Lead Content Compliance

  • Overview
  • Benefits of Certification
  • Why Work With NSF?
  • Certification Process
  • NSF/ANSI 61-G
  • NSF/ANSI 14 and 24
  • NSF/ANSI 42, 53, 55, 58 and 62
  • NSF/ANSI 372

As of January 4, 2014, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)  requires drinking water products sold or installed for use in public water systems, as well as plumbing in facilities, to meet a weighted average of not more than 0.25 percent lead. Third-party certification of these products to the new lead-free requirements will be required in many jurisdictions. Additionally, the states of California, Vermont, Maryland and Louisiana have already instituted these requirements for products currently in the market.

NSF certified products bearing these marks comply with the new lead-free requirements:

Mark Meaning
Certified to all requirements of NSF/ANSI 61 (health effects) and all requirements of Annex G and NSF/ANSI 372 (lead content)
Certified to all requirements of NSF/ANSI 61 (health effects), NSF/ANSI 14 (performance for plastic piping components) and NSF/ANSI 61-G and NSF/ANSI 372 (lead content)
Certified to only NSF/ANSI 372 (lead content)
Certified to NSF guidelines for lead content evaluations (lead content)
Certified to NSF guidelines for lead content evaluations (lead content)

Benefits of Certification

Third-party certification of lead content is required by many jurisdictions and in many specifications. NSF certification ensures your product meets these mandatory requirements as determined by the Safe Drinking Water Act for plumbing fixtures and fittings across North America. Additionally, we can use your test data to certify your product to other industry standards, such as ASME, ASSE, AWWA, CSA, IAPMO, ISO, UL and more.

Why Work With NSF?

The NSF mark, well respected by public health officials and drinking water utilities, is recognized as a symbol of product quality and integrity. Our responsive, personalized service quickly guides your products through the certification process, ensuring that they get to market on time and on budget. We offer product bracketing services wherever possible to help keep costs down, and provide pricing up front so there are no hidden surprises down the road.

NSF, a designated Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is accredited by the International Accreditation Service (IAS), Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and American National Standard Institute (ANSI).

Certification Process

While our product evaluations are thorough, our process is simple and efficient. Your NSF project manager guides your project through our streamlined, efficient certification process from application to approval.

  1. Your company submits an application.
  2. Your company and suppliers provide formulation, design specifications and product end use information.
  3. We review formulation and engineering specifications.
  4. We perform a plant audit and sample collection.
  5. We conduct laboratory testing.
  6. We grant certification for compliant products.
  7. Our follow-up program includes unannounced inspections and annual testing.

Our experts can help you reduce your overall costs and expedite your time to market by bundling services and reducing the number of contracted service providers and facility audits.

NSF/ANSI 61-G

Drinking Water System Components
(Relevant standard: NSF/ANSI 61, including Annex G)

Purpose/scope: Drinking water components are tested to NSF/ANSI Standard 61, which includes a leachate test to evaluate products for all contaminants of health effects concern, not just lead. NSF/ANSI 61 also certifies lead content via Annex G and NSF/ANSI 372.

Search for NSF Certified Drinking Water System Components

Search tips: When searching for products certified as low-lead, select the box “Only display products also Certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Annex G (weighted lead content of <=0.25%).”

Associated marks for lead content certified products:

Additional information: NSF Municipal Water Treatment Products Program

NSF/ANSI 14 and 24

Plumbing System Components
(Relevant standards: NSF/ANSI 14 and 24, ASTM, ASME, CSA, IAPMO, ASSE and AWWA)

Purpose/scope: NSF/ANSI Standard 14 covers potable and non-potable water products. Potable water products are evaluated to the requirements of NSF/ANSI 61. Products are also tested to verify compliance with the performance standard. All potable water products certified by NSF under this program are lead-free[1].

Search for NSF Certified Plumbing and Related Products

Search Tips: Select the box “Only display products also Certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Annex G (weighted lead content of <=0.25%).”

Associated marks for lead content certified products: The –G mark is optional for certified potable water products that are made of all plastic.

Additional information: NSF Plumbing Fixtures and Fittings Program


1The term lead-free is defined as having a weighted average lead content of the wetted surfaces not exceeding 0.25 percent consistent with state and federal law.

NSF/ANSI 42, 53, 55, 58 and 62

Drinking Water Treatment Units
(Relevant standards: NSF/ANSI 42, 44, 53, 55, 58 and 62)

Purpose/scope: NSF verifies manufacturer performance claims and material safety of drinking water treatment units (DWTUs). Products covered include: water filters, water softeners, reverse osmosis systems, distillers, UV disinfection, etc.

Search for NSF Certified Drinking Water Treatment Units, Water Filters

Search tips: Products certified for lead content are denoted in the search results. For a complete listing of all DWTU products certified for lead content, go to Lead Content Certified Products and select the box “Drinking Water Treatment Units.”

Associated marks for lead content certified products:
None. Refer to listings.

Additional information: NSF Residential Water Treatment Program

NSF/ANSI 372

Lead Content Certification
(Relevant standards: NSF/ANSI 372, NSF/ANSI 61-G and all other NSF lead content certifications)

Search for All NSF Lead Content Certified Products

Search Tips: If looking for specific product types, select a box with the desired product type at the link above.

Associated marks for lead content certified products:

Additional Information: NSF 61, NSF 372 and Lead Content

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  • 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 Standard 61 and lead?

    NSF/ANSI Standard 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.

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