Q&A: Lead Content Compliance

  • Open What’s the difference between NSF/ANSI Standards 372 and 61?

    NSF/ANSI 372: Drinking Water System Components — Lead Content contains the procedures to verify the lead content of drinking water products. This standard is referenced in Annex G of NSF/ANSI 61 as the methodology to determine lead content compliance. Products certified to NSF/ANSI 372 demonstrate compliance with lead content requirements only, while certifications to NSF/ANSI 61 Annex G demonstrate compliance with both lead content and lead leaching requirements.

  • Open Does NSF/ANSI Standard 61 only test for lead?

    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.

  • Open Can a pure lead device pass NSF/ANSI Standard 61?

    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 pH 5 test water. It was not tested with pH 10 test water, which is required by the standard. The same article claims that other devices were tested with both 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.

  • Open How can I be sure that a faucet or plumbing device meets the NSF standard?

    Products certified to the NSF standard carry an NSF certification mark or a certification mark of the certifying organization. NSF International also maintains online listings of certified products and systems.

  • Open Which parties helped develop the NSF standard?

    The standard was developed using a voluntary consensus process. All interested parties were represented, including regulatory agencies, industry, water suppliers, consultants and other users of products covered by the standard.

  • Open Is NSF the only organization that can test against the standard?

    Any organization that is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to certify products to NSF/ANSI Standard 61 can test products against the NSF standard. Most states have regulations requiring products to meet NSF/ANSI 61 and all of these states require products to be certified by an ANSI-accredited certifier.

  • Open What are the requirements for NSF/ANSI 61 and lead?

    NSF/ANSI 61 contains requirements that restrict both the level of lead that can be contained in the water contact materials of drinking water products and the level of lead that can leach out. For more details about the requirements please download the NSF 61, NSF 372 and Lead Content brochure.