Is the hose your dog is drinking from full of toxic chemicals?
Oh-oh. Another thing we have to do to keep our dogs safe. Now it’s garden hoses that are causing problems for you and your dog. High amounts of lead, phthalates and the toxic chemical BPA were all found in the water of a new hose after sitting outside in the sun for just a few days, according to researchers at the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center, who just completed a large study of toxic chemicals in gardening products.
Nearly 200 hoses were tested for lead, cadmium, bromine (associated with brominated flame retardants); chlorine (indicating the presence of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC); phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA). Such chemicals have been linked to birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity, premature births and early puberty in laboratory animals, among other serious health problems.
“Even if you are an organic gardener, doing everything you can to avoid pesticides and fertilizers, you still may be introducing hazardous substances into your soil by using these products,” said Jeff Gearhart, Research Director at the Ecology Center. “The good news is that healthier choices are out there. Polyurethane or natural rubber water hoses are all better choices.”
Highlights of Findings
- 100% of the garden hoses sampled for phthalates contained four phthalate plasticizers which are currently banned in children’s products.
- Two water hoses contained the flame retardant 2,3,4,5-tetrabromo-bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (TBPH).
What Was Found in the Water
- Water sampled from one hose contained 0.280 mg/l (ppm) lead. This is 18-times higher than the federal drinking water standard of 0.015 mg/l.
- BPA levels of 2.3 ppm was found in the hose water. This level is 20-times higher than the 0.100 ppm safe drinking water level used by NSF to verify that consumers are not being exposed to levels of a chemical that exceed regulated levels.
- The phthalate DEHP was found at 0.025 ppm in the hose water. This level is 4-times higher than federal drinking water standards. EPA and FDA regulate DEHP in water at 0.006 mg/l (ppm).
What You Can Do
- Read the labels: Avoid hoses with a California Prop 65 warning that says “this product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects and other reproductive harm.” Buy hoses that are “drinking water safe” and “lead-free”.
- Let it run: Always let your hose run for a few seconds before using, since the water that’s been sitting in the hose will have the highest levels of chemicals.
- Avoid the sun: Store your hose in the shade. The heat from the sun can increase the leaching of chemicals from the PVC into the water.
- Don’t drink water from a hose: Unless you know for sure that your hose is drinking water safe, don’t drink from it. Even low levels of lead may cause health problems.
- Buy a PVC-free hose to fill your dog’s pool or outside water bowl: Polyurethane or natural rubber hoses are better choices. Visit www.HealthyStuff.org for sample products.
- Make sure your dog doesn’t get hyponatremia by drinking too much water in a short period of time: Another problem with hoses (and water sports in general) is that dogs can drink so much water that their electrolytes drop to the point of causing hyponatremia (water toxicity) causing their blood plasma to thin and their brain and other organs to swell.
PVC-free watering hoses:
Ike and Petey Playing with the Unstuffed Otter Dog Toy from happydogspay.com
The Drury household just welcomed a wonderful new dog named Ike, a Border Collie-Lab mix, to their home in Marietta, GA. Ike and “King-of-the-House” Petey, the family Chihuahua, have become fast friends by playing tug-of-war for hours with the Go Dog Unstuffed Otter Dog Toy. The Otter is 34″ long and allows the two dogs to get used to playing with each other without being right in each other’s face. Sometimes having the right toy can facilitate play between dogs, especially as they’re just getting to know each other. Petey and Ike are now on their way to becoming best buds.
The Otter Dog Toy is available at happydogsplay.com. The Otters only have stuffing in the their heads and the rest of their bodies are stuffing-free so there’s nothing for your dog to pull out. There’s a squeaker in the tail and a “grunt” squeaker in their head. This dog toy was made for non-aggressive chewers who like to carry their toys around, whip them around, tug on them, shake them, roll on them or sleep with them. This is a giant toy–it’s almost three feet long–and is a dream-come-true for any big dog who needs big toys. Or big dogs who want to play with little dogs. Or little dogs who like big toys.
The Wolf, Squirrel and Otter are all available from happydogsplay.com
Along with the Otter, there’s also a Wolf and Squirrel Dog Toy that are made by Go Dog. All three of these unstuffed toys are:
- Double stitched at stress points
- Run through a metal detector after production to insure safety
- Meets the Child’s Safety Standards
- Made from new material that is safe, non-toxic and machine washable
- Tested by happydogsplay.com to make sure there are no heavy metals or lead present
Most dog people I know have experienced some version of ”dog-in-the dishwasher” but a friend sent me this picture today and I was especially delighted that the dog actually got in the dishwasher to lick the dishes. My dogs would only lean into the dishwasher and just lick what they could but this pointer rescue knew exactly how it should be done. (Don’t let your dogs see this because it might give them ideas.)
Jake (the yellow lab): Why didn't I ever think of jumping in the dishwasher to lick the plates? When do I get my turn?
At the end of Jack's life, Vincent re-appears and helps Jack make the transition from the physical to the spiritual world.
So the “Lost” were found but to me, it was never about the people finding redemption–it was always about Vincent, the Yellow Lab. He survived the crash and was there at the beginning of the story and there at the end.
To dog lovers, “Lost” was always about Vincent and all the dogs we get to share our journeys with and how these truly spiritual and loving beings who aren’t here for us but are here with us help us become our best selves, our truest selves. Goodbye Vincent.