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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Using Motors in Tough Environments

To help ensure safe operation and get the longest possible operating life from your motor, consider the environmental conditions of the motor’s application, and choose a motor that features adequate protection from external factors. The presence of flammable gases, combustible dusts, vapors, fibers or filings in the air can provide fuel that when combined with an ignition source will cause an explosion.1

A common hazardous location for fire and explosions, for example, is in agricultural applications. Grain elevators, rice mills, dust pellet mills, flour and feed mills all commonly have combustible dusts in layers or suspended in the air. When oxygen and ignition sources are present, flames can ignite surrounding the ignition source causing an explosion. The best prevention is to eliminate any or all of the factors that when combined create this hazard. One sure way to do that is by eliminating the ignition source when possible.

Examples of Ignition Sources Include:

Sparks or arcs from electrical equipment or wiring
Open flames in welding environments
Chemical reactions or biologial processes
Oxygen levels or elevated temperatures
Lightining
Ionizing radiation
Compression and shock waves
Static electricity

To eliminate these possible problems, the motor you use must be rated explosion proof, and in order to be rated as such, must meet the following guidelines as defined by Article 100 of the NEC which reads:

Apparatus is enclosed in a case that is capable of withstanding an explosion of a specified gas or vapor that may occur within it and of preventing the ignition of a specified gas or vapor surrounding the enclosure by sparks, flashes, or explosion of the gas or vapor within, and which operates at such an external temperature that a surrounding flammable atmosphere will not be ignited thereby. In North America, explosion-proof enclosures are designed to meet the NEC/NFPA and Canadian Electric Code (CEC) requirements, based on a class/division system for hazardous environments.2

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has also developed a rating system to standardize the enclosures for electrical motors and they are as follows:

Drip-Proof
Ventilation openings in the motor’s shield and/or frame prevents drops of liquid from falling into the motor within up to 15-degree angle from vertical. Designed for reasonably dry, clean, and well-ventilated (usually indoors) areas. Outdoor installation requires the motor to be protected with a cover that does not restrict the flow of air to the motor.

Totally Enclosed Air Over (TEAO)
Dust-tight fan and blower motors for shaft mounted fans or belt driven fans. The motor is mounted within the airflow of the fan.
Totally Enclosed Non-Ventilated (TENV)
No ventilation openings, enclosed to prevent free exchange of air (not airtight). No external cooling fan, relies on convection cooling. Suitable where the motor is exposed to dirt or dampness. Not suited in very moist humid or hazardous (explosive) air.
Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled (TEFC)
Same as TENV with an external fan as an integral part of the motor. The fan provides cooling by blowing air on the outside of the motor.
Totally Enclosed, Hostile and Severe Environment
Totally enclosed motors are designed for use in extreme conditions - moist and/or chemical environments. Not for hazardous locations.
Totally Enclosed Blower Cooled
Same as TEFC with external fan on a power supply independent of the inverter output. Fully cooled even at lower motor speeds.
Explosion-Proof Motors
The motor ambient temperature cannot exceed +40oC. Motors are approved for either Class 1, for use with gases and vapors, or Class 2, to be used with combustible dusts.3

Using Explosion-Proof Motors in Wet and Damp Environments
Motors that are rated explosion-proof are among the most difficult to protect from moisture. This is because some of the design requirements to rate a motor explosion-proof eliminate the possibility of using gaskets needed to keep moisture out. Joints between end housings and the frame and conduit box also cannot be sealed with gaskets, because in order for the motor to be explosion proof, there must be metal-to-metal contact at these locations. Another issue with explosion-proof designs is they limit the kinds of drainage you can use. So what can you do? To shield the operative parts of your motor from rain, fog, snow, and condensation, you can shelter the motor from the elements, but be sure there’s adequate ventilation. There are also special breather drain devices designed to allow moisture to drain from the motor while still retaining the integrity of its explosion-proof design. Another method of keeping the motor dry is to install heaters inside the motor. If a motor is used continuously, the heat it generates will help keep the windings dry. However, if the motor is used intermittently, or if it sits idle for any length of time, it may be subject to wide ranges in temperature, which can result in accumulated moisture. To prevent this, cartridge heaters or rubber strip heaters can be used in the motor and then turned on during idle periods.4

Wherever you use your motor, it’s important to know that some motors are specifically designed to handle difficult environments. But even with that, sometimes the very design intended to solve a specific problem can create another. Where and how you install your motor will always come with unique challenges. Choose the right motor with the right type of enclosure for the application and the environment where you plan to use it. And when you install a motor, make sure there’s adequate drainage and ventilation. Taking these precautionary steps will go a long way to help your motor run longer and more efficiently.  

