We are becoming increasingly aware that our drinking water is not as clean as we would like. Even chlorine in the water, used for eliminating harmful bacteria, is doing more damage to our health than good. There is a range of products on the market that we can use to ensure that we and our family are drinking pure and safe water. But, the range is so huge that it is almost impossible to make a decision on their usefulness and quality without some serious research. Fortunately, there is a help available. NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) is a trusted certification body that ensures that the products available for the purification of water are as good as their manufacturers claim them to be.
What is NSF?
NSF International is an independent non-for-profit consumer protection organization established in 1944 in order to standardize food safety and sanitation. NSF is responsible for almost 80 safety and public health standards and food safety requirements in the US. Its mandate today is much larger and international in scope. More than 1200 NSF scientists work now in 150 countries. NSF International tests and certifies consumer products to check and verify that they meet safety and public health standards. If a product meets rigorous NSF standards, the manufacturer is allowed to place the NSF Mark on it.
NSF is the leading international body that examines and certifies water treatment products and systems available on the market now. Products examined and certified by the NSF are:
• Distillation systems
• Water filters (activated carbon, charcoal, ceramic etc.)
• Reverse osmosis systems
• Ultraviolet disinfection products
• Water softeners NSF certification standards applicable for Water filters are NSF/ANSI 42 & 53.
The certification process
NSF examines and reviews a water purification product or a system and determines if the product complies with the accepted standards, consensus or protocols. If it is, the product is listed or certified, and is allowed to carry the NSF seal. NSF seal or mark is a guarantee of the quality and acceptable performance for the consumers. NSF-certified products are not certified only once, but require annual re-certification requirements.
NSF is certifying a huge number of products, such as bottled water, home appliances, faucets, pools, spas and many others. If it can affect your health, it should be certified. Look for the NSF mark if you are shopping for any water and food related product.
NSF does not compare products. The certification only ensures that each listed and certified product meets high national safety standards. It is still up to you to do your research to find the most suitable water purification product or system that fulfills your needs. Start by accessing your needs and your budget. Look for water purification products that are certified by NSF, but look also for holiday sales, overstock sales and seasonal discounts.