Feb 17, 2009

NSF Offers Certification for Low Lead Plumbing Products to Support New State Requirements

NSF Certifies Kohler, Moen and Price Pfister for new lead regulations

NSF International has announced that Kohler, Moen and Price Pfister have become the first faucet companies the organization has certified to have certain plumbing products comply with the new low lead requirements. Certification allows manufacturers to demonstrate compliance with new state laws, established to help protect the public from exposure to lead, well ahead of the Jan. 1, 2010 deadline.

The new section of NSF/ANSI Standard 61 - Annex G – Weighted Average Lead Content Evaluation Procedure to a 0.25 Percent Lead Requirement – includes the recently enacted legislation in California and Vermont that mandates a maximum weighted average lead content requirement of ≤ 0.25%. Other states are also considering low lead content legislation. The new lead requirements apply to manufacturers of faucets, valves, water fittings and other products that come in contact with drinking water. Compliance with NSF/ANSI Standard 61, the American National Standard for Drinking Water Products, is also required.

NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components -- Health Effects was updated in December to incorporate requirements for use when the ≤ 0.25% lead content requirement must be met, in addition to current chemical extraction requirements of the standard. Compliance is determined by a weighted average calculation involving the maximum percent lead content of material specifications and wetted surface areas.

To receive certification, Kohler, Moen and Price Pfister met the new lead content requirement of ≤ 0.25% and the requirements of NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Annex G. All three companies have been certified by NSF to Standard 61 for many years, and they now comply with the new low lead requirements well ahead of the deadline.

DIAMOND Seal Technology by Delta Faucet Company also satisfies California statute AB 1953, mandating that drinking faucets contain less than 0.25% lead by 2010.

“By obtaining Annex G certification, Kohler, Moen and Price Pfister are emphasizing their commitment to quality and public health protection,” said Nasrin Kashefi, general manager, NSF Plumbing Programs. “Certification is important because it expands the choices available to consumers when selecting products for their homes. We congratulate these leading manufacturers for being proactive in their response to these new requirements.”

To ensure ongoing compliance with the new lead requirements, NSF will conduct annual, unannounced inspections of the manufacturing facilities for certified products and re-test products on a regular basis.

"Annex G is a consensus standard that took into consideration comments from key stakeholders in California and nationwide. It gives companies a valuable tool for assessing compliance with California's lead content standard. Companies that meet the standard will be at a competitive advantage,” said Bruce La Belle, chief, California Department of Toxic Substances Control, Environmental Chemistry Laboratory.

Additional Background
A verification test methodology is under development, which may be added to NSF/ANSI Standard 61. This methodology can be used when there is a need to verify that the actual lead content of a component is within the stated lead content of the material specification. The work being done on this verification methodology is being performed through the Lead Task Group and California’s Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC). Their goal is to establish a consistent protocol that can be used by all.