Sources:
https://www.osha.gov/doc/outreachtraining/htmlfiles/hazloc.html
Rockwell Automation. Class/Division Hazardous Location. Publication 800-WP003A-EN-P - October 2001.
www.engineeringtoolbox.com
The Cowern Papers

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Get Ready for GHS: What You Need to Know Now

On December 1, 2013, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will start phasing in a mandatory transition to the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for labeling potentially hazardous chemicals.

Why Is OSHA Doing This?
The existing HCS provides guidance for defining chemical hazards, but is not consistent with global standards. While the intent and scope of the existing Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) will remain the same, OSHA has decided to align HCS with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, created by the United Nations to introduce global consistency. OSHA’s primary goal is to have one set of hazardous material classification standards used around the world to protect human health and promote environmental awareness. And while keeping people safe is the top priority, there are other, less obvious advantages down the road:

“GHS helps us to understand that manufacturing is a global process. We live in a global competitive manufacturing environment. One of the things GHS does is it allows everybody to compete on a much more level playing field. And that just can’t help but drive down costs and make it easier for everybody. It’s one less barrier to being globally competitive and that’s good for everybody. It just makes sense.”
--Bob Vavra, Editor, Plant Engineering Magazine

What are the Costs and The Savings?
There will be costs associated with GHS compliance, most of which will be incurred by chemical manufacturers. Potential costs include assigning personnel and resources to create the new labels and SDS, as well as the cost to train employees. OSHA representatives strongly believe that the benefits of implementing GHS will significantly outweigh the costs, with the ultimate goal of reducing workplace injuries and fatalities. 
OSHA estimates that the new standard will help to prevent 43 deaths, 585 injuries and illnesses, and will result in an estimated $475.2 million in enhanced productivity for U.S. businesses each year.1

Take the First Step — Training
On December 1, 2013 employees must be trained on label requirements and the new safety data sheet.
Who Is Affected: Employers

“It’s really important that training is done ahead of time because as manufacturers work to comply with GHS, they’re already updating their information, and so you may see an updated data sheet or updated label now, so it’s very important that employees know what they are looking at and are able to recognize and understand it.”
— Kelli Baker, Safety Technical Support Group, W.W. Grainger, Inc.

Make sure your workplace is already in compliance with Hazcom 1994, and if not, this is
the place to start. The five key responsibilities employers had under HazCom 1994 are
the same key responsibilities you will have under Hazcom 2012. These are:

1.   Have a written site-specific hazard communication program
  • Keep a list of hazardous chemicals present iin the workplace
  • Maintain safety data sheets for all hazardous chemicals 
  • Provide Right-To-Know access to employees
  • Ensure proper use of labels and warning signs in the workplace
  • Train employees on HazCom and specific workplace chemical hazards2

2.    Many companies are beginning formal training by the end of October 2013 or sooner, so if you haven't started training yet, it's time to get started.

3.    There is no set format for the training. The training must be in a language and manner that employees can understand, and must account for any learning limitations. For example if there is a language barrier, you will need to make sure the training is presented in the correct language; you also need to be aware of any literacy issues.

4.    Start familiarizing your employees with the basics now. Most importantly, they must be able to identify the classes of physical and health hazards and be able to read and interpret the new chemical labels and SDSs. The following is the minimum OSHA considers compliant to meet the December 1 deadline.

5. According to OSHA, training on label elements must include:  

a. Type of information the employee would expect to see on the new labels. This would involve training on the six required elements required on the new shipped label.



b. How an employee might use the labels in the workplace. This is typically done through reinforcement exercises used in the classroom.
  •  Explain how information on the label can be used to ensure proper storage of hazardous chemicals
  • Explain how information on the label can be used to quickly locate information on first aid when needed by employees or emergency personnel
c. A general understanding of how the elements work together on a label.  Again, reinforced through exercises in the classroom.
  • Explain that where a chemical has multiple hazards, different pictograms are used to identify the various hazards.  The employee should expect to see the appropriate pictogram for the corresponding hazard class
  • Explain that when there are similar precautionary statements, the one providing the most protective information will be included on the label

d. Training on SDS format must include the following:

  • Explain the order of all 16 sections and what information is found in each section. For example, this would include using an SDS exercise to highlight where employees can find the information that is needed, like Section 8 will always contain information about exposure limits or Section 9 will always contain the physical properties of a chemical like flash point, and so forth.
  • How the information on the label is related to the SDS.Explain where the 6 required label elements are found on the SDS sheet. Again, this can be reinforced through classroom exercises.

