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Health Effects and Lead Content of Drinking Water Products 

Simplify the process of getting safer water products to market with our testing and certification services to NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 and NSF/ANSI/CAN 372.

Girl drinking water from fountain

Using UL to test and certify drinking water system components

From water treatment to the tap in your home, products that contact drinking water can impact the quality of what we drink. Consumer and regulatory officials are becoming more concerned about the effects of lead and other contaminants in drinking water. If your company manufacturers devices, components or materials, your products will need to be evaluated for health effects and lead content to meet regulatory requirements in the United States and Canada. Certification also helps protect your brand and mitigate product material-related risks for your buyers and users.  

We are accredited in the United States and Canada to offer certification to NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 – Drinking Water System Component Health Effects and NSF/ANSI/CAN 372 - Drinking Water System Components — Lead Content  through the Water Systems Scheme. Inspectors and regulators look for the UL Mark on drinking water products to have confidence that products meet these requirements. 

Our experts offer highly responsive customer service and turnaround times to help ensure products get to market quickly and painlessly, while our global presence allows us to provide you regional support. When you partner with UL, you have direct access to our experienced technical staff, who will quickly answer questions, no matter how complex your product or testing needs. 

Overview of NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 testing and certification solutions

NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 — Drinking Water System Components — Health Effects evaluates the chemical contaminants that leach out of products into drinking water.

Scope of products covered under NSF/ANSI/CAN 61

NSF/ANSI/CAN 61’s scope includes most products in contact with drinking water, including: 

  • Joining and sealing materials, including gaskets, lubricants, sealants and grouts
  • Barrier materials, including paints, coatings cements, additives and tank liners 
  • Pipes and fittings, couplings, flexible and rigid tubing, tapping sleeves and hoses
  • Mechanical devices including service saddles, water meters, valves, pumps, chemical feeders and hydrants 
  • Plumbing devices including faucets, drinking fountains and refrigerator ice makers
  • Process media including carbon, aluminum silicates, ion exchange resins and sand
  • Plastic materials including ABS, nylon, polycarbonate, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Regulatory drivers for health effects certification

NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 is required by most states and provinces in the United States and Canada. For water supply and distribution products, compliance is typically mandated by the states, while in the built environment, the major model plumbing codes mandate certification.   Retailers, distributors, contractors and other buyers, aware of the state and code requirements, typically require certification as well.  

Testing scope for drinking water system components

Products evaluated to NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 are exposed to test water for a sequence of time specified in the standard. The resulting water samples are analyzed for contaminants according to a custom test program developed for the product based upon the materials of construction. Detected contaminants are compared to pass/fail levels established in the standard to determine compliance with NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 requirements. 

Overview of NSF/ANSI/CAN 372 testing and certification solutions

NSF/ANSI/CAN 372 — Drinking Water System Components — Lead Content evaluates the lead content of products based on the wetted surface areas of water contact materials. 

Scope of products covered under NSF/ANSI/CAN 372

NSF/ANSI/CAN 372 covers products that convey or dispense water for human consumption through drinking or cooking.  Most products within the scope of NSF/ANSI 372 are also under the scope of NSF/ANSI 61. 

Regulatory drivers for lead content certification

The U.S. Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act sets requirements for lead content and requires third-party certification of products that convey drinking water. A number of states, like California, have set similar lead requirements. Retailers, distributors, contractors and other buyers often require certification as well. Certification by UL to NSF/ANSI/CAN 372 is the most effective way to show buyers and regulators that you meet the law.

Evaluation scope for lead content

A list of wetted parts, including lead content and wetted surface areas, is submitted to UL for each product or group of products undergoing evaluation. We will test high-impact materials, as defined by the standard, to confirm the lead content matches what was submitted. After testing is complete, each product must have a calculated weighted average lead content of no more than 0.25% to comply with NSF/ANSI/CAN 372 requirements.

The UL certification Mark

When all NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 or NSF/ANSI/CAN 372 certification requirements are met, authorization is granted to use the UL Mark on your products. Your products will also be listed in UL Product iQ™, UL’s online certification directory. The UL Mark and Product iQ listing demonstrate to regulators, inspectors and specifiers that your products comply with the applicable health effects and lead content requirements.

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North America Access for Drinking Water Products

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Webinar: Certification of Mechanical Devices Simplified

Is your product categorized as a mechanical device in NSF/ANSI Standard 61? If you are not sure or if NSF/ANSI Standard 61 is confusing you, this webinar is for you. During this free webinar you will hear from UL experts about the latest requirements in NSF 61 that affect Mechanical Devices such as valves.

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Webinar: NSF 61 Barrier Materials: Potable Water 101 for Paints, Liners, Coatings, and Tanks

This presentation will be a general overview of Barrier Material type products (Paints, Liners, Coatings, and Tanks) with potable (drinking water) applications. The focus will be on NSF 61, but also cover NSF 372, NSF P151, and other applicable standards. Barrier materials are materials used to contain or form a barrier between water and another surface. Barrier Materials are used to form drinking water holding tanks or to line water reservoirs. Other distribution products such as pipes, fittings, and valves use paints and coatings as barrier materials as well. 

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