Newly published changes to NSF/ANSI/CAN 61, the drinking water product standard used in the U.S. and Canada, reduce the amount of lead that can leach from plumbing products.
The “significantly more rigorous requirements” were approved after years of exploring various testing methods to reduce lead leaching from endpoint devices that dispense drinking water, as well as from other plumbing components, according to a NSF International news release.
More stringent pass/fail criteria for standard certification will require the maximum amount of lead leaching to be reduced from 5 micrograms (µg) to 1 µg for devices that dispense drinking water such as faucets, and from 3 µg to 0.5 µg for other plumbing components such as connector hoses and small shut-off valves. In-line mechanical devices and other product categories under NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 are not subject to the new requirements.
Revisions to the standard were approved by the Council of Public Health Consultants and ratified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). Certification of applicable products to the more stringent lead leaching criteria is optional for the next three years to allow manufacturers time to comply. On Jan. 1, 2024, all products will be required to meet the stricter requirements.