Regulatory measures taken during the last two decades have greatly reduced human exposure to lead in drinking water.
In 1974, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act. This law requires the EPA to determine the level of contaminants in drinking water at which no adverse health effects are likely to occur with an adequate margin of safety.
In 1991, the EPA published a regulation to control lead and copper in drinking water. This regulation is known as the Lead and Copper Rule. The EPA revised the regulation in 2000 and 2007.
Limits on the amount of lead that can be used in plumbing products have also been set. These requirements were first enacted federally in 1986 and then reduced to even lower levels by California in 2006.