Perchlorate, which is both naturally occurring and a manmade chemical found in rocket fuel, has been in the news recently. It is suspected of disrupting how the thyroid functions, resulting in a decrease in the production of thyroid hormones needed for prenatal and postnatal growth and development, as well as for normal body metabolism. In addition, perchlorate has been linked to thyroid tumor formulation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is studying perchlorate in drinking water, but the agency has not yet determined how adverse it may be to people's health and what levels of perchlorate are damaging.
In response to growing health concerns and increased detection of perchlorate in drinking water, the NSF Joint Committee on Drinking Water Treatment Units has gone ahead and recently developed the first protocol to evaluate drinking water treatment devices for perchlorate reduction performance. The protocol has been added to NSF/ANSI Standard 58: Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Treatment Systems, a national standard that covers reverse osmosis systems designed to reduce specific health related contaminants that may be present in drinking water. The protocol requires a reverse osmosis unit to be able to reduce 130 ppb perchlorates to 4 ppb or less in the treated water supply. NSF International and the joint committee are also working on the possibility of adding a testing protocol for perchlorate reduction to NSF/ANSI Standard 53 for other drinking water treatment devices.
Home water treatment devices that are currently certified for perchlorate reduction as well as for reduction of other contaminants can be found in our drinking water treatment units online product database.
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