Joint process to reduce costs while strengthening drinking water standards
To reduce costs, increase industry credibility, and promote transparency of human health risk assessment action levels, CSA Group, NSF International, IAPMO, UL, and the Water Quality Association will now use harmonized procedures to develop action levels that are employed when certifying products for potable water use.
Testing is conducted on an array of products that contact drinking water, such as pipes and treatment chemicals, treatment devices, pipes, and faucets, in order to evaluate whether chemicals of concern may be inadvertently added to the drinking water supply. Establishing action levels is necessary for chemicals for which health standards have not been established by the U.S. EPA, Health Canada or other authoritative bodies. Previously, different evaluation procedures had been employed by the certification organizations to evaluate the human health risk associated with chemicals that extracted from products. Action levels derived by the certification organizations have varied, thereby creating inconsistencies in the product certification process.
The harmonized process will be used by all five certification organizations immediately. The certifying organizations will work together to consolidate more than 650 previously established action levels and to harmonize the external peer review process for all future risk assessments through the assistance of the NSF Health Advisory Board (HAB), a group of renowned experts from the regulatory community, academia and industry. The mission and charge of the NSF HAB is:
- To provide consensus peer review of documents supporting derivation of drinking water action levels
- To review and accept defined methods for performing scientifically-sound human health risk assessments for inclusion in NSF/ANSI 60 and 61, Annex A
- To provide expert peer review, advice and guidance to the participating certification agencies on human health effects issues.
“By coming together and committing to new processes and improved standards, the organizations will work diligently toward helping companies continue to develop and manufacturer safer products,” said Pauli Undesser, WQA Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs. This increased transparency and efficiency will reduce costs and potential liability for companies by establishing a consensus on action levels across certifiers.
Clif McClellan, NSF International Vice President of Water Systems stated, “The harmonized list of action levels will also be available to help those outside the water treatment arena, such as those in academia and other industries, to better understand and react to chemicals in water.”