Standards Change Affects RO Claims

Editor's Note: Carbon filter makers normally do not make claims of fluoride reduction, but in reality carbon filtration can be, under the right circumstances, a significant reducer of fluoride. This fact is apparent from this discussion of NSF certification standards for home reverse osmosis units. — Gene Franks, Pure Water Products.

(Reprinted from Water Technology Magazine, 7/1/1999)

ANN ARBOR, MI — Changes in the American National Standards Institute/NSF International Standard 58 expected to take effect in August will require recertification for many reverse osmosis (RO) units.

To date, the standard has required removal of all postfilters during inorganic contaminant testing, but ignored prefilters. After testing showed that carbon prefilters removed a significant amount of mercury and fluoride, an NSF joint committee voted to update the standard by excluding prefilters, a decision that is now being balloted.

By 60 days after approval of the standard change, RO manufacturers must drop mercury and fluoride removal claims on the affected units, validate those claims with carbon prefilters under Standard 53, or retest the units without prefilters.

The organization has set up two test dates, July 16 and August 13, for RO mercury and fluoride retesting. Companies that take advantage of these dates will be charged $1,995, rather than the normal fee of $3,100 or more. Test dates will be filled on a first come, first-served basis, and samples must reach the NSF laboratory in Sacramento no later than the day before the test date.

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