Aug 30, 2021

Coalition Calls for California to Cut Limit of Lead Leaching From Plumbing Fixtures

The proposed bill would restrict the amount of lead leaching from faucets and fixtures to no more than 1 microgram.

water lead

A proposed law that would cut the legal limit of lead leaching from plumbing fixtures for sale by more than half in California is in the midst of consideration.

According to The Press-Enterprise, Assemblyman Chris Holden partnered with a coalition of community health experts on Aug. 26 to garner support for this proposed law. The proposed bill would restrict the amount of lead leaching from faucets and fixtures to no more than 1 microgram.

Alice Kuo, a professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at UCLA, joined Holden and members of California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG), Clean Water Action, the Environmental Working Group and the Western Center on Law and Poverty in these efforts. 

“Thanks to Assembly Bill 2370, which I authored in 2019, California began testing water fountains and faucets at schools and daycare centers to check for lead,” said Holden, reported The Press-Enterprise. “Unfortunately, water faucets and fixtures that are being introduced and marketed right now still leach lead into the water. This is unacceptable.”

Holden’s 2018 bill, AB 2370, requires child care centers to test their drinking water for lead and to lower those levels if lead is found, according to CALPIRG. The state will be spending $5 million of its own funds to pay for child care centers’ lead testing, so if passed, AB 100 will help centers meet the state’s goal of getting all lead out of centers’ drinking water. 

The state legislature also passed Assembly Bill 746 in 2017, which mandated that public water utilities sample and test for lead in public schools’ tap water. A similar bill was held up in 2020 by the Senate Appropriations Committee, reported CALPIRG.

Holden hopes that Assembly Bill 100 will be coupled with prior legislation to ban faucets and other fixtures that are still allowed to leach high amounts of lead.

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