NSF 61 Overview of Goals and Standards, as extracted from the NSF.org website

This information will help explain the purpose, scope, and content of NSF/ANSI Standard 61.

NSF/ANSI Standard 61 Drinking Water System Components – Health Effects is the standard that establishes minimum health effects requirements for the chemical contaminants and impurities that may be indirectly imparted to drinking water. The standard provides the criteria used to evaluate the public health safety of materials, components, products, or systems that contact drinking water, drinking water chemicals, or both.

NSF/ANSI Standard 61 (NSF 61) covers many items, including, but are not limited to:

  • Plastic materials, plastic and metal pipe and related products (fittings, tanks, etc.)
  • Protective materials (coatings, linings, liners, cement, cement ad-mixtures, etc.)
  • Joining and sealing materials (adhesives, lubricants, elastomers, etc.)
  • Process media (carbon, sand, ion exchange resin, etc.)
  • Treatment/transmission/distribution devices (valves, pumps, filters, chlorinators, etc.)
  • End-point devices (faucets, end-point control valves, etc.)

NSF/ANSI Standard 61 does not address all aspects of product use. The standard is focused and limited to addressing potential health effects except where specific application and performance standards are referenced. Some items not addressed by this standard are performance (such as burst pressure), taste and odor, microbiological growth support, and electrical safety. Other standards may address these aspects of products.

NSF/ANSI Standard 61 is divided into nine Sections and four Annexes as noted below.

  • Section 1= Purpose, Scope, Limitations, Normative References of the standard
  • Section 2= Definitions of various terms (note there are more definitions in sections 4 through 9 and Annex A)
  • Section 3= General requirements, required information, review of formulations, minimum testing batteries, etc.
  • Section 4= Specific requirements for Pipe and related products like PVC, PE, Cu, Fe, etc. pipe, fittings, and potable water materials
  • Section 5= Specific requirements for Protective Barrier Materials/products such as sealers, coatings, paint, primer, mortar, Portland cements, cement ad-mixtures, etc.
  • Section 6= Specific requirements for Joining and Sealing Materials/products such as o-rings, gaskets, lubricants, adhesives, elastomer materials, etc.
  • Section 7= Specific requirements for Process and filtration media products such as ion exchange, activated carbon, sand, manganese, aluminum silicates, etc.
  • Section 8= Specific requirements for Mechanical Devices products such as filters, valves, pumps, chemical generators, chemical feeders, etc.
  • Section 9= Specific requirements for Mechanical Plumbing Devices such as faucets and other end point devices
  • Annex A= Toxicology Review and Evaluation Procedures (risk assessment and normalization details)
  • Annex B= Detailed product/material evaluation information (details of test waters for rinse, conditioning, exposure, etc.)
  • Annex C= Acceptable Materials, details of existing types (such as certain stainless steel materials) and how to add new ones
  • Annex D= Normative drinking water criteria (USEPA, Health Canada, NSF etc. derived short and long term exposure limits)

For further details about NSF/ANSI Standard 61 and NSF Internationals testing, auditing, and certification program for drinking water products please e-mail standard61@nsf.org or call NSF International +1 734-769-8010 (toll free in the U.S.A. 1-800-NSF-MARK).

This information is excerpted from the NSF.org website