If you have additional questions relating to NSF/ANSI Standard 61, or NSF's certification services, contact Dave Purkiss at 734.827.6855 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NSF/ANSI Standard 61 contains requirements that both restrict the level of lead that can be contained in the water contact materials of drinking water products as well as the level of lead that can extract out.
Lead content requirements:
Restriction on the use of lead containing materials: Section 3.5 of NSF/ANSI 61 precludes the use of lead as an intentional additive in wetted materials and components of products with the exception of brass and bronze meeting the definition of ‘lead free’ within the specific provision of the US Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Through 2013, this has been applied under NSF/ANSI 61 as brass or bronze containing no more than 8% lead. Products are also required to comply with all chemical extraction requirements of NSF/ANSI 61, including lead.
In 2011, US federal legislation passed that revised the definition of ‘lead free’ within the SDWA. In brief, the definition now requires that the wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures meet a weighted average lead content of no more than 0.25%. The changes in the SDWA are set to take effect January 4, 2014. See this link for the enacted language. As Section 3.5 of NSF/ANSI 61 requires that products comply with the lead-free requirements of the SDWA, all NSF/ANSI 61 products falling into the scope of the legislation are also required to comply with the new 0.25% maximum lead content requirement. The date of this required compliance under NSF/ANSI 61 is the same as the date effective in the SDWA, January 4, 2014.
Annex G: NSF/ANSI Standard 61 was revised in December 2008 to establish requirements for use when a 0.25% lead content requirement needs to be met in addition to current chemical extraction requirements of the standard. The requirements were placed in Annex G - Weighted Average Lead Content Evaluation Procedure to a 0.25% Lead Requirement. A request was made to add these requirements to the standard to allow manufacturers the option of being certified to a lead content standard, such as California's Health & Safety Code (Section 116875) commonly known as AB1953. That law, which went into effect January 1, 2010, applies to any pipe, pipe of plumbing fitting, or fixture intended to convey or dispense water for human consumption through drinking or cooking. Similar laws have since been enacted in Vermont, Maryland, Louisiana, and is now set to take effect nationally through the revised US SDWA in 2014.
In 2010, the lead content evaluation procedures of Annex G were moved to NSF/ANSI 372 and Annex G updated to simply reference it. Movement of the procedures from Annex G to 372 allowed for their application on products beyond the scope of NSF/ANSI 61 like drinking water treatment units and food service equipment. It also allowed for citing compliance separate from NSF/ANSI 61 for those jurisdictions wishing to do so.
At the same time Annex G procedures were moved to NSF/ANSI 372, the annex was balloted to be retired three years following. The end of that three year period is October 2013. Although Annex G will be retired from NSF/ANSI 61, NSF will continue to support the ‘-G’ certification marks as long as they are of value. This is anticipated to be for a number of years as they provide a simple mechanism of denoting compliance with both the chemical extraction requirements of NSF/ANSI 61 as well the new ‘lead free’ requirements of US State and Federal law.
Currently, all products certified by NSF as compliant with Annex G are also compliant with NSF 372. No additional testing is required beyond the normal routine monitoring of certified products is required. The listings of products currently certified by NSF to Annex G will continue to bear the [G] certification footnote:
[G] Product complies with NSF/ANSI 61 Annex G, NSF/ANSI 372 and conforms with lead content requirements for “lead free” plumbing as defined by California, Vermont, Maryland, and Louisiana state laws and the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act due to take effect January 2014.
[G] Product complies with NSF/ANSI 372 and conforms with lead content requirements for "lead free" plumbing as defined by California, Vermont, Maryland, and Louisiana state laws and the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act in effect as of January 4, 2014.
Lead extraction requirements:
NSF/ANSI Standard 61 requires all metallic products and components to be evaluated for the leaching of lead as well as other metal contaminants. Metallic pipe, fittings, valves, and other mechanical devices are all tested with two specially formulated waters. One is pH 5 and another pH 10. The pH 5 test water is especially aggressive for copper, chromium, nickel, and antimony. The pH 10 test water is especially aggressive for lead, arsenic, barium, beryllium, boron, cadmium, mercury, selenium, and thallium. Products are exposed to these test waters for 16 days where the device is filled with fresh test water each day. On the 17th day water is held in the device for 16 hours. The resulting contaminant concentrations are analyzed and mathematically normalized to reflect the concentrations expected from actual product when it is installed in the field. These normalized concentrations are then compared to the pass/fail results of NSF/ANSI Standard 61, which is 5 ppb for lead.
Faucets, drinking fountains, and endpoint devices that dispense drinking water are tested and evaluated in a different manner. NSF/ANSI Standard 61 requires that these products be tested over a 19 day time period using a specially formulated pH 8 test water. Samples for lead are taken at 9 sample days throughout the 19 day test. Other metal contaminants are measured on the last day of the test. A minimum of 3 devices must be tested for lead and a statistical calculation is made based on the geometric mean of the lead leach concentrations, the standard deviation of the concentrations and a probability factor which is based on the number of products tested. A statistical Q value is derived from this calculation to represent the lead dose of the product. An endpoint device must have a Q value less than or equal to 5 ug for endpoint devices and 3 ug for stop valves and flexible connectors.
