How Does Your Garden Glow?
Chemicals and Heavy Metals Found in Gardening Tools
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 Bisphenol A (BPA), which 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 levels of chemicals that concerned them greatly.
Cautious gardeners should seek products that are free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and lead-free, and follow good garden hose hygiene: Avoid drinking out of the hose, don’t leave it exposed to the sun (where water within the hose can absorb chemicals) and always flush it out before watering edible plants.