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Quality Digest


Revised Standard Reduces Allowable Lead

Published: Monday, October 1, 2007 - 22:00

(ANSI: New York) -- To better protect the public from lead contaminants in drinking water, NSF International recently released an update to its American National Standard for drinking water system components. The update to NSF Standard 61 reduces the allowable concentration of lead from 15 micrograms/liter to 5 micrograms/liter.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, nearly 20 percent of human exposure to lead is attributable to its presence in drinking water. Lead enters the water supply system primarily through plumbing materials—lead solder, brass, bronze, and other alloys.

NSF/ANSI Standard 61, “Drinking Water System Components–Health Effects,” is the nationally recognized standard for all devices, components, and materials that contact drinking water. First published in 1988, the standard establishes testing and evaluation criteria to determine whether contaminants are found above acceptable levels in finished waters. The amount of lead in water can depend on a number of factors, including the age of lead-containing materials, their manner of manufacture, and how long the water is in contact with the materials.

Many U.S. states and Canadian provinces require that products used in municipal water distribution systems and building plumbing systems comply with NSF 61. To allow industry sufficient time to design and produce products using alternative materials that meet the revised standard, the standard has an implementation date of July 1, 2012.

“This revised standard is a constructive and cooperative step forward to lower the levels of lead in materials that come into contact with consumers’ drinking water,” says Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA’s assistant administrator for water.

For more information, visit http://www.ansi.org/news_publications/news_story.aspx?menuid=7&articleid=1606.

For more information on ANSI/NSF 61, please click here.


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