Revising Lead-free Plumbing Mandates: Defining and Calculating Lead Free – Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act

The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act defines ‘lead-free’ as:

For the purposes of this section, the term ‘lead free’ means— (A) not containing more than 0.2 percent lead when used with respect to solder and flux; and (B) not more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent lead when used with respect to the wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures. (2) CALCULATION.—The weighted average lead content of a pipe, pipe fitting, plumbing fitting, or fixture shall be calculated by using the following formula: For each wetted component, the percentage of lead in the component shall be multiplied by the ratio of the wetted surface area of that component to the total wetted surface area of the entire product to arrive at the weighted percentage of lead of the component. The weighted percentage of lead of each wetted component shall be added together, and the sum of these weighted percentages shall constitute the weighted average lead content of the product. The lead content of the material used to produce wetted components shall be used to determine compliance with paragraph (1)(B). For lead content of materials that are provided as a range, the maximum content of the range shall be used.

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