News Analysis

Strict New Lead Legislation Passes in California

Despite strong opposition from industry groups, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a strict new lead bill into law, saying, “Protecting public health is a top priority.” Bill AB 1953 mandates that all pipes and fixtures carrying water for human consumption be “lead free” and lowers the levels of allowable lead in lead-free fixtures from the current national standard of 8% in pipes and 4% in fixtures to 0.25% in all pipes, fixtures, and fittings sold after January 1, 2010. The bill also replaces the performance-based measurement for lead set by NSF International with a new method of calculation in which the percentage of lead within a fixture that comes into contact with water is multiplied by the percentage of the total fixture that is wetted. According to senate committee reports, a variety of fixtures already on the market meet the new standards.

Published December 5, 2006