Over the years the reality of the dangers of lead, especially in infants and young children has become very apparent. Although lead is dangerous to everyone, children absorb lead into their systems at a faster rate than adults.
Many states have already increased their safety standards for lead usage, but as of January 4, 2014 the United states has enacted what is commonly known as the "Lead Free Law".
The “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act,” is a modification to the Safe Drinking Water Act. The new legislation defines and reduces the allowed levels of lead in products in order for them to meet that standards (a weighted average of not more than 0.25%) to qualify as being "Lead free" for uses in the wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings and fixtures. The way the law is worded, as of January 4, 2014 it will now be against the law to sell or install products for the above applications that are not "Lead Free".
How does this affect the plumbing industry? Besides the obvious implications of the law, it is important that plumbers check their current inventory of materials for compliance and check with your suppliers on their knowledge of the legislation (one of our suppliers recently quoted us materials for a job that did not meet the new legal standards). Be prepared for a change in cost or availability of supplies.
Ultimately it is our responsibility as plumbers and plumbing contractors to comply with the standards set by this law, and provide for the safety of our customers by using "Lead Free" products.
For more information on these changes please refer to U.S. Senate Bill No. S.3874.
Author: Nanci Duffy Parker, D&D Plumbing Company,, DDPlumbingCo.com