6. Postings of the pictograms and graphics around your facility can help to reinforce their meanings.

7. Set up a regular schedule for training and re-training your employees. GHS will require you to provide additional employee training by June 1, 2016, for new physical or health hazards identified by you or described in SDSs or chemical labels 

8. Don’t try to go it alone. There are many resources available to help you understand what you need to do and when. Start with OSHA.gov, MSDSOnline and grainger.com/ghs.  

Standardizing how this important information is conveyed by the new regulation, and a commitment to ongoing training for your employees will help to reduce workplace injuries and make it easier for organizations to enforce and measure compliance. Simplifying how we communicate about potential hazards will also help people quickly find the information they need to know to be in compliance.

“Right now there are so many different forms of labels and different forms of data sheets that it’s hard to train employees. The new system will make it easier to train your employee on one label system, on one safety data sheet so they know where they can go to find that information. So the next time they are working with a chemical at their workstation they understand what those hazards are. So if they need to put on a certain type of PPE to protect themselves, they’ll know where to go to find that information.”
— Wes Maertz, Certified Safety Professional, Safety Technical Support Group, W.W. Grainger, Inc.

Deadlines Coming Up
While the first step is getting employees trained on the new system, manufacturers and distributors of potentially hazardous chemicals and materials should be aware of these upcoming deadlines. It’s important to note, however, that there are two exceptions; distributors have an additional six months to ship products labeled by manufacturers under the old HCS and employers have until June 1, 2016, to update their workplace labeling systems. 

June 1, 2015: Chemical manufacturers must comply with all final rule provisions of the regulation.
Who Is Affected: Chemical Manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers

December 1, 2015: Chemical distributors must ship containers using GHS-compliant labels.
Who Is Affected: Chemical Manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers

June 1, 2016: Employers must update labeling and HazCom programs and provide ongoing training.
Who Is Affected: Employers

For more helpful resources, including videos and webinars, visit grainger.com/ghs.

Sources:
1. OSHA.gov
2. “5 Tips for Managing the Messy Transition to GHS.” Occupational Health and Safety Online.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Facility Maintenance Is Key to Running the Business of Healthcare

In the healthcare industry, any opportunity to reduce costs can be significant in today’s economy. Last year, in an effort to improve efficiencies, centralize operations and establish best practices, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centers (UPMC) embarked on a system-wide audit of their 20 hospitals. Over the past 25 years, UPMC has grown from two hospitals on their Oakland, Pennsylvania campus, to nearly 20 throughout the Pittsburgh area today. Most of this growth has happened gradually through acquisitions as well as mergers with other hospitals into the system. Each facility came into the network with its own embedded processes, management, systems and policies, some of which had been in place for decades. The audit team knew that while it was likely there would be resistance to change, there was also plenty of opportunity to streamline and share resources across the network.

Edward Dudek, Assistant Vice President of Facilities and Engineering for UPMC, was a key player in the audit process. He is responsible for the engineering and maintenance groups for all of the facilities and hospitals in the UPMC network. “Clinical operations, imaging and surgery, they all interface and make sure they share the same resources, technology and expertise,” he says. “When you look at supply chain and what they’ve done, it’s truly an integration of everything, and it’s really effective and serves everyone very well.” In the process of conducting the audit, they realized this was something they hadn’t yet done for engineering and maintenance. It became clear to all involved that there was a big opportunity if they applied some of the same practices Supply Chain was using for the core operations of the hospital to help control and manage inventory.

