German discounter Aldi is investigating “with utmost urgency,” reports that a $79.99 kitchen tap it sold last month emitted water containing up to 15 times the maximum allowable level of lead.
The Easy Home spiral spring mixer tap had been sold in Aldi stores around Australia as part of a “Special Buy” offering on June 10.
The Easy Home spiral spring mixer tap. Photo: Aldi
However independent testing commissioned by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission found water from the tap could contain up to 15 times the maximum allowable level of lead, as reported by Newscorp on Monday.
The findings have prompted warnings to potentially thousands of Australian households to stop using them.
Water from the tap could contain up to 15 times the maximum allowable level of lead. Photo: Ross Duncan
In a statement an Aldi Australia spokesperson said it had conducted its own independent testing on the tap and confirmed it complied with Australian standards prior to placing it in stores for sale.
According to media reports the tap previously scored well below permitted levels.
“Aldi is liaising with the responsible authorities and our supplier to investigate the matter with utmost urgency. If at any stage test results confirm that chemical parameters do not meet regulatory requirements, Aldi will take appropriate action,” Aldi’s spokesperson said.
The QBCC alerted the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission at the weekend, prompting it to issue a warning.
“Consumers who have purchased the particular taps but have not had them installed can seek a refund from Aldi,” the ACCC said in a statement on Monday.
The watchdog said it had approached Aldi, and if there was any risk to consumers, a voluntary recall would be expected.
Aldi’s spokesperson confirmed the product was certified by the national WaterMark Certification Scheme, a mandatory scheme for plumbing and drainage materials managed by the Australian Building Codes Board.
She said the spiral tap was also found to be compliant to the WELS scheme, the Australian water efficiency labelling scheme.
“Aldi will always remove any product from sale if it is identified as a risk to our customers. If any customer is unsatisfied with a product purchased at ALDI, they are welcome to return it to the store for a full refund.”