EPA Wants ‘Lead-Free’ Plumbing Stamped To Avoid Confusion
The U.S. EPA is proposing rules that would require plumbing manufacturers to mark pipes and fittings for drinking water as “lead free.”
Back in the 1980s, Congress banned lead in plumbing pieces, solder and pipes used for drinking water. Now the EPA wants manufacturers to do a better job labeling these “lead-free” fixtures so people don’t accidentally mix them up with similar products that don’t have to be lead free. Brass fittings, for example, not used for drinking water can have lead in them. The EPA wants the parts stamped to easily draw the distinction.
According the EPA news release: "The proposal also includes labeling requirements that will allow users of these products to identify plumbing devices that meet the new “lead free” definition. Labeling will reduce the likelihood that non-lead free products are used in plumbing that is intended for drinking water use. Additionally, the proposal includes requirements for manufacturers to certify that they are meeting these new requirements. EPA is requesting comments on the proposal during a 90-day comment period ending on April 17, 2017."
As of January 2014, all new faucets and valves that come into contact with drinking water had to meet a stricter standard mandated by a new law. From that point forward, the standard dropped to 0.25 percent lead allowed for “the wetted surface” of brass in drinking water faucets and valves.
More details here.