California lead content requirements for plumbing products goes into effect Jan. 1, 2010.
New lead content requirements for plumbing products have been added to
California's Health & Safety Code (Section 116875; commonly known as
AB1953), which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2010. After this date, any pipe,
fitting or fixture intended to convey or dispense water for human consumption
through drinking or cooking must meet a weighted average lead content of <0.25
percent. The requirement of this law was incorporated as an annex into the
American National Standard for health effects of drinking water system
components: NSF/ANSI Standard 61.
NSF reports, however, that there have been misleading statements from some
industry sources indicating NSF 61, Annex G does not provide for compliance
with the requirements of AB1953.
East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), which provides water to more than
1.3 million residents in the eastern San Francisco Bay Area, was one of the
original sponsors of AB1953. Representatives from EBMUD worked with other
utilities, regulators, plumbing industry and product manufacturing
representatives to develop NSF 61, Annex G.
Richard Sykes, manager of natural
resources, EBMUD said: “Annex G of NSF/ANSI 61 - 2008 was developed with input
from California’s Department of Public Health and California’s East Bay
Municipal Utility District and establishes a conservative protocol to determine
product compliance with the 0.25 percent maximum weighted average lead content
requirement of California Health & Safety Code (Section 116875). The
DPH has stated to us (EBMUD) that compliance with Annex G ensures compliance
with this requirement.”
Sykes explains: “I made the request to the NSF Drinking Water Additives Joint
Committee with oversight of the standard to include the annex to allow
manufacturers the option of being certified to California’s reduced lead
content requirement. The annex was developed with input from stakeholders
in California and care was taken to assure full compatibility with the law. The
adoption of Annex G last December fulfills the request made by the Joint
The NSF 61 committee is currently conducting a series of round robin testing
with manufacturers, product certification organizations and the California
Department of Toxic Substances to validate a referee analysis method for alloy
lead content when testing of materials is required. When completed, the method
will be incorporated into the standard.
The annex was developed to establish an American National Standard to determine
product compliance with the <0.25 percent maximum weighted average lead
content requirement of the California Health & Safety Code, as well as a
standard for other states to reference if they are developing similar
regulations. A similar law has been enacted in Vermont and is scheduled to take
effect Jan. 1, 2010.
NSF is presently certifying products to NSF 61, Annex G. Certified products
will bear the proper marks signifying compliance with the standard and the new
More than 1,650 products have been certified by NSF to meet Annex G
requirements. NSF also will be testing these products on an ongoing basis to
verify that they continue to comply with the mandated lead content
For more information on Annex G and NSF/ANSI Standard 61, visit www.nsf.org.
Source: NSF International
NSF Clarifies California Lead Content Requirements
May 4, 2009