In 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revised the Safe Drinking Water Act, which resulted in significant changes to the material content requirements for many plumbing materials and faucets. Among these changes was a requirement that effective August 6, 1998, all faucets and plumbing fixtures sold in the U.S. could not contain more than 8% lead. In addition, for faucets and other devices designed to dispense drinking water, federal law requires that these products to meet the lead leaching requirements of NSF/ANSI Standard 61 – Drinking Water System Components.
NSF/ANSI 61 establishes guidelines for determining whether contaminants or other impurities are imparted indirectly into drinking water from faucets, plumbing, and other materials in contact with our water supply. Any detected impurities must be below acceptable levels, including impurities such as lead and other potentially harmful metals or chemicals.
In 2010, laws will become effective in California and Vermont which mandate a maximum weighted average lead content requirement of ≤ 0.25 percent. The new lead requirements apply not just to faucets, but also to valves, fittings, and other products intended for contact with drinking water. To help verify compliance with these requirements, NSF/ANSI 61 was updated in December 2008 to include Annex G – Weighted Average Lead Content Evaluation Procedure to a 0.25 Percent Lead Requirement. Products with this certification have a special notation in their listing on the NSF website.
If you are interested in obtaining a list of the faucets that have been evaluated and certified by our organization, please visit the NSF consumer listings database at drinking water system components online database. Products listed in this section of our website have been tested by the staff at NSF to ensure they meet the health effects requirements of the applicable section of NSF/ANSI 61 as well as Annex G where noted.
For further information on the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Act, you can visit the EPA's website at www.epa.gov or call their Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.