NSF secures new contract with U.S. Air Force

Sept. 29, 2005
Under the terms of the contract, NSF will test and evaluate microbiological treatment claims for several handheld water purifiers being considered for field use by military personnel, following up on 2004 market survey of devices and development of testing protocol...

ANN ARBOR, MI, Sept. 29, 2005 -- NSF International announced today that it has been awarded a research and development contract by the U.S. Department of the Air Force. Under the terms of the contract, NSF will test and evaluate microbiological treatment claims for several handheld water purifiers being considered for field use by military personnel.

The Air Force Field Water Medic Program conducted a market survey in 2004 that identified commercially available handheld water purification devices with possible applications for military use. NSF Protocol P231 (NSF P231): Microbiological Water Purifiers was identified as the preferred protocol to evaluate the performance of these devices, and NSF was selected as the organization of choice to conduct the third party, independent testing.

Developed by NSF International in 2003, NSF P231 establishes product safety and performance requirements for microbiological water purifiers to ease concerns about microbiological contaminants in drinking water. In accordance with NSF P231, these water devices must remove, kill or inactivate disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and cysts from the water, to render the processed water safe for drinking.

NSF's data and performance evaluation of the specific handheld water purifiers will allow military personnel to make more informed decisions about the selection of water treatment devices for use when safe drinking water is not available. This is critical in many regions of the world where available water supplies are unsafe for drinking, and when the application of these products may be necessary in field conditions where only untreated source water is available.

"With U.S. military stationed in nations across the globe, our soldiers want to make sure they're drinking safe water. Independent, third-party testing by NSF International against the rigors of P231 allows them to be confident that these devices have been properly evaluated to demonstrate their ability to deliver safe drinking water," said Tom Bruursema, general manager, NSF's Drinking Water Treatment Units Program.

NSF's internationally accredited laboratories, equipped specifically for such testing of water treatment products with microorganisms, will allow NSF staff to conduct NSF P231 testing on multiple products simultaneously and complete evaluations in a favorable time frame.

NSF International (www.nsf.org), an independent, not-for-profit organization, helps protect consumers by certifying products and writing standards for food, water, air and consumer goods. Founded in 1944, NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations Ltd., organic certification provided by Quality Assurance International and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education.


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