Faucet Makers Agree to Provide Warnings

Price Pfister Inc. in Pacoima and six other faucet manufacturers have consented to a court order in which they will provide "clear and reasonable warnings" about the health dangers of lead that is contained in their faucets.

Without admitting any liability, the seven faucet makers agreed that within 45 days from the May 18 preliminary injunction they would provide the warnings by one of three methods: labels printed on the box containing the faucet, signs posted near faucet displays to inform consumers, or package inserts in the faucet boxes.

The court order is related to lawsuits filed by environmental groups and the state attorney general against Price Pfister and more than 20 other faucet makers for selling products that leave too much lead in water. The state's suit was filed under California's Proposition 65, a law that bans the discharge of toxic substances into drinking water, and ultimately seeks to have manufacturers reduce the lead in their products. The lawsuit is pending.

Price Pfister's president, Mike Hoopis, said he was pleased with the San Francisco Superior Court decision because the order provided the approach that the faucet makers had apparently sought. Price Pfister said it planned to put inserts in faucet boxes to satisfy the order. The state attorney general's office said neither side got what each had fully sought from the court order.

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