Encore Low-Lead Plumbing
We offer a full line of products that meet all current federal and state regulations for low-lead plumbing fixtures. Read on to learn more about lead reduction regulations and how we’re meeting low-lead standards.
What is the Lead Reduction legislation? When does it go into effect?
A: This legislation intends to limit the allowable amount of lead in defined plumbing fixture fittings to a maximum of 0.25 percent (weighted average among water contact components). As of 2008, it has been passed into law in two states: California (AB1953) and Vermont (S152). Specifically, the Lead Reduction law in California states: No person shall introduce into commerce, for use in California, any pipe, or plumbing fitting, or fixture intended to convey or dispense water for human consumption through drinking water or cooking that is not lead free. * This includes kitchen faucets, bathroom faucets, and any other end-use devices intended to convey or dispense water for human consumption through drinking or cooking.
Vermont’s Lead Reduction law is similar in its intent. Only plumbing products and piping used to convey drinking water that meet this criteria can be sold in these two states as of January 1, 2010.
How does lead get into drinking water right now?
A: Primarily, trace amounts of lead get into drinking water due to aging infrastructures, such as old pipes and plumbing systems parts. The Plumbing Manufacturer’s Institute (PMI) states that over the past decade, lead levels in plumbing fixture fittings have been reduced to insignificant levels due to improvements in modern manufacturing processes.
How are lead levels in drinking water currently regulated?
A: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the amount of lead in drinking water under guidelines established in the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act (passed in 1974; amended in 1988 and 1996). This Act defines “lead free” as not more than 8% lead in pipes and fixture fittings.*
How does Component Hardware currently certify its products?
A: Among several certifications, Component Hardware holds certification from NSF International to ANSI/NSF Standard 61 Section 9, Drinking Water System Components – Health Effects. NSF International evaluated both the leaching of contaminants into drinking water from faucets and mechanical quality standards for ease of installation, operation and reliability.
What is Component Hardware doing in response to the California and Vermont Lead Reduction Legislation?
A: These laws went into effect on January 1, 2010, and Component Hardware fully complies with this legislation. We offer a full range of foodservice and commercial plumbing products that meet the stricter standards imposed by California AB1953 and Vermont S152 using both low-lead brass and stainless steel fixtures. These products are certified under ANSI/NSF Standard 61 Section 9, Annex G – weighted average lead content evaluation procedure. As always, we will continue to provide the highest quality products used in safe drinking water systems for all our markets.
Are other states enacting similar legislation?
A: At least eight states, including Washington and Maryland are considering similar legislation, and other states may soon follow.
How will the model numbers change?
A: Model numbers for replacement parts and finished products featuring low-lead material will begin with a KL prefix. All low-lead items will be marked with an “L” so they can be clearly identified as a low-lead compliant product. Stainless steel models will begin with a KSS prefix.
Our low-lead compliant products will also be packaged in new environmentally friendly boxes with printing and labels to be sure inventory is not mixed with noncompliant products.
How durable are these low-lead products?
A: Throughout extensive, vigorous testing all these Encore® and TOP-LINE™ products have shown no difference in either finish or strength as compared to our standard brass products.
Are there other resources available that can provide more information?
A: Yes. There are a number of websites available that can provide more information on AB1953 and S152, including:
• California State Assembly: www.assembly.ca.gov
• International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO): www.iapmo.org
• Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI): www.pmihome.org
• Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC): www.phccweb.org
• Vermont Department of Health: http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/lead/links.aspx
• Vermont Office of Attorney General: www.atg.state.vt.us/display.php?mod=218
Use of the term “lead free” varies between the new legislation in CA and VT, and in the current Federal Safe Drinking Water Act requirements.
In the new legislation for CA and VT only, starting in 2010, it will mean 0.25% or less (weighted average).