DRINKING WATER FROM THE HOSE
Hose fittings contain brass, an alloy that can contain up to 8% lead. One in three hoses tested had levels of lead that exceeded drinking water standards — one as high as 18 times the level. It turns out that hoses aren’t covered by the same lead laws that govern plumbing fixtures — even though those hoses are watering our food. Lead is also used as a stabilizer or pigment in the tube, especially in yellow and green hoses, which are practically ubiquitous. Lead is a potent neurotoxin that especially affects children. Newer hoses, purchased since 2007, when a lawsuit led by California required labeling on hoses, might be lead-free, although Consumer Reports testing in 2011 still found lead in new hoses.