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‘Lead-Free’ Standard Takes Effect

Coffee brewers, point-of-use water purification systems, ice machines, coffee vending machines and postmix cold drink venders that are plumbed to a building’s water supply must comply with a “lead-free” standard by tomorrow.

In a Vending Times article, the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s (NAMA) government affairs team says the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act, enacted by Congress in 2011, amended the US Safe Drinking Water Act by reducing the amount of lead allowed in plumbing used for potable water. It applies to pipes, fittings and fixtures, solder and flux.

The new standard changes the earlier requirement of not more than 8 percent lead content to not more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent lead, with respect to the wetted surfaces of pipes, plumbing fittings and fixtures in contact with water available for human consumption.

The NAMA team says that equipment installed prior to Jan. 4 that does not meet the lead-free definition does not need to be replaced. However, if repairs are made to existing installed equipment, the replacement parts must meet the new standard.

Failure to comply with the lead-free law could result in fines and lawsuits.

A California judge in July said that Gerber, Smucker’s, Dole and more than a dozen other manufacturers do not need to place Proposition 65 warnings on baby food containing small amounts of lead. In a preliminary ruling, Judge Steven Brick said all the products are below the regulatory “safe harbor” exposure level.



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