Gardening can be a healthy pastime… as long as toxic tools aren’t involved. Researchers at the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Ecology Center recently tested nearly 200 garden essentials—especially hoses, hand tools, gloves and knee pads—for chemicals and heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, phthalates and BPA, that are linked to birth defects, hormone imbalances, learning delays and other serious health problems. The researchers found that nearly two-thirds of the tested products contained chemical levels of high concern.
How Does Your Garden Glow?
Cautious gardeners should seek products that are PVC- and lead-free and follow good garden hose hygiene: Avoid drinking out of the hose, don’t leave it exposed to the sun (by which water within the hose can absorb chemicals) and always flush it out before watering edible plants.