets. Samples were tested where the temperatures were at least 90 degrees, and both black and green hoses were sampled. Water sitting inside the hose was at least 30-40 degrees hotter than the outside temperature.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t use a water hose to cool off. It’s highly recommended that you let the hose water run for several minutes to bring down the water temperature. Then, enjoy the fun!
Drinking from a water hose
Cool, clean water – drinking from a water hose might be very tempting for kids who don’t want to stop to get a drink inside. However, some hoses can contain low levels of lead, phthalates and hazardous flame retardants.
Thirty-two garden hoses from six national retailers were tested for lead, cadmium, phthalates, bromine, PVC plastic, antimony and tin. Many hoses and the water inside contained hazardous chemicals. Vinyl hoses contained many of the contaminants.
These chemicals have been linked to birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity, premature births and hormone disruption in lab animals. Even if you actively avoid chemicals in your garden, you could be adding them to the soil if you are watering with one of these hoses.
What can you do?
Have clean drinking water in a cool area for kids when they are playing outside. Make it easy for them to take a drink.
Replace your hose.
Look for a hose marked “drinking water safe."
Buy a PVC-free hose.
Let it run. Water that has been sitting in the hose will have the highest levels of chemicals.