Room for Improvement
“Inventory management [is] something we always knew we could improve. The question was, how do we do it? Do we have the internal expertise? We’re maintenance guys. For the most part, our guys are mechanical, electrical guys; they know how to manage generators and air handlers, chillers and boilers. I try to structure my departments,” says Ed “to make sure that there’s always that level of accountability and cross-check with everything we do—everything from preventive maintenance, to how we spend our money, to how we manage our budgets, to how we order material and what material we use, and why we make the decisions we make every day. When it gets down to inventory management, that’s a little out of our field.”

Ed realized that any system they used had to be completely embedded and automated. It couldn’t require extra staff and it had to be seamless across the organization. Any new system for inventory management had to help free up staff to focus on electrical and mechanical work and making sure the hospital is in good working order, rather than managing inventory, looking for parts or processing purchase requisitions.

We're Not in the Maintenance Business, We're in the Healthcare Business
“In healthcare, [Facilities] is as important as any other department in the hospital. We may not touch the patients like a nurse or a radiologist, but the systems we support are every bit as important as anything else in the hospital. We’re not in the maintenance business, we’re in the healthcare business and with what we do, we need to be as accountable as anyone else.” If Ed’s team is too wrapped up in tracking down parts and the supplies they need to do their job, they can’t do the necessary maintenance work required, which can have significant consequences. “What they do,” Ed says, “is reflective of the safety of the hospital. Patient safety is paramount. Accountability in patient safety is something that needs to be embedded to all of our processes and with all of our staff.”

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
Liz Munsch is the Director of Facilities and Construction Management for the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, UPMC. In May 2009, UPMC opened a new, state-of-the art Children’s hospital that could better meet community demand for children’s healthcare. Today, the 2 million square-foot campus includes a research building, the children’s hospital itself, and office buildings. The new construction provided an opportunity for UPMC to pilot some new systems from the ground up, based on findings from the audit, which included a more automated approach to inventory management.

 “For my maintenance team,” Liz says “which includes my managers and the maintenance workforce, the focus should be on improving customer service, responding to the customer and keeping the facility up to both regulatory and aesthetic requirements; their focus should be solely on those issues. I don’t want my managers or my maintenance staff working with repetitive tasks; constantly trying to find and purchase parts. The intent is that all of those things come easy so we can better serve our customers.”

Doing More with the Same
Getting smarter about the workload was especially important for Liz and her maintenance crew, because they would have to operate with the same size team regardless of the fact that they now had 2 million more square feet to manage. At the time, adding workforce just wasn’t an option. Reducing workload therefore, became top priority, and they knew they needed a solution that would address this issue. Liz says she sat down with her management team to review their options, and that’s when they discovered a huge opportunity with purchase orders. “Whether a P.O. was for $2.18 or $100.18, the problem was, there were just a lot of them,” she recalls. “The first thing we did was to come up with a goal for reducing purchase orders. How do we automate inventory and purchasing? We started by looking at automated inventory control.” That’s when, she says, they looked at filters for air handlers. “One of our air handlers is 300 feet long and has 2,000 filters.” This alone was a difficult process to manage. Then they looked at other areas, such as light bulbs—the stuff they ordered on a regular basis. “We turned to Grainger and the KeepStock® program thinking it could be a win-win for both filters and light bulbs, but then we realized we could start looking at the many other everyday things we purchase. This is how we came about looking at a better inventory management process overall.”

What Is KeepStock® Inventory Management?
KeepStock is a Grainger managed inventory solution that you can tailor to your facility’s specific inventory needs. For Children’s Hospital, they chose the KeepStock Onsite solution. In this scenario, a Grainger Sales Representative shows up on a regular schedule to consult with the facility and supply chain managers to check inventory levels. KeepStock also provides reporting to help Children’s with budgeting and planning. The ultimate goal for installing any inventory management program is to ensure you always have the items you need when you need them and to know exactly how much you are spending.

First-year results for the KeepStock® Onsite pilot at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh have been quite positive. According to Liz Munsch, the facility team’s supply costs have been cut by 25 percent and emergency runs for supplies have been nearly eliminated. “It may have happened once last year,” she recalls.

“Having a program we can embed, like KeepStock®,” says Ed, “enables us to have what we need to have good inventory control without needing to add staff.

Saving Time and Space
While both Ed and Liz will admit it’s sometimes hard to gain buy-in from staff, they agreed that acceptance of the program by the front line staff and by the managers was pretty remarkable. “The reduction in POs alone,” Liz says, “was enough to get my staff and managers on board.”

