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NSF/ANSI 53 and NSF/ANSI 58 now include criteria for independent testing and certification of devices that claim to reduce two common PFAS chemicals.

USA: The NSF International joint committee of stakeholders that maintains the American National Standards for drinking water treatment and reverse osmosis (RO) devices recently updated two standards to include test methods and other requirements for the reduction of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). PFOA and PFOS are among the most common groundwater contaminants of the perfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) family of chemicals.

To comply with the standards, a device must reduce PFOA and PFOS concentrations in water to below the 70 parts per trillion (ppt) health advisory level set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Devices must also comply with material and physical requirements of NSF/ANSI 53: Drinking Water Treatment Units – Health Effects or NSF/ANSI 58: Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Treatment Systems.

Previously, the PFOA and PFOS performance requirements were outlined in a protocol named NSF P473: Drinking Water Treatment Units – PFOS & PFOA. To date, 76 different products made by 10 manufacturers have been certified by NSF International to reduce PFOA and PFOS under the NSF protocol.

“Given the number of communities impacted by PFAS contamination of their drinking water sources, this update is very timely,” said Jessica Evans, Director of Standards Development at NSF International. “In addition to PFOA and PFOS, the joint committee overseeing NSF/ANSI 53 and NSF/ANSI 58 may soon consider requirements for the reduction of other PFAS chemicals.”

Development and continuous maintenance of NSF/ANSI 53 and NSF/ANSI 58 are facilitated by NSF International according to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) policies, which require consensus from a balanced group of stakeholders from industry, regulatory and user groups, and consideration of public comments.

In addition to facilitating the development of consensus standards, NSF International operates a separate ANSI-accredited certification program.

Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment. In 2019, NSF International is celebrating 75 years of protecting and improving human health. The global public health organization facilitates standards development, and tests and certifies products for the food, water, health sciences and consumer goods sectors to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment.

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