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How to Identify Lead-Free Certification Marks for Drinking Water System & Plumbing Materials
Latham, M., E. Nauman, AND M. Schock. How to Identify Lead-Free Certification Marks for Drinking Water System & Plumbing Materials. US EPA Office of Research and Development, Washington, DC, EPA/600/F-13/153, 2013.
Will provide information to drinking water system operators, plumbing contractors, the states, homeowners, etc. to help give them more assurance that the products they purchase are lead-free, enabling them to manage lead leaching contamination risk.
In 2011, Congress passed the “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act,” which effectively reduces the lead content allowed in material used for potable water plumbing. The Act, which will go into effect on January 4, 2014, changes the definition of “lead-free” by reducing allowed lead content of not more than 8%, to a weighted average of not more than 0.25% in the wetted surface of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures. Although all manufacturers must comply with the new lead-free requirement, the Act does not include a Federal requirement for certification of materials; however, there may be local laws or entities in other states that do. The states, utilities, etc. have known that this new requirement was coming and have been trying to prepare for the change. Some manufacturers have also been preparing for the law by conforming to the new requirement early. One of the difficulties states, utilities, etc. are facing, is that it can be very difficult to determine if a product has been certified to the new requirement. This document will assist drinking water system operators, plumbing contractors, the states, etc., by offering them a way to identify lead-free certified products, therefore helping them to manage lead leaching contamination risks. Although some materials may still meet the new lead-free requirement even though they are not certified by and accredited third-party certification body, certified products may also help give homeowners more assurance that the products they purchase are lead-free, enabling them to manage lead contamination risk at their tap.