Brass alloy producers shedding lead

Jan 15, 2013 | 03:42 PM | Samuel Frizell

Tags  brass alloys, Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act, Eco Brass, Mike Strelitz, California Metal-X, Mike Buyarski, Federal Metal, bismuth alloys

NEW YORK — Suppliers of brass alloys and pipe are changing their product lines before new federal lead regulations go into effect, with industry players anticipating that lead will soon become obsolete, market sources have told AMM.

All new potable water fittings must contain less than 0.25 percent lead by 2014, when the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act comes into force. Suppliers have begun exploring a range of lead-free products in order to comply with the federal law.

"People are futzing around with everything right now, trying to come up with alternatives," Tim Strelitz, president of Los Angeles-based California Metal-X Inc., told AMM.

A number of different alloys have hit the market as potential replacements for lead-containing materials, including Eco Brass, a lead-free copper-silicon-zinc alloy. Producers also are selling various copper-zinc-bismuth alloys to both municipalities and private companies. Even distributors who sell to a wide range of end-markets are switching their product lines over to incorporate more environmentally friendly alloys. ....

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