Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has completed routine surveillance of hardware stores and other retail facilities in 13 counties to verify that leaded solder is not being sold for plumbing purposes. This surveillance is conducted in accordance with the 1989 Lead Ban Act.
Throughout the summer of 2016, DEP staff investigated 575 stores to make sure that lead solder is not being sold and that restricted solder types that are allowed to be sold commercially are not being displayed in plumbing supply sections of those stores.
“Keeping banned lead products off the shelves is a good way to prevent future water contamination,” said Patrick McDonnell, Acting DEP Secretary. “I’m very pleased to see that many stores are following the regulations and keeping banned products off of their shelves.”
The investigation found 356 stores that sell solder. Of those stores:
• 59% sell only lead-free solder
• 5% of stores (17) were selling solder in violation of the Lead Ban Act
o 3% selling banned solder (11)
o 2% selling restricted solder in plumbing section (6)
Compliance notices were issued for the violations. DEP can also issue fines of up to $1,000 for each violation. Since 2005, surveillance activities have included auto parts, electronics, and craft stores. These types of retailers should be aware of and complying with the Lead Ban Act.
DEP staff will continue routine and follow-up activities throughout 2017 to ensure stores remain in compliance.