It could be tempting to use a garden hose for transporting drinking water in some situations. Perhaps on camping trip or if you have a small cabin in the mountains.  A garden hose is certainly cheaper than real water pipe and it is very easy to install and connect to faucets and such. But – most garden hoses are not made for drinking water. Especially vinyl hoses should never be used for this purpose, since they are made from pvc (polyvinylchloride) which contains some substances which are supected of being hazardous to human health. Probably the most infamous ingredient in pvc is the socalled pthalates, which are used to soften the material. These are suspected of causing hormonal changes and birth defects in our unborn children – and possibly breast cancer. The evidence is not yet conclusive, but the point is that it can’t hurt to observe the principle of caution here.

An old-fashioned rubber garden hose can also contain substances harmful to human beings, but even if you don’t know for sure, you should always assume that a hose not specified to carry drinking water is not suitabel to do so in any way.

Also, using a garden hose in places like camping sites or cabins which are rarely used, could often means constructing systems which are susceptible to algae growth in any moisture left in the hose, and this could also be dangerous to your health. Some types of algae are downright poisonous. So don’t use ordinary water hose for drinking water. If you must use something softer than approved piping, there is actually one type of hose which could be used. Some types of polyurethane hoses are now in use as garden hoses, and are actually certified to be used for drinking water. If you can get hold of those, then there is no problem.

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