NSF International has developed a new compositional standard for products that come in contact with drinking water. The new requirements are incorporated into the NSF/ANSI American National Standard for Drinking Water Products to help protect the public from exposure to lead.

Annex G – Weighted Average Lead Content Evaluation Procedure to a 0.25 Percent Lead Requirement allows manufacturers to demonstrate compliance to recently enacted legislation in California that limits the weighted average of lead content in plumbing products, which come in contact with drinking water, to 0.25 percent.

The annex recently was incorporated into NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components -- Health Effects, a standard that includes procedures to evaluate products that come in contact with drinking water and to screen out those products that could contribute excessive levels of contaminants into drinking water. Products covered in the standard include pipes and related products; protective and barrier materials (including cements/coatings); joining and sealing materials (including gaskets, adhesives, lubricants); process media (including carbon, sand, zeolite, ion-exchange media); mechanical devices (including water meters, in-line valves, filters, process equipment); mechanical plumbing devices (faucets, drinking fountains, and components); and potable water materials (non-metallic materials).

The inclusion of Annex G is important for manufacturers selling products in California who must comply with the new lead content requirements, in addition to the current chemical extraction requirements of NSF/ANSI Standard 61. California recently passed legislation that requires manufacturers to meet the 0.25 percent weighted average lead content, and other states also are considering low-lead content legislation. The new lead reduction requirements in California become effective Jan. 1, 2010.

“Annex G establishes a protocol to determine product compliance with the 0.25 percent maximum weighted average lead content requirement of the California Health and Safety Code. It is our expectation that states with low lead requirements will recognize Annex G in their regulations, and this will provide a uniform method for product evaluation,” explains Pete Greiner, technical manager, NSF Water Treatment and Distribution Systems Program.

While California lead content requirements are not scheduled to go into effect until 2010, NSF is providing product evaluations against the annex now, and updating NSF 61 listings to indicate compliance with the low lead requirement.

For more information on Annex G and NSF/ANSI Standard 61, visit www.nsf.org/info/wdsfaq/index.asp.