Space is the other issue. In hospital maintenance departments, there’s never enough room for supplies. So the idea of actually reducing the size of their stock areas and their inventory and still having what they really needed on hand was a new concept. “It really worked at Children’s Hospital to have what they needed without it starting to take over their spaces,” says Ed.

Liz admits that they had to work a little harder to transition the maintenance workforce to a completely new thought process about purchasing. “They were used to doing things in a very traditional manner,” she says. “Lots of paper, filling out forms, having it approved by a manager, it going up the ladder being approved by another manager, then being input in the system. Now all of a sudden they were going to use something automated, and sometimes people aren’t all that receptive to change. Using change management techniques, they were able to demonstrate how the new system would benefit them in the long run, and ultimately help them do their jobs more efficiently.

It’s no secret that healthcare costs continue to climb. And those responsible for running healthcare facilities understand the responsibility they have to provide the best possible patient experience. With that responsibility also comes the task of keeping costs down. For UPMC, gaining control over the way they managed their inventories for all of the facilities in their system uncovered a wide range of money- and time-saving opportunities, while helping them improve efficiencies across the board. At UPMC, they learned that supply chain principles used for core healthcare operations can also be applied to the way they manage facility maintenance inventory. They also understand that facility maintenance is about much more then keeping things going. It’s essential to running the business of healthcare.

Learn more about KeepStock®— A Grainger Inventory Management Solution


Grainger's KeepStock® solutions are subject to customer eligibility and agreements.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Federal Lead-Free Plumbing Bill: Q & A

On January 4, 2014, Federal Bill S.3874, The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act goes into effect. The new Federal bill addresses a public health and safety issue, and is an amendment to the Safe Drinking Water Act. The new Federal bill dramatically reduces the amount of lead content from 8% to 0.25% weighted average with respect to the wetted surfaces of pipe, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings or fixtures installed on potable water systems anticipated for human consumption.

This new federal bill will provide singular direction for plumbing fixture manufacturers, distributors and plumbing contractors across the United States who have had to navigate varying state legislations currently in place in California, Vermont, Louisiana and Maryland.

Q: What’s Lead Free?
A: By definition, the new compliant alloy is not 100% lead free. Lead Free or low-lead more specifically, means not more than 0.2 percent lead when used with respect to solder and flux and not more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent when used with respect to the wetted surfaces of pipes and pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures. Brass can contain as much as 8% lead, but in practice, has really only contained 5%. The general industry term for this brass is 85-5-5-5 (or eighty-five-three-five) brass, because it contains 85% copper, and 5% each of lead, tin and zinc.1 Still, many companies have not manufactured components using even 5% lead. For more than 20 years, all plumbing fittings that supply water for human consumption have had to meet NSF/ANSI Standard 61. This standard measures for over 100 contaminants known to affect human health, one of which is lead. The new legislation deals specifically with the lead component of NSF 61, and provides an improvement to the existing standard. Lead is used in the manufacturing process because it is essential to curing brass, and is applied to the exterior of a fixture.

Q: How Does the Bill Affect Manufacturers, Distributors and Contractors?
A: Companies in the United States who manufacture water fountains, bubblers, bottle fillers, kitchen faucets, bar faucets, manual lavatory faucets, water supply stops, pipes, valves,  fittings and any other plumbing fixtures that will come in contact with water anticipated for human consumption will be prohibited from selling noncompliant products after the January 4, 2014 date. Many large plumbing manufacturers, such as Elkay and Halsey Taylor, known manufacturers of water coolers and stainless steel sinks and faucets, have been proactive about eliminating the older alloy and have already gone through the certification process. The same can be said for American Standard, also well known for plumbing fixtures. American Standard began the process many years ago and the company is already selling certified plumbing fittings. “Being ahead of the curve,” says Pamela Hamilton of Elkay, “and as proactive as you can be is important. At Elkay, all components for water coolers and faucets were compliant by 2010.” Distributors will still carry dual-use plumbing items and those items needed for nonpotable applications, such as industrial, sewage among others.

Some manufacturers ran dual manufacturing lines with certified product for the states that had already adopted the legislation, and other lines manufacturing similar noncertified product for the rest of the country that had not yet adopted the legislation. This was done primarily to deplete existing inventory and as a cost-savings measure, but this practice came with the high risk of mixing inventory, not to mention the expense of running dual manufacturing lines. In the end, all manufacturing lines will have to be switched over in time for the deadline for any items intended for potable drinking applications.

