You and I won't freak if there's a tiny fraction of lead in the
brass or solder, because we realize that the numbers are so small it
really doesn't make a lot of difference - there isn't enough exposed
area at the joints or in the valve bodies to let much of it leach into
the water. We're talking 1 or 2 parts per billion in the first few
ounces of water that was standing overnight, then it runs clean after
that - flowing water doesn't have time to leach any lead.
But that same 2 PPB is enough to totally freak out the Do-Gooders.
They are trying to get all older Los Angeles Unified Schools campii
declared practically Superfund Sites because of old brass drinking
fountains - the kooks are pushing to rip out every inch of pipe all
the way from the street and replace it with 100% Certified Lead Free
parts - at a huge price. The janitors are supposed to run water and
rinse out the fountain valves every morning to solve the problem.
If they don't flush them and a tester comes by to take a water
sample that day, that 2 PPB in the first ounce sets off every kook
into total rabid "They're Trying To KILL OUR KIDS!!" mode.
Why is Common Sense so uncommon?
--<< Bruce >>--
Others have mentioned silver solder or similar, if your electric griddle is
like mine, perhaps rather than wire you could just bend a piece of stainless
And then you could use the empty tuna can if you intend to discard the
grease or a glass custard cup if you wished to preserve the drippings.
This way there is no toxic issues for her and she also might appreciate the
ease of cleaning.
If you are not part of the solution, you are not dissolved in the solvent.
Most silversolders melt at considerably below the melting point of
brass, and most of those readily available are now Cd free. I'll bet
you'd have a hard time finding Cd-bearing silver solder in Kalifornia.
I'd send you some nice Cd-free food-safe 56% silver alloy but you
pissed me off recently though I only vaguely recall how or why. Oh
yeah, it was the tweak about ohmygawd buying guns rather than tobacco.
Macht nicht, you can afford to buy what you need.
There are at least four solder options: lead-free solder (95 tin, 5
which is OK for water pipes but not for acids; silver-bearing soft
(95 tin, trace silver, 4 Cu) which is probably OK for you; silver-
high strength soft solder (95 tin, 3.x silver, trace Cu); and hard
(so-called "silver solder" usually a silver-copper alloy, without tin,
and VERY high temperature required).
The first two are sold for plumbing. The third is common for Pb-free
I think that third option is also approved formally for food contact,
you'd have to get the MSDS from a manufacturer to be sure.
The fourth, you can get in small quantities from jewelry craft houses,
larger quantities (over a pound) a welding shop will help you out.
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