Pollet Cookware, Lead Reduction Bill, Signed into Law, Prioritizing Public Safety

OLYMPIA – Lead contamination poses a significant threat to public health, particularly affecting vulnerable populations such as children and immigrant communities. Recognizing this urgent concern, Governor Inslee signed House Bill 1551 into law last week, protecting families by putting stringent limits on lead in cookware.

Sponsored by Rep. Gerry Pollet, D-Seattle, House Bill 1551 aims to mitigate the risks associated with lead-contaminated cookware. Studies have shown that exposure to lead can result in serious social-emotional, developmental, and cognitive harm in children while also impacting the health of adults.

The legislation was prompted by alarming findings from the Seattle/King County Public Health and Hazardous Waste Program, revealing that over 40% of certain groups of immigrant children, particularly those from the Afghan community, had elevated levels of lead in their bodies, traced back to cookware with excessively high lead content.

“There are no safe levels of lead contamination. We need to reduce our families’ exposure,” said Rep. Pollet. “We should be able to enjoy family meals without the worry that our cookware is poisoning us. The effects of lead poisoning are profound and often irreversible. I have long fought to reduce lead contamination, and signing this important legislation into law is a significant milestone in our ongoing effort to safeguard public health.”

House Bill 1551 sets stringent limits on lead content in cookware, prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, and sale of products containing lead levels exceeding five parts per million (ppm). This legislation empowers the Department of Ecology to evaluate the necessity and feasibility of allowing products with lead levels below five ppm to ensure consumer health protection. It establishes a fine structure to hold manufacturers accountable for compliance.

“The bipartisan support for House Bill 1551 underscores the commitment of Washington State lawmakers to prioritize public health and safety. By enacting this legislation, Washington takes a proactive stance in reducing lead exposure and safeguarding the well-being of its residents.”, said Pollet

Gov. Inslee signs House Bill No. 1551 – March 28, 2024. Relating to reducing lead in cookware. Primary Sponsor: Rep. Pollet