PMI Offers Guidance on How Plumbing Manufacturers Can Meet California’s Lead Testing Legislation

Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) has requested an effective date of January 1, 2024, for AB 2060 (Holden), the new lead testing legislation under consideration in the California State Assembly.

As shown by the timetable included in an educational document PMI produced for state legislators, this aggressive product development and production schedule will enable plumbing manufacturers to supply the marketplace with sufficient product quantities and choices while assuring consumer safety and satisfaction.

Noting that service lines running from the water main to buildings are the primary source of lead in water, PMI CEO/Executive Director Kerry Stackpole said “plumbing fixture manufacturers led the charge designing new faucets and drinking water sources designated as lead-free by the Environmental Protection Agency under the federal Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act. Manufacturers actively support efforts to sharpen national standards to improve the safety of drinking water.” Recent innovations by fixture manufacturers include the use of non-lead brasses and the lining of water flow areas in faucets with material that shields water from direct contact with metals.

PMI supports the proposed update to the NSF 61 (2020) standard that would fulfill the requirements of AB 2060. The standard will be updated to include a mandatory test statistic Q or R value of 1μg or less for Section 9 endpoint devices including faucets and drinking fountains. The updated standard will further reduce the micrograms of residual lead permitted to be released during product testing from 5μg to 1μg, the maximum amount that would be allowable under AB 2060. The legislation will enable the purchase of faucets, drinking fountains, and other endpoint drinking water devices that meet the updated NSF 61 standard.

Once NSF 61 is updated and published, the road to Q 1μg will require extensive product design, testing, certification, manufacturing, and more. As shown in the timetable, plumbing manufacturers have already begun to plan and allocate resources in anticipation of the updated NSF 61 being published later in 2020. Once the standard is published, manufacturers will have the option of submitting products for testing, certification and marking under the new standard. This optional period will last until January 1, 2024, when the more stringent test requirement becomes mandatory.

Meeting Q 1μg requires collaboration from all stakeholders, Stackpole said. PMI is working with NSF International on revisions to NSF 61, as well as with the AB 2060 author Assemblymember Chris Holden, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Environmental Working Group, and PMI member companies to develop the proposed path forward.

To learn more, read “The Road to Q 1μg,” PMI’s educational document.

Source: Plumbing Manufacturers International

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