Companies that manufacture items for both potable and non-potable applications will still have to run dual manufacturing lines. For these manufacturers, there are many more implications of the new law that deserve consideration. First, the new alloy looks exactly like its higher-lead predecessor. So there’s an added challenge of managing the two types of alloy for different purposes without mixing inventory. Second, while the new alloy looks exactly the same as the higher-lead version, it behaves much differently. Lead has lubricant properties, which makes an alloy with a slightly higher level of lead more malleable and easier to work with. The lower-lead alloy is a harder material, causing premature wearing of machine tooling, it’s harder to work with, and increases scrap rates. According to Tom LaGuardia of Milwaukee Valve Company, lower-lead valves are more brittle. For the end user or installer he says, they don’t thread as easily. This makes them susceptible to cracking. In short, the metals look similar, but they machine, forge, cast and work in service differently. The new alloy goes through cutting tools faster, and pours at a different temperature too, which changes production cycle times. In the end, while it’s safer for potable water use, all of these behavioral factors mean added costs to the manufacturer, the installer and ultimately the consumer.

The time it takes a manufacturer to achieve compliance really depends on the manufacturer’s volume and speed, and every company is different. American Standard began the process in 2008, and by 2009 they were completely compliant. Chris Gaddis of American Standard describes the process his company went through: “We knew that when California and Vermont passed this legislation it wouldn’t be long before all 50 states adopted [it]. So we took the impact up front knowing this was going to become a national standard. We made the decision to make the change across all product lines. It makes it easier to sell to our customers, and allows the end users to buy with confidence. We basically took everything that had to be compliant and changed the manufacturing lines, got the inspectors in there to look at what we were doing, test the product, and finally get the certification.”

Distributors of plumbing fittings that fall into the potable drinking water category must have these fittings and any replacement parts completely phased out of their inventories by the January 4th date. After this date, resale of these items in the United States will be against the law.

Installers are responsible for ensuring that faucets used for human consumption are certified. Reputable distributors will document specific purchases, and will ask for confirmation as to what specific plumbing parts or faucets will be used for. The documentation will be kept, and plumbing and building contractors who make these purchases will be responsible for being honest with their distributors.

Q: Certified or Compliant — What’s the Difference?
A: When it comes to plumbing products that are intended to dispense or convey water for human consumption through drinking or cooking; consumers should always look for products that are certified low-lead. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) is the one of several well-known certifying bodies. Certification is the highest standard a manufacturer can achieve with respect to compliance to the new law. If a manufacturer is compliant, it means they did not go through the process of getting certified by a third-party water quality listing or agency, but that they stand by their products as being compliant, meaning they meet the no more than .25 percent lead content requirement. As of 2010, California and Vermont can only purchase certified items for potable water use. Maryland adapted the low-lead law in 2012, with Louisiana following in 2013. ANSI accredits eight third party certifiers for product compliance to meet the new low-lead law requirements. NSF, Truesdail Labs, UL, WQA, IAPMO, CSA, Intertek, and ICC.

Q: How Do You Know It’s Certified?
A: For consumers to be sure the products they are using are safe, Chris Gaddis of American Standard advises: “Choose products by manufacturers who have done the diligence to go through and get the certifications. That way [you] can buy with confidence and understand that [you] are getting a product that has been vetted and certified by a third-party agency.” Consumers will be able to find labels or emblems on packaging that guarantee certification.

To be sure, some parts of the legislation remain unclear. For example, many still question how the new legislation will be enforced, as compliance can sometimes rely on the word of installers as to how certain products will be used. There are also questions about certification. For example, is a fixture still certified if it’s repaired with a replacement part that is only compliant? The good news is that legislation designed to protect public health that started in California will now be federal law. And while there is still a little uncertainty, the new law helps shed light on the danger of lead and goes one step further in keeping it out of our water supply.  

Sources:
1.    “No-Lead Brass Is in Your Future!” David L. LeBlanc. InFlow-Line Magazine. Spring 2011.
2.    Interview with Pamela Hamilton, Elkay.
3.    Interview with Chris Gaddis, American Standard.

4.    Interview with Tom LaGuardia and Elias Rizk of Milwaukee Valve Company.