NSF International to Add Perchorate-Removal Protocol to NSF/ANSI Standards

Source: 
NSF International, Drinking Water Treatment Unit

Perchlorate, a byproduct of solid rocket fuel, has come under heavy fire in the past few months. Currently the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is studying perchlorate but has not yet decided how adverse it may be to people's health and what levels of perchlorate are damaging. The State of California has signed a bill mandating that a final regulated level be established in the State for perchlorate by January 1, 2004. Even though there is currently no regulated level, perchlorate contamination has forced the shutdown of wells in various parts of the country due to increased detected levels

Based on this increased awareness of perchlorate and the public health concerns, NSF International has been working on a testing protocol for the removal of perchlorate to be added to at least two of the NSF/ANSI Standards.

Highlights of the initial protocol are:

* The proposed influent will be 100 ug/L +/- 10%.

* The effluent requirements are as yet not completely established, however preliminary investigation has set the effluent requirement at 5 ug/L.

* There are several factors that remain open regarding the final effluent limit.

1. There is currently no EPA level for perchlorate. The EPA has issued a preliminary public health goal of 1 part per billion for perchlorate

2. The State of California has issued a draft public health goal of between 2 and 6 ug/L (ppb) .

3. The EPA Method for analysis of perchlorate is Method 314.0, which has a reporting limit of 5 ug/L.

The two NSF/ANSI Standards that are being considered are Standard 58 - RO systems and Standard 53 - filters.

NSF expects to have the initial RO protocol testing completed with in the month, and have all results tabulated by mid April. It is hopeful that the validation protocol for RO devices will be sufficient to validate for testing of filters as well. However this will be determined once all validation work is complete on the Standard 58 protocol.

Please contact NSF if you are interested in discussing the perchlorate protocol in greater detail or have your product evaluated for the removal of perchlorate. You may contact Tom Bruursema at 734-769-5575 or bruursema@nsf.org.

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