Jan 07, 2011

NSF Applauds New Lead Legislation

Federal regulations now consistent with NSF Drinking Water Standards

NSF Intl. announced its support for the passage of the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act on Jan. 4, which significantly reduces the amount of lead allowed in plumbing products that contact drinking water.

NSF applauds the government for harmonizing federal legislation with recently enacted state requirements and NSF Standards. In 2008, Annex G was incorporated into NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components—Health Effects, and includes requirements limiting the weighted average of lead content in plumbing products to 0.25%, the same as required by the new federal legislation. This legislation, which will take effect Jan. 4, 2014, makes the federal law consistent with California’s lead-free legislation, passed in 2006; amends the Safe Drinking Water Act’s definition of lead-free; and limits the maximum content of lead in plumbing devices so it is consistent with the lead content requirements of NSF Standards.

Plumbing devices already certified to NSF Standard 61, Annex G fully comply with the lead-content requirements of the newly passed act. A list of compliant products can be found on NSF’s website.

NSF has developed several standards that limit the amount of lead and other contaminants that can migrate from water contact materials into water. In 1988, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) replaced its own Drinking Water Additives evaluation program with NSF standards that were developed, in part, with EPA funding. Most states and public utilities require manufacturers making products that come into contact with water to have them tested to verify they meet NSF’s national standards.