New edition of standard evaluates the risk and toxicity of pool chemicals and also requires testing for trace contaminants

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Global public health organization NSF International has published the first American National Standard to address the health effects of pool and spa treatment chemicals. The new edition of NSF/ANSI 50: Equipment for Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs and Other Recreational Water Facilities, evaluates the risk and toxicity of pool chemicals and also requires testing for trace contaminants in chemicals which are used in the treatment and circulation systems of swimming pools, spas and waterparks.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Pesticides evaluates and registers pool and spa disinfectants, algaecides and other biocides, but does not include other categories of chemicals such as sequestering chemicals, water chemistry balancing agents and filtration aids. Until now, no formal certification program has been in place to address the health effects of these products.

The new edition of the NSF/ANSI 50 standard sets criteria for the evaluation and risk assessment of pool and spa treatment chemicals including the effects of dermal contact, inhalation and ingestion exposures.

“In the absence of a public pool chemical standard, Florida has required these products to meet NSF/ANSI 60: Drinking Water Treatment Chemicals – Health Effects,” said Bob Vincent, Environmental Administrator for the Florida Department of Public Health. “Now the new edition of NSF/ANSI 50 fills that void with a more appropriate standard for these public pool and spa treatment chemicals.”

NSF/ANSI 50 specifies the testing requirements for virtually every product used at a recreational water facility. NSF International developed NSF/ANSI 50 through a consensus process with balanced input from the regulatory, industry, academic and consumer communities. The NSF/ANSI 50 standard continues to evolve to incorporate the latest product and material test methods and regulations, and is required by most U.S. states.

“NSF International’s 70-year history of protecting public health is reflected in this updated edition of NSF/ANSI 50,” said Clif McLellan, Vice President of Water Systems at NSF International. “Public health officials already rely upon the NSF/ANSI 50 mark on pool filters, chemical feeding systems and other pool and spa equipment to provide assurance that they meet minimum quality standards. Now inspectors can look for the NSF mark on swimming pool treatment chemicals and rest assured that they have been reviewed for toxicity and tested for contaminants.”

For more than 50 years, NSF International has applied its technical and scientific expertise to improve the safety, quality and performance of pools and spas by developing innovative standards for recreational water equipment and components.
For more information on NSF International’s recreational water programs, contact Rich Martin at martin@nsf.org.

Editor’s Note: Media interested in more information can contact Liz Nowland-Margolis at media@nsf.org or +01-734-418-6624.

About NSF International: NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the water, food, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. Operating in more than 155 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.

NSF tests and certifies pool and spa components (e.g. pumps, drain covers, filters, etc.) and has developed an American National Standard that specifies pool equipment requirements.