One of the key features of the AS/NZS 4020 Standard*, which relates to the testing of products in contact with drinking water (mandatory in Australia, but not in New Zealand) is that products that meet the standard must not release certain metals, such as lead, beyond minute quantities. The limits for lead are in line with the Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand 2005 (revised 2008). Few tapware companies operating in New Zealand have a Watermark license certifying that they meet the Standard.
Adverse effects on health from cumulative lead exposure has been documented:
1. The New Zealand Ministry of Health recently stated that “As lead is a bio-accumulative toxin, prolonged exposure to a low level of contamination can lead to appreciable concentration in the body over time, sufficient to give raise to adverse health effects” (“The Environmental Case Management of Lead-exposed Persons: Guidelines for Public Health Unites (revised Edition) June 2007, p.18). One of the potential sources of lead exposure discussed in the Ministry of Health Guidelines is lead in drinking water from dissolution of lead pipes and solders, and brass fittings in homes
2. The World Health Organisation has produced a paper entitled “Lead in Drinking-water”, which states that lead is present in tap water to some extent as a result of its dissolution from natural sources but primarily from household plumbing systems in which the pipes, solder, fittings or service connections to homes contain lead (WHO, Geneva, “Lead in Drinking-water: Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality”, 2003, p.2). The report goes on to state that “lead is a cumulative general poison” (p.5) and that there is evidence from human studies that adverse effects may occur at very low lead levels (p.10).
3. Other reasonably recent articles supporting a link between cumulative exposure to low levels of lead in drinking water and adverse health effects (particularly in children) are Dr Maas et al (Environ,mental Quality Institute, University of North Carolina), Vol.120, p.316 and Dr Maas et al, “Lead-leaching characteristics of submersible residential water pumps”, Journal of Environmental Health, Jan-Feb 1998, Vol.60).
FORENO’S HEALTHY STANDARDS
When you buy Foreno you will know whether you are buying Healthy Tapware which meets the Standards.
Foreno designs for a healthy, non-toxic** and eco-efficient world.
* Our Watermark and Healthy Tapware labels refer only to the AS/NZS 3718 standard because it includes the AS/NZS 4020 Standard.
** By non-toxic we mean it does not release toxic levels of lead over time.