Assemblymember Holden’s Legislation Aiming to Reduce Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water Passes First Policy Committee

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Sacramento (CA) – Assemblymember Chris Holden’s legislation, AB 2060, that would reduce exposure to lead from drinking water passed unanimously in the Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee today with bipartisan support. 

“We all expect the water we drink will keep us and our children healthy, and not make us sick.” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “This legislation ensures that faucets and plumbing fixtures sold in California leach as little lead as possible.”

Lead is a severe neurotoxin that damages the brains and central nervous systems of young children. Lead is also a carcinogen and harms organs. Low levels of lead in children cause IQ loss, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and impaired hearing.

Currently, there is no law to address lead-leaching rates of faucets and fixtures sold in California. As of now, plumbing fixtures must be certified by an independent American National Standards

Institute (ANSI) accredited third party, but the standard only requires fixtures to leach no more than five micrograms of lead. Studies however, have found that many fixtures leach much more lead during their curing process. This bill would establish a performance standard for faucets in California.

“Lead is still commonly added to brass and bronze used to make faucets,” said Tom Neltner, Chemicals Policy Director for the Environmental Defense Fund. “This bill tightens the maximum amount of that lead that can leach from those fixtures into the water our children drink by five times. The bill effectively removes poor performers from the market so schools, child cares, and consumers can buy new faucets and other fixtures without worry.”