Do you or your dog drink from the garden hose?
HealthyStuff.org in Ann Arbor, Michigan, found that many garden products, including most hoses made from PVC, contained phthalates which is a chemical used to soften plastics. This chemical has been linked to birth defects and breast cancer among other things. In addition, high amounts of lead were also found in hoses' brass fittings.
Jeff Gearhart, lead researcher on this study, recommends that consumers buy lead-free garden hoses, which are often white with a blue stripe and found at marine and RV stores, or rubber hoses. He also suggests flushing PVC hoses before using them to water plants, and storing them in the shade to prevent the sun from heating them which releases PVC chemicals into the water.
The main message is clear: do not drink from garden hoses yourself or use them to fill your dog's waterbowls.