California Law Requires Use of “Lead-Free” Plumbing Fixtures

California leads the nation by requiring all water faucets and fixtures to become essentially lead-free in 2023.

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed AB 100 into law, requiring “lead-free” endpoint plumbing devices to meet a performance standard, NSF/ANSI/CAN 61-2020, and preventing the sale in California of endpoint devices that leach more than 1 μg/L of lead.

Authored by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) and co-authored by Assemblymember Devon Mathis (R-Visalia), AB 100 requires the following:

  • Effective Jan. 1, 2023, a person is prohibited from manufacturing, and offering for sale in the state, an endpoint device, as defined, that does not meet NSF/ANSI/CAN 61-2020.
  • Effective July 1, 2023, a person is prohibited from introducing into commerce or offering for sale in the state an endpoint device that does not meet that lead leaching standard.
  • Requires consumer-facing product packaging or product labeling of an endpoint device that’s intended to convey or dispense water for human consumption shall indicate that compliance with the “lead-free” standard by including the lettering “NSF/ANSI/CAN 61: Q ≤ 1” in an easily identifiable manner (consistent with NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 labeling requirements).
  • Requires endpoint devices to be certified by an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited third party to show compliance with the “lead-free” requirements.
  • Defines an “endpoint device” as a single device, such as a plumbing fitting, fixture, or faucet, that is typically installed within the last one liter of the water distribution system of a building.

“We expect the water we drink will keep us and our children healthy, and today’s signing is a big win for children and public health,” Holden said. “I’m proud that California is once again leading the nation by requiring all water faucets and fixtures to become essentially lead-free and keeping our children as safe as possible.”

AB 100 codifies NSF/ANSI/CAN 61, Drinking Water System Components – Health Effects the national consensus standard for plumbing devices. IAPMO R&T, an ANSI-accredited third-party premier certification agency for plumbing products, can provide certification services that will result in demonstrating compliance with California AB 100.

“IAPMO is deeply grateful for the leadership and persistence of Assemblymember Holden and organizations that prioritize drinking water quality,” said Robyn Fischer, director of Government Relations for IAPMO. “AB 100 will help reduce the risk of lead exposure in the built environment through certified, ‘lead-free’ endpoint devices. This new law will complement the larger-scale efforts underway to help protect Californian’s water infrastructure and underscores the state’s commitment to uphold public health and safety.”

Building on the leadership from Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI), IAPMO plans to help educate consumers, particularly those charged with drinking water remediation efforts in schools and child care facilities, on how best to understand and identify labeling on “lead-free” products.

“We’re grateful that California’s new law requires these lead-free products to be certified by ANSI-accredited groups, and that it promotes the industry standard for lead reduction so that drinking water fixtures and faucets are accurately labeled,” said Tom Palkon, IAPMO’s executive vice president and chief Technical Services officer.

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