From drinking water to house paint to toys, lead poisoning remains one of the top dangers to the health of families and (especially) children. Prolonged exposure to even low levels of lead can make children susceptible to brain damage, learning disabilities, and physical and mental developmental problems.
Much of our nation's plumbing infrastructure was laid down decades ago. Today's Low-Lead standards seem like anything but: By law, the current regulated amount of lead in drinking water must not exceed 8 percent (YIKES!). Even though recent material and manufacturing advances have greatly reduced lead levels, there's still room for improvement and this is a giant step forward.
On Sept. 30, 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Calif. Assembly Bill 1953 into law mandating all new plumbing fixtures and parts meant for consumption (potable water) to meet rigorous criteria for safer water. This bill goes into effect January 1, 2010.
According to AB1953:
"No person shall introduce into commerce, for use in California, any pipe, 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."
In other words, this legislation is designed to reduce the allowable amount of lead in defined plumbing fixtures to a MAXIMUM of 0.25 percent–one quarter of one percent. Products that fail to meet these strict criteria CANNOT be sold or shipped into California or Vermont after Jan. 1, 2010.
In addition, the Vermont State Senate adopted Senate Bill S.152 (ACT 193), practically mirroring California's new standard. The Vermont Bill, which also goes into effect January 1, 2010, states:
"...no person shall sell or offer for sale in or into the state of Vermont, or use in the state of Vermont, solder or flux for plumbing containing more than 0.2 percent lead, or plumbing fixtures whose wetted surfaces contain more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent lead."
Kitchen and bar faucets, manual lavatory faucets, supply stops, bubblers, glass fillers, and pot fillers that are sold on or after Jan. 1, 2010. In addition, it applies to pipes and supply lines, as well as point-of-use water heaters and select tankless water heater units designed to supply drinking and cooking water.
Don't worry if your current water distribution system doesn't comply with the low-lead legislation. The law affects just products sold on and after Jan. 1, 2010.
But, if you do need replacement parts or repair kits for an existing fixture (Faucet.com has replacement and repair parts here), they MUST be lead free.
So far, only California (AB1953) and Vermont (S.152, ACT 193) have passed this law. No other state has currently passed similar legislation.
While shopping in categories that apply to the law you should see a narrow by on the left hand side of your browser called "Low Lead Compliant", this will narrow your selections to products that comply with the law. As well you can look for products with the spec "Low Lead Compliant: YES" on the product display page. Also, on the product page of non compliant models, if there is a direct replacement you'll see a "Low Lead" alternative offered that does comply with the above low-lead legislations.
Many of the non compliant items already have a replacements offered but in the case you do happen to purchase an item that is not compliant for your state you may be contacted by our sales team to help find a replacement.
Want to shop for low–lead products right now? Browse through kitchen and bar faucets, manual lavatory faucets, supply stops, bubblers, glass fillers, pot fillers, pipes and supplies, and tankless water heaters.
If you'd like to learn more about lead-free legislation, try the following sites:
If you'd rather speak to a real live person, you can also call our customer service department if you have any questions regarding AB1953 or S.152 (ACT 193).
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