Magazine

Lead in my Coffee? No Thank-You!

Sep 20, 2021


Dalla Corte can proudly claim that we were the first commercial espresso machine manufacturers in the world to use new, certified lead-free materials in our machines, and we want you to understand why. 


As individuals, there are many factors that influence health that are, quite frankly, out of our control. While we can incorporate water filters, air filters, supplements, and regular exercise into our daily routines... the quality of the air outside, genetic variables, and certain stressful situations (like the current COVID-19 pandemic) are factors that we simply have no immediate sway over. 


In this time of increased education and understanding about our bodies, it's no wonder that more and more people are adopting a purposeful approach to their individual health, taking the initiative to make changes that are within their control for the sake of their well-being. 


Radium, Arsenic, and Asbestos were all once chemicals that were considered reasonably safe, and in the Edwardian era, people interacted with them daily. Lead too, was widely used in most paint at that time. Decorating walls and toys, Lead paint in the 19th century caused numerous health problems and even death, particularly among children. 


Recently, there has been a push to replace old plumbing containing lead in Australia, due to higher than acceptable levels detected in our drinking water. Addressing this issue, the Australian Building Codes Board held a forum to discuss lead in drinking water and subsequently published an impact statement proposing that Australia's current allowance of 6% lead in plumbing fixtures be reduced to a maximum of 0.25%. 
That’s a HUGE difference.
 
With so much public awareness on the issue of lead contamination and the consequences of it on our health, it may surprise you to know that the boilers of most espresso machines contain lead.  


Why, in 2021, would ANY coffee machine manufacturer use a boiler containing lead, you may ask? 


Well surprisingly, until now, nobody bothered to change the way things are done. 


Change requires drive and initiative, and it usually doesn't happen overnight. At Dalla Corte, we have made a conscious choice to use entirely lead-free brass materials in all of our machines because we hope with one small change we can set a precedent for the safety of the materials used in the future of coffee machines... from all manufacturers. 
According to the Environmental Health Standing Committee's EnHealth statement, "Unlike many other metals, lead is not beneficial or necessary for humans, and can be harmful to health." 


The EnHealth statement goes on to say, "Lead can dissolve into drinking water from some brass plumbing fittings, particularly where water has been sitting in contact with these brass plumbing products for long periods. Due to the heating process, hot water systems may result in more dissolved metals in water, including lead, compared with cold water systems."


Boilers in Espresso machines reach temperatures of up to 125° Celcius. If high temperatures result in a higher concentration of dissolved metals, lead simply has NO PLACE in an espresso machine boiler.


So we asked ourselves, why NOT use something safer and healthier for our consumers in the long term? 


Aside from the cost, which is significantly higher because lead is usually used as a filler in brass to lower the cost of manufacturing, there was no valid reason. Our customers are important to us, they are the reason we can stay in business, keep evolving, and keep creating innovations in our industry. We care about our customers, so we chose to use materials that won't leach heavy metals like nickel, chromium, or lead into the water of our espresso machines. We hope other manufacturers make the switch to safer materials because our goal is that it stops being normal to accept even "safe" levels of a toxic substance in coffee. 


We care about coffee, but more than that, we care about people. 






*Source: https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/A12B57E41EC9F326CA257BF0001F9E7D/$File/Lead-plumbing-products-Guidance-Statement-July2018.pdf


https://www.abcb.gov.au/sites/default/files/resources/2021/Lead%20in%20Plumbing%20Products%20Final%20RIS%20-%20May%2017%202021.pdf


Lead in my Coffee? No Thank-You!