ANSWER: 01 Aug 2006
Sorry that it's taken a ridiculously long time to track down some lead free
potable water pipe for you - it's not at all readily available and lead free
fittings don't seem to be available at all. We asked Tradelink and Iplex by
email but after receiving no reply we finally phoned around and found the
- Vinidex have a lead-free 90mm potable water pipe in 6 m lengths (item
code 20890) but they do not have any lead-free fittings as yet. If you ring
your closest capital city Sales office they'll tell you who supplies it in
your area as they do not sell direct to the public. Melbourne Sales tel.
- Iplex may have some lead free products and suggested checking
www.iplex.com.au but when I searched the product database for "lead free",
there were no results. Iplex can only confirm whether they have any lead
free plumbing products tomorrow when their planning department will get back
to us. In 2002, Allan Whittle, Chief Technical Advisor, IPLEX Pipelines,
kindly provided a letter about rainwater PVC pipes for inclusion in the NSW
Council LEAD Project Tool Kit which was distributed by The LEAD Group to
every Council in NSW in 2002. The letter concludes: "Using Iplex Pipelines
PVC products that comply with AS/NZS 4020 eliminates the risk that the
extraction of lead from the pipe system could contribute to a high lead
content in rain water collected for drinking purposes."
You've probably finished the job by now but it's good you asked so we can
add this info to our Lead-free
we have just received the response from Iplex and it seems things are not as
simple as I had concluded in my email yesterday. Though plastic fittings are not
specifically mentioned, the statement: "all PVC used for water mains in
Australia is processed using non-lead compounds i.e. there is NO ADDED
LEAD" would seem to cover fittings.
Perhaps you could let me know if your query is answered.
The comment that "most plastics use lead" is incorrect. In the
past it was common for PVC-U to be processed with the aid of a lead
based thermal stabiliser compound and, although leaching tests showed
this was not a health risk according to WHO guidelines, today all PVC
used for water mains in Australia is processed using non-lead compounds
i.e. there is NO ADDED LEAD. Moreover, we are not aware of lead ever
being used as a plasticiser in any plastics material.
PVC-U is also widely used in domestic plumbing for both sewerage and
drainage purposes. These pipes are still processed by some manufacturers
using lead based compounds although these are due to be phased out in
the near future and replaced with non-lead formulations .
Pressure pipes for domestic plumbing such as mains to meter pipes are
usually polyethylene (PE). Within the house polybutylene (PB) or cross
linked polyethylene is often used for both hot and cold water
reticulation. These polymers do not contain any added lead.
I hope this is sufficient for your purposes.
Technical Marketing Group
02 9755 8241, 0409 065 299, Fax 02 97551195