Home      Blog       What Restrictions Does the United States…


What Restrictions Does the United States Have on the Sale of Faucets?

As the carrier of water safety and sanitation, faucet manufacturing is a system engineering. The faucet took shape as early as around 1700 BC. It was Al Moen, the founder of Moen faucet, who first improved it in 1937 and invented the single-handle mixing faucet. After unceasing attempts and modifications, the first faucet was sold to a lead pipe supplier in 1947. Nowadays, more than 40% of American households use them. With such a great achievement, Moen was called the leader of the Times. Whereas the background of the supplier determined that the faucet and the lead were inseparable. With the progress of the Times, those backward, including elements or ingredients, cannot escape the fate of being abandoned. According to a report by the American Environmental Organization in February 1997, 91% of the lead that pollutes household water does not come from the source of water but from the water supply pipeline. In 1986, it was a timeline for the faucet industry. Moreover, California is a crucial geographic region. California stipulates the lead content of pipes in California Proposal No. 65 of the United States. After that, the AB 1953 California Lead-Free Act was formally implemented in 2010.


OVERVIEW: If water treatment products are manufactured, sold, or distributed in North America, the products need to comply with the NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 standard, namely, Drinking Water System Components-Health Effects. This standard is applied by numerous government agencies to monitor the supply of drinking water. NSF/ANSI/CAN 61, formulated by a team of scientists, industry experts, and major industry stakeholders, establishes health impact standards for most drinking water system components, such as faucets in plumbing equipment and filters in mechanical devices. From the water source to the faucet, NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 tests all accessory parts that come into contact with drinking water and determine which pollutants may penetrate or even invade the drinking water from the product. Furthermore, the test will also confirm whether these pollutants are below the upper limit of the safe level.
BACKGROUND: NSF, as an authoritative organization, specializes in standard establishing, product testing, and certification services in the fields of public health, safety, and environmental protection. Regarded as a neutral third party, NSF has been approved and certified by 13 national or industry authority organizations, including the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the American Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Canadian National Standards Board. NSF is the designated collaborating center of the World Health Organization (WHO) on food safety as well as drinking water safety and treatment. All units participating in the NSF certification system must undergo testing, retesting, and a third-party inspection/audit. The manufacturing unit must abide by public standards during production. 
REQUIREMENT: The requirements contained in NSF/ANSI/61 limit the following two aspects. One is the lead content in the water contacted with materials related to drinking water products, and the other is the lead content that separates out from the product and enters the drinking water.
INFLUENCE: NSF mandates that if a company wants to print the NSF logo on its products, it must comply with the rigorous requirements of NSF certification and authorization. These requirements include initial and periodic testing and evaluation, and even a spot check. If it is found that the logo has been misused, or the product does not meet the requirements, NSF may seize or detain the goods, or even destroy the substandard products. NSF represents the interests of all parties, will control the behavior of industry insiders, consumers, and manufacturing units. Also, it will supervise the implementation of policies and the authority of certification.

Proposition 65

OVERVIEW: California 65 certification is also called Proposition 65. The full English name is California Proposition 65, and it can also be called CA65 certification, CP65 certification, or Prop65 certification. As a chemical certification in the United States, it tests the total lead, total cadmium, o-benzene, bisphenol A, and other chemical items as well as limit requirements.
BACKGROUND: California Act 65, considered the “Drinking Water Safety and Toxic Substances Enforcement Act”, was issued in November 1986. Its purpose is to keep the water source free of toxic substances that will cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive development hazards. It would inform residents truthfully when such substances were detected. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is responsible for formulating and updating the list of toxic substances.
REQUIREMENT: The regulations clearly stipulate that product manufacturers, producers, packers, importers, suppliers, or distributors bear the primary responsibility for providing warnings.
INFLUENCE: "California Proposition 65" strengthens the responsibilities for entrepreneurs/enterprises operating in California whose products contain designated chemical lists. If the product contains the listed chemicals, the product must include a clear and reasonable warning label to inform consumers of the application of the chemical.

