Consumer Resources

As an independent global health and safety organization, NSF International tests and certifies products and writes standards for the food, water and consumer goods industries. Founded in 1944 as the National Sanitation Foundation, we changed our name to NSF International in 1990 as we expanded our services worldwide. The letters NSF do not represent any specific words today.

NSF Certified Supplements

In the last decade, the dietary and nutritional supplements industry has grown tremendously. The fact that these products do not receive the same regulation as prescription or over-the-counter drugs raises questions in the minds of many consumers. This is why NSF developed the nation's first independent testing standard and product certification program strictly for dietary supplements. The program protects consumers by testing for harmful levels of contaminants and certifying that supplements contain the ingredients listed on the label and nothing else.

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  • Open How do I know my bottled water is safe?

    NSF certified bottled water products undergo extensive testing for more than 160 contaminants, while the bottling facilities themselves must meet rigorous standards for good manufacturing practices. Look for the NSF mark on the label or check the NSF online listings to confirm that your favorite brand carries NSF certification.

    Special tip for travelers: When visiting foreign countries, make sure your bottled water still has an intact factory seal. Do not accept any product where the seal has been broken, as the quality of the contents cannot be guaranteed.

  • Open What is NSF’s Home Products Certification Program?

    After an independent research study revealed that more than half of American consumers are concerned about the safety and quality of cookware and other products used in their homes, NSF created the NSF Home Products Certification (HPC) Program. Developed in 2012, this program is based on, but separate from, NSF’s Commercial Food Equipment Program, which has been ensuring safe design and cleaning of appliances and tools used in commercial kitchens since the 1950s.

    Designed to help give consumers peace of mind as to the quality, durability and cleanability of many home products, the NSF HPC program covers food storage containers, cookware and bakeware as well as small appliances like coffee makers, slow cookers and blenders. The program also includes kitchen gadgets and utensils, flatware and cutlery, personal beverage containers, corded home textiles (heated blankets, pads and mattress pads), fans, space heaters and many other products.

    Visit the Home Product and Appliances section of the website to learn more about this program as well as to access a current list of NSF certified products for the home.

  • Open Are any household bleach products NSF certified for treating drinking water?

    Currently, there isn’t an easy way to distinguish which household-type bleach products are certified under NSF/ANSI 60. All NSF certified bleach products are grouped together under the chemical name Sodium Hypochlorite.

    To find possible household bleach products, scan the list for those that are 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite. You can then contact the company or check its website to see if its bleach products are sold at the retail level.

  • Open Who ensures the safety of dietary supplements?

    Supplement manufacturers are responsible by law to ensure their products are safe before being marketed. In addition, manufacturers are responsible for determining the accuracy and truth of label claims. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can take action against any unsafe dietary supplement product that reaches the market as well as in cases where false or misleading claims are being made.

  • Open How can I reduce arsenic in my drinking water?

    Access our database of NSF certified water treatment systems and select one of the Arsenic Reduction claims that appear in the third, fifth or sixth group of contaminants. Although no whole-house systems are currently NSF certified for treatment of arsenic, those systems that are certified for this purpose can be installed at the main drinking water source in a home, usually the kitchen sink.

    Many home water treatment systems are certified only for reduction of arsenic-5 (pentavalent arsenic). If you are unsure which type of arsenic is present in your water and choose a product certified to reduce arsenic-5 only, you may want to test a sample of the water produced by the system to ensure successful arsenic reduction. If you’re arsenic-5 certified system does not significantly reduce your arsenic level, it could mean you have arsenic-3 in your well water. Arsenic-3 can be converted to arsenic-5 through the installation of a chlorinator.

  • Open Is it okay to put hot foods directly into the refrigerator?

    Although a properly operating refrigerator should be able to handle the placement of hot foods inside, you can help promote cooling by separating large quantities of leftovers into small containers, leaving lids slightly ajar until the food has fully cooled.

  • Open How does certification differ from product testing?

    NSF certification helps verify that a product meets voluntary national standards for protection of public health. Depending on the product, this can range from testing for material safety (e.g. plumbing-related products) to content (e.g. dietary supplements) to performance (e.g. home water treatment systems). Unlike product testing, certification is not a one-time event. Rather, it is an ongoing process that involves audits of a company’s production facility along with regular testing of product samples to confirm their continued compliance with the most current version of the applicable American National Standard.

  • Open Can personal care products make organic label and marketing claims?

    If personal care products are produced from 100 percent organic ingredients and require only limited processing, they may be eligible for certification under USDA National Organic Program (NOP) standards.

    Personal care products that are not 100 percent organic but that contain at least 70 percent organic content might be eligible for review under NSF/ANSI 305: Organic Personal Care Products Containing Organic Ingredients. Although NSF/ANSI 305 contains many of the same requirements as the NOP for ingredients and materials, it allows for some limited chemical processing necessary to create personal care products not typically allowed under the NOP. For example, soaps containing organic ingredients are permitted to undergo chemical processing known as saponification, without which these products would not lather.

  • Open Where can I get a list of pool equipment that is currently NSF certified?

    A list of NSF certified pool equipment is available on the NSF website . Visitors can search for products by manufacturer name, trade name or product type.

  • Open What is NSF/ANSI 41?

    NSF/ANSI 41: Non-Liquid Saturated Treatment Systems is an American National Standard created to help ensure that composting toilets meet minimum design, construction and performance standards. Certification to this standard helps confirm that a system can handle the manufacturer’s stated capacity as well as produce compost that meets strict requirements for bacterial content.

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