OLYMPIC VALLEY, CALIF. — Vinyl window profiles now will have to be deemed virtually lead-free to pass muster with the American Architectural Manufacturers Association.
Effective the week of June 21, window lineal extruders pursuing AAMA certification will not be allowed to use vinyl compounds with more than a 0.02 percent lead content. That figure meets standards included in proposed legislation in California. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Council has a 0.06 percent guideline for lead content in children's toys.
The independent testing laboratory used by AAMA will include a check for lead in its semiannual inspections of plants making certified products.
AAMA's Vinyl Material Council Chairman Ray Garries, a product technical manager for the Summit Window and Patio Door division of Jeld-Wen Inc., said AAMA is ``trying to be proactive'' in adopting a strict lead standard in advance of any legal requirements.
``We took the lowest value that was proposed out there,'' Garries said during AAMA's midyear committee meeting in Olympic Valley.
One intent of the new standard is to provide help in marketing vinyl windows as being lead-free by CPSC standards, he said.
Vinyl window producers in attendance expressed confidence that few, if any, window lineals contain any lead. They added that any amount of lead in the windows is safely encapsulated beyond the prying teeth of any lineal-hungry children.
But not all parts of a window are covered by the current AAMA standard. Laminates, weatherstripping and glazing beads in some cases are supplied by companies outside AAMA's inspection regime.
Several members suggested adding outside suppliers' products to those already certified, but others urged caution.
``We don't want to legislate ourselves out of existence,'' Chuck Gilderman, director of technical services for Mikron Industries Inc. of Kent, Wash., said at the June 16 meeting of AAMA's material safety task group.
Task group members elected to ask their suppliers to send lead data to AAMA's independent laboratory for confidential review by Aug. 1. The lab will report if there could be a problem with compliance if AAMA requires all extruded parts of a window to meet the lead-content requirement.