AB 1953

OVERVIEW: AB1953 of California is the pioneer of lead-free certification. As a legal certification, it was approved by the California government on September 20, 2006. It is to adjust the low-lead standards of the products related to the original drinking water supply system. The Act is suitable for all pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, faucet devices, etc. in drinking water, cooking water delivery, or other distribution systems.
BACKGROUND: Lead is a dangerous pollutant that can damage the nervous system and affect brain development. It is especially fatal to pregnant women, babies, and children. Therefore, lead-free pipeline products have gradually been the trend of faucet industry development. In 2006, as a pioneer in the US environmental protection industry, California took the lead in passing the "AB1953" bill. Then, Senator Barbara Boxer, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Environment and Public Works, passed Congress to promote this bill to the whole country. Related products made in the U.S. and imported into the U.S. must comply with the requirements in this Act.
REQUIREMENT: In the old regulations, the standard for the lead was “the content of lead in pipelines and ancillary equipment shall not exceed 8%. In water pipes and ancillary equipment, the content of lead shall not exceed 4%.”
INFLUENCE: After the California Act was introduced in 2006, lead-free copper faucets have gradually become the future development trend. Hence, the market has begun to fully deploy the processing research and development of lead-free copper materials. Lead-free copper valves and pipe fittings are the first to obtain the NSF certification of the American ANSI 61 standard and meet the requirements of the California "AB1953" Act. Manufacturers rushed to master the processing and manufacturing technology of lead-free copper products. They realized the mass production of lead-free copper products by mastering the technical specifications and process parameters. In addition, American suppliers are planning ahead to seize the market. Since lead-free copper is a high value-added product, it will be a blue moon to expand the market scale for suppliers who meet the standards. At the same time, the signing of the bill will also drive the global plumbing and building materials industry to further upgrade the health and environmental protection requirements. Overall, it will be a great opportunity for companies that actively improve green technology.

Bill 3874

OVERVIEW: On September 20, 2006, the California State Government passed a new piping product law California Assembly Bill 1953 (ie AB1953), also known as the California Lead-Free Act. The decree was officially implemented in January 2010.
BACKGROUND: Some laws and regulations in the United States are implemented within the scope of the state government. When they rise to the national level, it takes a certain amount of time to settle and precipitation. Thus, Congress greatly promote Bill 3875 to the entire United States.
REQUIREMENT: The bill amended the original "Drinking Water Safety Regulations" in the United States, requiring that the lead content in pipelines and equipment in contact with drinking water in various states in the United States be reduced from the original 8% to 0.25%. As the most stringent law in the world for the lead content of such products, this core content extends to 50 states in the United States.
INFLUENCE: In January 2011, US President Barack Obama formally signed the National Lead-Free Act (senate bill 3874), which was implemented throughout the United States in January 2014. The European Union has adapted to the world's environmental protection trend and has further restricted the precipitation of lead. Germany will take the lead in implementing the new drinking water standard DIN 50930 on December 1, 2013. More importantly, it would become a mandatory law on January 1, 2015. The primary modification is the reduction of lead precipitation from the current 25 ppb to 10 ppb. However, it is not limited to drinking water, yet bathing water must also meet this requirement. Different from the one-step implementation in the United States, Europe will consider the acceptance of the industry or association. It decides to adopt a step-by-step tightening approach to carry out this policy. It is estimated that it will converge with American standards within 3-5 years.

Conclusion(future prediction):
After the faucet contained excessive lead, it caused widespread concern in society. Most traditional copper faucets contain excessive lead, leading to secondary pollution to drinking water and resulting in great harm if absorbed into the human body. Normally, the lead content in ordinary faucets is between 3%-8%. If the faucet is used for a long time, the lead and other metallic substances in the faucet may be released into the water. Drinking water that contains too much lead will cause plumbism. It will not only affect the intellectual growth of the drinker but also seriously affect the health of the child, and the impact on children will be even greater. Relevant data show that severe lead pollution often endangers human reproductive capacity, kidney function, and nervous system. Therefore, the implementation of the new lead-free law in the United States means that it will usher in new challenges. In addition, under strict regulations and bills, faucet manufacturers will continue to create value in the market in order to meet the needs of various consumers to the maximum extent, including increasing product value and improving functions. American families can spend up to $1,000 per person per year on home renovation and maintenance. Among them, kitchen decoration and bathroom decoration are the most important. This shows that in these two areas, including faucet products, there is a better demand for the market. Therefore, as people's domestic outfit concept continues to change, high-tech and highly designed bathroom products are becoming more and more popular, gradually prevailing in Europe and the United States. The entire output process will tend to be automated and mechanized. The popularity of PVD technology has made faucet finishes shiny and durable. While improving the process economy, maintaining the high quality of products is what the manufacturing industry strives for. What is more, health and environmental protection will also become a major trend in the faucet market in the future. This will be reflected in the filtering device and battery-powered technology inside the faucet. If the price drops across the board, then the commercial territory of the bathroom industry market will be expanded. After the technology is perfected, the faucet is easier to clean and maintain. Therefore, the manufacturing industry needs to control the market trend, maintain flexible responses, and cooperate with the Internet to finally realize direct sales to consumers. At the same time, manufacturers must strictly control the lead content. Drinking water faucets with lower lead content have a greater opportunity to open the market and get rid of their opponents. After the demand for faucet consumption upgrade is released, it will help innovative and technologically leading enterprises to gain more market share. National standards are like legal requirements. Everyone must abide by them. Anyone who crosses the line must be punished accordingly.