Annex F (Revisions to the evaluation of lead): In 2006 the DWA Lead Task Group developed proposed changes designed to increase the public health protection of the Standard relative to the evaluation of lead leaching. The requirements were approved by the Drinking Water Additives Joint Committee for inclusion in the Standard as normative requirements effective July 1, 2012. Details of the revisions were maintained in Annex F of the 2007a through 2011 versions of the standard and include:
Given the impact of those changes, the joint committee established a 5-year implementation period. The 5-year implementation period ended July 1, 2012. At that time, the requirements held in abeyance in Annex F were moved into the main body of the standard and enacted. At NSF, all NSF certified products not compliant with the reduced extraction criteria by that time were removed from listings. All NSF certified products have met (and continue to meet) the lower criteria of the standard.
Implementation of the 2014 changes to the US Safe Drinking Water Act:
In 2011, US federal legislation passed that revised the definition of ‘lead free’ within the US Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). In brief, the definition now requires that the wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures meet a weighted average lead content of no more than 0.25%. The changes in the SDWA are set to take effect January 4, 2014. See this link for the enacted language. As Section 3.5 of NSF/ANSI 61 requires that products comply with the lead-free requirements of the SDWA, all NSF/ANSI 61 products falling into the scope of the legislation are also required to comply with the new 0.25% maximum lead content requirement. The date of this required compliance under NSF/ANSI 61 is the same as the date effective in the SDWA, January 4, 2014.
NSF Certified companies are requested to review their listings closely to assure products they desire to retain in listing after the implementation date (January 4, 2014) are complaint with the new low lead requirements. Non-compliant products will be removed from NSF 61 listings by that date. Evaluations to NSF/ANSI 61 Annex G and NSF/ANSI 372 demonstrate compliance with the new lead free definitions. In addition, no response is required by certified manufacturers of process media and coatings as those products have already been screened to a no-lead criteria.
Companies who have not had their products evaluated to the new lead content criteria are asked to contact their NSF certification project manager and confirm how they wish to proceed. Options include:
NSF/ANSI 372 Drinking water system components - Lead Content is the third in a series of standards developed by the NSF Joint Committees on Drinking Water Additives. The other two Standards for drinking water additives products are NSF/ANSI 60 Drinking water treatment chemicals - Health effects, which addresses drinking water treatment chemicals (also known as direct additives) and NSF/ANSI 61 Drinking water system components - Health effects, which covers products and materials that contact drinking water (also known as indirect additives).
Prior to being developed as NSF/ANSI 372, part of the content of this Standard was established as NSF/ANSI 61, Annex G - Weighed average lead content evaluation procedure to a 0.25% lead requirement. Annex G was developed by the NSF Drinking Water Additives Task Group on Lead and approved by the NSF Joint Committee on Drinking Water Additives – System Components for addition to NSF/ANSI 61 in 2008. The impetus for creating Annex G was the promulgation of individual state regulatory requirements limiting the amount of lead that may be contained in products contacting drinking water. While Annex G was an optional evaluation method within NSF/ANSI 61, it required that products also meet the chemical extraction requirements of NSF/ANSI 61, and it was limited in application to drinking water products that were included within the Scope of ANSI/NSF 61. The NSF Joint Committee on Drinking Water Additives – System Components determined that creation of a separate standard addressing lead content requirements would provide greater flexibility in the application of the lead content requirements to the marketplace and to organizations seeking to reference such requirements. Highlights include:
For questions or concerns regarding the evaluation of lead under NSF/ANSI 61 or NSF/ANSI 372, please contact Pete Greiner at (+1) 734.769.5517 or email@example.com.
No, NSF tests for other metallic contaminants as well as nonmetallic contaminants. In fact, the standard requires a full formulation disclosure of all chemical ingredients in each water contact material. The standard then requires testing for any chemical contaminant that might possibly leach from each material into drinking water.
No. This misconception started when an article reported that a small lead device was tested to the NSF/ANSI Standard 61 test protocol and it passed for lead. A close reading of the article shows that the lead device was only tested with the pH 5 test water. It was not tested with the pH 10 test water, which is required by the standard. The same article claims that other devices were tested with both the pH 5 and pH 10 test waters and showed that the pH 10 test water was 71 times more aggressive for lead leaching than the pH 5 test water. If the factor of 71 was applied to the pH 5 test results for the small lead device, it would have clearly failed to meet the standard. In fact, many brass products containing only small amounts of lead have difficulty meeting the testing requirements of NSF/ANSI Standard 61.
Products certified against the NSF Standard carry a certification mark of the certifying organization. NSF International publishes listing books of products that it has tested and certified against the NSF Standard. NSF International also maintains these listings through its Internet site. One can obtain Listing books from NSF International at 1-800-NSF-MARK (800-673-6275), or visit its website at www.nsf.org.
The standard was developed using voluntary consensus process. All interested parties were represented, including regulatory agencies, industry, water suppliers, consultants, and other users of products covered by the standard.
Any organization that is accredited by the American National Standards Institute to certify products against NSF Standard 61 can test products against the NSF Standard. Currently 44 states have regulations requiring products to meet NSF Standard 61 and all of these states require products to be certified by an ANSI-accredited certifier.
Make sure the products you buy are NSF Certified!
If you have additional questions relating to NSF/ANSI Standard 61 and stainless steel or NSF's certification services, contact Dave Purkiss at 734-827-6855 or firstname.lastname@example.org.