NSF's Annex G Does Satisfy the Requirements of AB 1953
California's January 1, 2010 plumbing products compliance deadline is no more than 5 months from today and NSF has already certified hundreds of products to the new low-lead requirements. In the process of working with manufacturers to help them comply with California law, we have noticed some confusion in the marketplace regarding the law and the role that NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Annex G plays in this legislation.
Being a valued NSF client, we want to be sure you to understand three key facts on this issue:
Fact #1: NSF's Annex G does satisfy the requirements of California's low-plumbing law, commonly known as AB 1953.
- California law states that all affected products must be certified by an ANSI-accredited certifier as being in compliance with the "lead free" requirements. NSF International is ANSI-accredited and the only organization that has created a standard to address these requirements.
- NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Annex G was developed specifically to meet the requirements of California's AB 1953. This was done at the request of the bill sponsor and other members of the NSF Lead Task Group and the NSF Joint Committee.
- To emphasize the fact that Annex G meets California law, NSF recently changed its listings to include a note that states, "Product also Certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Annex G (weighted average lead content of ≤=0.25%) and is in compliance with California's Health & Safety Code Section 116875 (commonly known as AB1953)."
Fact #2: NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Annex G does not need to be referenced in AB 1953 for it to provide a means for compliance with the law.
- NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Annex G was developed in response to AB 1953. Once AB 1953 was passed, it did not specify a method for compliance. As has happened so many times in the past, key stakeholders turned to NSF to help develop a standard to enable regulators, manufacturers and consumers determine how and if a product complies with the requirements of the law.
- NSF International is referenced in both the California law and the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) fact sheet entitled, "Requirements for Low Lead Plumbing Products in California." After AB 1953 was adopted into law, NSF was asked to develop NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Annex G as a means for compliance with this new law. It's why Annex G was created.
Fact #3: Certifying to a standard is the preferred approach over certifying to a law.
- Legal experts consulted on this issue have said that certifying to a law puts manufacturers at risk, because laws describe an end goal but provide no method for interpretation. It is then up to the courts – and only the courts – to interpret what qualifies and what does not. On the other hand, a national, consensus-based standard like Standard 61, Annex G, clearly outlines the methodologies and policies for use, eliminating that confusion.
- A good explanation of this issue can be seen in the June 2009 edition of PM Engineer in a column written by Julius Ballanco, P.E., FD, F-ASPE. Julius is a well-respected authority in the plumbing industry, current ASPE President, and an Editorial Director for PM Engineer. We recommend that you read his opinion on this topic – he presents the issue in a clear and concise manner.
For additional information, I invite you visit the NSF website dedicated to low lead plumbing products, which has been recently updated to include the top ten questions on this subject.
I hope this information will help dispel any confusion you may have had regarding AB 1953 and NSF's Annex G. If you have additional questions or concerns regarding California laws or Annex G, please contact Mr. Wei Liu at +86-755-88283110 or Mr. David Ma at +86-21-52377700 ext. 307. We are all more than happy to help provide information and guidance on this issue.