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.

Importance of Changing Water Filters

Water filtration systems come in many shapes and sizes. But no matter where the filtration device installs, there is a good chance that it uses a filter media that will need to be replaced periodically.

Learn not only why it’s important to change your water filter, but why you need to choose the right replacement.

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Most Popular Q&A

  • Open What does NSF certification of bottled water cover?

    NSF certification involves annual, unannounced inspections of a company’s bottling facility covering every aspect of the bottling process from source to packaging. Production facilities are audited for good manufacturing practices as well as risk management systems to help ensure that the final product is safe. As part of the certification process, we extensively test product samples for over 160 impurities to confirm they meet applicable federal and/or state standards. NSF certification also helps ensure that products are labeled with the proper standard of identity for the type of water indicated on the label and that any added ingredients are properly disclosed.

    Look for the NSF mark on the product label or check the NSF online listings to see if your favorite bottled water brand is NSF certified.

  • Open Do NSF certified clothes washers have to heat water to a certain temperature to sanitize clothing?

    The NSF certified sanitary cycle designation does not specify a minimum temperature that a clothes washer must achieve. Rather, machines are performance tested using three different organisms (S. aureus, K. pneumoniae, and P. aeruginosa) which are added to test swatches and then washed with a typical load of laundry. To achieve certification, the clothes washer must demonstrate a 3-log or 99.9 percent reduction of the test organisms during the wash cycle with no significant carryover of these organisms to subsequent loads.

  • Open Will products that are FDA approved also meet NSF/ANSI 61 requirements?

    Although the FDA doesn’t approve products, it does set standards for materials that come into contact with foods and beverages. When a company claims that its materials are FDA approved, it is most likely trying to indicate that its product is produced from materials that comply with FDA regulations for a specific end use, such as for contact with a beverage like juice or milk. This is not the same as NSF/ANSI 61 certification, which is based on EPA drinking water regulations. Under NSF/ANSI 61, products and materials undergo extraction testing to determine if any impurities are being introduced that could cause drinking water to become unsafe for consumption. The maximum allowed concentrations of impurities are based on U.S. EPA and/or Health Canada limits, whichever is stricter.

  • Open Why should I purchase NSF certified supplements?

    Many reports have been published showing that not all supplement products contain the ingredients or quantities shown on the label. In some cases, unlisted ingredients could pose a health risk, especially to those with allergies. To better protect yourself as a consumer, consider purchasing supplements that are NSF certified to contain the ingredients and quantities shown on the product label. Visit the NSF website for the full list of NSF certified supplements.

  • Open How can I determine how much of each contaminant a water filter reduces?

    Performance testing of home water treatment systems is done on a pass/fail basis. To earn certification for reduction of a specific contaminant, a product must be able to reduce that contaminant by the minimum amount shown in the applicable American National Standard. For example, to be certified for lead reduction under NSF/ANSI 53, a product must be able to reduce 150 ppb of lead to less than 10 ppb in the filtered water.

    For exact percentage reductions achieved by an individual system, please check directly with the manufacturer.

  • Open What is the best way to defrost frozen foods?

    Never try to thaw frozen foods at room temperature, as this could allow dangerous bacteria to grow on the food surfaces as they warm. Instead, use one of the following methods to safety thaw food:

    In the refrigerator - If using a refrigerator, place the food in a container on the lowest shelf so that raw juices cannot drip on to other foods.

    In cold water -  If using cold water to thaw food such as a turkey, place the wrapped turkey in a large pan with cool water, replacing the water every 30 minutes until the food is thawed.

    In the microwave -  Many uncooked frozen foods can also be thawed in the microwave. However, only use the microwave method if you plan to immediately cook the food.

  • Open Where can I get a certificate confirming a product is NSF certified?

    NSF International doesn’t issue certificates or other documents as proof of NSF certification for most individual products. Rather, proof of NSF certification is provided by listing the product on our website. Because certification is an ongoing process that must be renewed annually, our online listings change daily.

  • Open What does the term organic mean?

    Organic refers to how a product is produced, i.e. without using conventional pesticides, irradiation or fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or bioengineering. For example, organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products can only be produced from animals that are not given antibiotics or growth hormones and are fed 100 percent organic feed. Organic doesn’t necessarily mean that a product is free of something, but rather that it has been produced without using prohibited methods.

  • Open Is copper ionization an effective method to disinfect pool water?

    Several companies have earned NSF certification for their disinfection systems, including copper or copper/silver ionization systems, ozone generators and ultraviolet disinfection systems. Search for NSF certified pool disinfection systems in the NSF online listings.

    Under NSF/ANSI 50, copper and copper/silver ionization systems are intended for supplemental disinfection of pool/spa water and need to be used in conjunction with small amounts of chlorine or bromine as indicated in the official listing for each product.

  • Open How do I choose a composting toilet for a small on-farm office?

    The three types of composting toilet systems covered by NSF/ANSI 41 include:

    Day use park - Day-use park systems are intended for use in day parks, roadside stops and other similar settings where the percentage of urine events is estimated to be six times greater than the number of fecal events. Performance testing is conducted based on the number of total uses per day, not on the number of individual users.

    Residential use - These systems are generally intended for use in a home setting. Performance testing is conducted based on the assumption that the toilet will be used for an average of four urine events and 1.2 fecal events per day per household member.

    Cottage - These systems are intended for intermittent use in a cabin or cottage setting. Performance testing is based on the same event criteria per household member as for residential use units, but with the assumption that the unit will be used on average two consecutive days per week rather than seven.

    Search for companies that produce NSF certified composting toilets in the NSF online listings (by selecting Non-Liquid Saturated Treatment Systems (NSF/ANSI Standard 41) from the Product Standard dropdown menu.

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