ALDI taps found to have dangerous levels of lead
A kitchen tap sold by ALDI to an estimated 12,000 customers has been found to contain dangerous levels of lead, according to new tests.
The tests conducted on the Easy Home spiral mixer kitchen tap have shown it produces as much as 21 times the maximum allowable amount of the poisonous metal.
The new test was done for the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). The findings have forced ALDI to release earlier test results that found the tap to be safe.
The QBCC first raised concerns about the tap on 10 July. The tap had initially passed tests that showed it complied with the applicable Australian Standards before being sold. ALDI later commissioned further testing and has criticised the QBCC’s investigation as unsatisfactory.
“Our initial test results show that there is a cause for concern, and that the tapware may cause lead contamination of drinking water,” QBCC Commissioner Brett Bassett says.
“The tapware in question is the ‘Spiral Spring Mixer Tap’ (EASY HOME brand, model number NI183ESCRT-AUD), and it’s believed that more than 3,000 units have been sold in Queensland.”
Note: this product was sold nationally and not just in Queensland.
“If you have purchased this product and had it installed, Queensland Health advises against ingesting the water out of this tap,” Brett says.
“If you’ve purchased the tapware, and have not yet had it installed, the QBCC recommends not doing so until further details can be confirmed.”
Experts are warning consumers against using water from the questionable taps for drinking or cooking, especially the first few litres of hot water it produces if the tap had not been used in a while.
Tom Daunt is the chief executive of ALDI Australia.
“At ALDI, we are committed to providing our customers with safe products of the highest quality. For this reason, I was alarmed by the claims suggesting that the Spiral Spring Mixer Tap, sold as a Special Buy on 10 June this year, may contaminate drinking water,” he says.
“I can assure you that as soon as this matter was brought to ALDI’s attention, we initiated a priority investigation. Our teams have worked tirelessly with authorities and independent testing laboratories to confirm that the tests conducted prior to sale were accurate, and the product is safe.
“We are disappointed that so many ALDI customers were provided information that generated such unnecessary concern and inconvenience. The Queensland Building and Construction Commission’s prematurely published statements were based on tests that were not conducted in accordance with the Australian Standard.”
ALDI and the QBCC have since agreed to partner on a ‘definitive round of testing’ to which the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will be keeping ‘a close watch’.
ALDI sold the tap to an estimated 12,000 households nationally between June 2016 and June 2017.