Trust is What Certification is All About
Do a quick google search of water filters and you’ll be able to find systems making all sorts of claims, but how do you know that you can trust that these products do what they say they will?
The best rule of thumb is to confirm that they have been certified for their claims by a third-party testing source. Without much regulation in what filtration companies are allowed to claim on their own, having that additional testing and certification gives you the peace of mind that the products you’re using are actually removing the contaminants that you’re worried about.
What Does NSF/ANSI Mean?
There are no federal guidelines that currently exist for residential water filters, because of this, voluntary national standards have been developed. If you’re looking at a water filter and see an NSF/ANSI claim, it means that the product should have been tested and certified by an accredited lab for one of these specific national standards.
The most common standards for water filtration include:
- NSF/ANSI 42 – Filters with this certification have been confirmed to reduce aesthetic impurities like taste, odor, and chlorine.
- NSF/ANSI 53 – Filters with this certification are tested and confirmed to reduce contaminants with health effects. Every product with this certification should have a data sheet that will list all of the contaminants that are reduced.
- NSF/ANSI 177 – This is the only certification available for shower filters and it certifies that the system reduces free available chlorine.
- NSF/ANSI 401 – Filters with this certification have been tested and verified to reduce at least one of 15 emerging contaminants. These contaminants should also be listed on the product’s performance data sheet and include some contaminants that haven’t been regulated by the EPA yet.
- NSF P473 – Filters with this certification have been confirmed to remove PFOA/PFOS.
- NSF/ANSI 372 – Filters with this certification have been confirmed to be lead-free.
“The WQA Gold Seal Product Certification Program offers a scientific method to assure the safety and efficacy of the devices consumers are purchasing.”Water Quality Association
Who Are the Trusted Third-Party Testing Laboratories?
The three most trusted independent testing and certification authorities in the water filtration industry are WQA (the Water Quality Association), IAPMO, and NSF International. All of these laboratories test to the same strict NSF/ANSI Standards and are valued by consumers, manufacturers, and regulatory agencies worldwide.
- WQA – A not for profit organization that was established in 1974. Their Gold Seal Product Certification Program “offers a scientific method to assure the safety and efficacy of the devices consumers are purchasing.” In order to receive the WQA Gold Seal, the product must go through rigorous testing, as well as a thorough review of all literature and materials.
- IAPMO – The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials was founded in 1926 and has been working to develop and implement comprehensive plumbing and mechanical systems throughout the world. They have helped protect people around the world by putting health first in their practices.
- NSF –NSF International has helped develop “public health standards and certification programs that help protect the world’s food, water, consumer products and environment” since 1944. They are one of the most recognized authorities in the water business.
Not all water filters are created equally. When looking for a water filtration system to protect you and your family, you will always want to look for the certifications that matter to you. It’s important do your research and choose products that are backed up by science.
Rigorous third-party testing by a trusted laboratory is the only way to ensure that the product you are choosing is effective. In an industry riddled with invalidated and exaggerated performance claims, trust is what independent NSF/ANSI certification is all about.