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To avoid plumbing mix-ups, EPA wants “lead free” fixtures stamped as such

Brass fittings and faucets not used for drinking water can have lead in them. The EPA wants the parts to stamped so people can easily tell the difference.

The U.S. EPA is proposing rules that would require plumbing manufacturers to mark pipes and fittings for drinking water as “lead free.”

Back in the 1980s, Congress banned lead in plumbing pieces, solder and pipes used for drinking water. Now the EPA wants manufacturers to do a better job labeling these “lead free” fixtures so people don’t accidentally mix them up with similar products that don’t have to be lead free.

Until 2014, “lead free” brass fittings could have up to 8% lead.

In January 2014, all new faucets and valves that come into contact with drinking water had to meet a stricter standard mandated by a new law. From that point forward, the standard dropped to .25% lead allowed for “the wetted surface” of brass in drinking water faucets and valves.

Do you have lead in your pipes and faucets? Here's how you can find out

People have until April togive the EPA feedback on the proposed rule.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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