NSF/ANSI/CAN 61: Don’t Put Your Business at Risk

The recent adoption of NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 (commonly known as NSF 61) as a national standard by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) means that rubber products certified to NSF 61 will be increasingly demanded by the marketplace. Regulators and consumers alike will be seeking the health-safety assurance that NSF 61 certified rubber products bring to the infrastructure and equipment used in water supply and distribution systems.

What is NSF 61?

NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 (Drinking Water System Components - Health Effects) is a standard that sets health effects criteria for products used in water distribution and plumbing systems, including gaskets, seals, and other components used for joining and sealing. Originally developed in the USA by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), the standard is now adopted in the USA and Canada as a national standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Standards Council of Canada (SCC) respectively.

While NSF 61 was published as a National Standard of Canada by the SCC in 2019, the standard had been widely adopted within Canadian jurisdictions before that date. Eleven provinces/territories now require drinking water system components to comply with the requirements of NSF 61 for either municipal systems or wells. Various Canadian standards for drinking water components currently reference NSF 61.

In addition, it is expected that within the USA, NSF 61 will be added as a requirement to the 2020 National Plumbing Code. Similar initiatives may be expected to follow suit in other jurisdictions.

How do NSF 61 certified products reduce risk?

Products certified to the NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 standard can provide customers with an assurance that these products are health-safe and will not leach harmful contaminants (including lead) into the water supply. As we announced in a recent blog, by virtue of our recent certification by NSF International, CRG is one of the few manufacturers now able to supply NSF 61 certified final products, such as gaskets, seals, and other rubber parts for joining/sealing, to the marketplace.

Unlike other non-certified providers who can only supply final product manufactured from NSF 61 compliant materials, CRG can supply final product that itself is fully certified to NSF 61 requirements. These products are made from NSF 61 approved health-safe materials using a regulated manufacturing process that ensures total control and traceability of the final product throughout each step of the process. Unlike product that is just made from NSF 61 compliant materials, buyers of NSF 61 certified product from CRG can have complete confidence that the product was made under strictly controlled conditions that assure quality, safety, and traceability.

NSF 61 certified products, parts and components: superior to SBR red rubber

In many potable water applications, gaskets and seals made from red (SBR) rubber are commonly employed. SBR rubber has traditionally been used to manufacture parts that are routinely used in water meters, faucets, drinking fountains, hydrants, and other joining and sealing applications. However, SBR rubber is not an ideal material for potable water applications as it degrades over time due to environmental conditions and its inherently low resistance to the many chemicals used in water treatment processes.

For these reasons, many municipalities are moving away from SBR gaskets, seals, and parts for joining and sealing to those which are made from non-leaching and health-safe materials, such as the NSF 61 certified EPDM or compressed sheet with NBR binder which CRG uses. In addition, these organizations are seeking assurance that the final product was made using a manufacturing process which safeguards quality and traceability. For those seeking NSF 61 certified gaskets, seals, and other rubber parts for joining/sealing, CRG is your preferred supplier for final product that is clean, safe, non-leaching, traceable and fully certified.

To find out more about the NSF 61 certified products that CRG can supply, please contact our sales team directly at crg@canadarubbergroup.com.