Flushable Product Testing and Certification

  • Overview
  • Benefits of Certification
  • Why Work With NSF?
  • Certification Process

The NSF Flushable Consumer Products Program provides the industry with third-party validation of product claims and consumers with information for product selection and proper disposal.

The program utilizes the definitive Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA) and European Disposables and Nonwovens Association (EDANA) flushability guidelines as a basis for testing. The INDA/EDANA flushability guidelines determine which tests should be conducted. To claim that your product is flushable, it must undergo a toilet and drainline clearance test, a slosh box disintegration test, a household pump test, a settling test, aerobic and anaerobic biodisintegration tests and a municipal sewage pump test.

Products eligible for flushability testing:

  • Facial tissues
  • Wipes - hand, baby, cosmetic, etc.
  • Disposable medical devices
  • Kitty litter
  • Pet refuse bags
  • Disposable diapers/diaper liners
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • And many more

To learn more about testing for your specific product, call +1 734.476.2543 or contact flushability@nsf.org.

Benefits of Certification

NSF certification provides your company independent, third-party validation of your product claims and provides consumers with information for proper product selection and disposal.

Product innovation in disposable consumer goods has led to a surge in product flushability claims that items are suitable for disposal into wastewater treatment systems. If you manufacture products for these markets, you already know the value of proper testing and verified claims.

Three reasons to earn NSF flushable certification:

  • Improve acceptance by public health/wastewater authorities
  • Improve retailer confidence in your products
  • Make products more appealing to the expanding of “green” consumer base

Why Work With NSF?

With nearly 70 years of experience testing products to protect public health and the environment, NSF International is an independent global organization and leading resource for testing and certification to validate flushability claims.

Using the INDA/EDANA guidelines for flushability, we offer a comprehensive product evaluation program, ranging from confidential research testing of newly formulated products to full certification services that allow use of the NSF mark on the product labeling and packaging.

Certification Process

Certifying consumer products in the NSF Flushable Consumer Products Program involves seven basic steps:

  1. Application — Your company completes a quick online form.
  2. Project Manager Assignment — We assign a dedicated certification project manager who will serve as a single point of contact from product testing to facility inspection to final product approval listing.
  3. Product Information and Sample Submittal — Your company supplies basic product information to your certification project manager who then requests submittal of samples.
  4. Laboratory Testing — Utilizing the INDA/EDANA guidelines, we conduct laboratory testing at our full-scale flushability testing facility based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  5. Manufacturing Facility Inspection — As part of initial certification and annual monitoring, an NSF auditor conducts a facility inspection where your products are being manufactured.
  6. NSF Certification — After tests and inspections are complete, your product receives NSF certification. We add your product and company to our online listing of certified products. Upon achieving certification, you may use the NSF "certified flushable" mark on your product, packaging and marketing materials.
  7. Maintenance Program — We perform annual audits and periodic product re-testing as a requirement to maintain an active listing.

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  • Open How long does it take to get products certified?

    NSF has one of the most extensive flushability laboratories in the world, operated by expert lab technicians. We also employ an international network of highly trained auditors. These combined resources enable us to complete most laboratory testing for flushability in about eight weeks, followed immediately by the manufacturing facility inspection. To save time, we can conduct the facility inspection at the same time as testing. We finalize certification quickly after successful completion of the testing and facility inspection.

  • Open What tests will be conducted to show that my product is flushable?

    The INDA/EDANA flushability guidelines determine which tests to conduct for your specific type of product. In order to claim that your product is flushable, a product must generally undergo a toilet bowl and drainline test, a dispersability test, a column settling test and aerobic and anaerobic disintegration tests. These tests encompass the various U.S. and European-size pathways that a product may follow in the wastewater system.

  • Open How much does certification cost?

    NSF International is an independent organization that charges for its testing, auditing and listing services. After receiving an application for certification and the necessary product and testing information, we prepare an accurate estimate for the complete cost of initial certification. These estimates vary based on the number of products submitted, the specific tests required and the location of the production facility. Be sure you review all of those factors carefully when discussing the cost estimate with your NSF project manager.

  • Open What is involved in the NSF facility inspection?

    An NSF auditor will first contact you to schedule your initial facility inspection. During the inspection, the auditor reviews product information and packaging, conducts a walk-through of the production facility to inspect the manufacturing process and may request to review documents such as purchasing records. The entire process can usually be completed in two to four hours.

  • Open How will people know my products have been "certified flushable" by NSF?

    Once your certification is complete, you may begin using NSF’s “certified flushable” mark on your packaging, point-of-purchase and sales materials and advertising. In addition, details of your listing are added to NSF’s listings website.

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