California’s AB1953 turns on the tap for ‘green’ alloys

Jul 01, 2009 | 08:18 AM |

Change is the way of the world, and while some parts of it have been slower to adapt than others, there's no avoiding it. Such is the case in brass fabrication, particularly when lead is losing favor.

When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed California Assembly Bill 1953 in 2006 mandating that all faucets and plumbing fittings sold in the state be lead-free beginning in 2010, he jump-started a movement to overturn the entire copper and brass fabrication industry and force it to consider a world without traditional leaded alloys.

"For the first time in the history of the United States, a political issue caused a change in what could and could not be tolerated as an alloy in a specific application," Tim Strelitz, president of Los Angeles-based California Metal-X Inc., said.

AB1953, a state-wide initiative to reduce the lead content of plumbing fixtures to less than 0.25 percent from up to 8 percent on wetted surfaces, was intended to minimize the California public's potential exposure to the toxic metal. But while California might have been the first step, it surely wasn't the last. As other states introduced similar legislation with mixed results, smart producers in all regions began to look for ways to increase their commitment to lead-free alloys as well.....

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