NSF Standards Add PFOA and PFOS Reduction Claims Requirements

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. 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 policies, which require consensus from a balanced group of stakeholders from industry, regulatory and user groups, and consideration of public comments.

To find products certified for reduction of PFOA and PFOS by NSF International, visit NSF’s certification listings or contact the NSF International consumer information team at info@nsf.org or (800) 673-8010.

The standard required by NSF International is in line with EPA’s health advisory level and represents another step by non-governmental actors to work to address the problem of PFAS contamination while awaiting action from the federal government to create a regulatory standard.