• Developing human health standards and providing independent auditing, testing, and certification services to help reduce risks since 1944
ANN ARBOR, MI, Nov. 20, 2009 -- NSF International is celebrating 65 years of protecting and improving human health and safety worldwide.
Since its founding, NSF International has become one of the most trusted names in public health, writing national human health standards and certifying products to help ensure the safety of food and drinking water, dietary supplements, and consumer goods. Widely recognized for its scientific and technical expertise in the environmental and health sciences, NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety, and Indoor Environment.
NSF's heritage dates back to November 1944 when two professors from the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, and a public health official from nearby Toledo, Ohio, saw a need to standardize the health requirements for commercial foodservice equipment. The transparent, consensus-based process they established to develop NSF's first standards for the sanitation of soda fountain and luncheonette equipment became the process by which NSF developed other human health and safety standards.
Since that time, NSF has developed more than 72 American National Standards to protect food and water, dietary supplements, pools and spas, and consumer goods. NSF also tests and certifies a wide range of products including foodservice equipment, organic foods, plastic and plumbing products, water filters, nutritional ingredients, home appliances, kitchen utensils, green building materials, pool and spa equipment, and more. The organization has more than 850 employees, operating in more than 120 countries, with certification programs for multiple products.
NSF's sustainable business solutions include carbon footprinting, greenhouse gas verification, as well as standards development and certification for sustainable products.
NSF International began developing standards at a time when few national sanitation and human health standards existed in the U.S. Today, NSF remains at the forefront, developing standards and certification programs that address important public health issues worldwide. As NSF develops new human health and environmental programs and expands operations to other regions of the world, it remains dedicated to its mission of "protecting and improving human health."
Each of the following milestones has helped NSF advance this important mission. These milestones include:
1952 - NSF Test Laboratories chartered; First food equipment standards introduced (NSF standards 1 and 2); Food equipment certification program launched.
1980 - NSF International creates the water treatment and distribution systems program to assist the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to improve drinking water standards. A majority of states now require drinking water products, such as plastic, plumbing and water filters, be certified to NSF standards.
1985 - NSF International opens European headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Drinking water additives program launched.
1990 - NSF and NSF Testing Laboratories merge to form NSF International.
1991 - NSF Certification programs are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
1996 - NSF receives designation as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for food safety and drinking water safety and treatment. This designation was renewed in 2009.
2001 - NSF International launches dietary supplement certification program.
2004 - NSF acquires Quality Assurance International (QAI Inc.), organic certifier based in San Diego, California; NSF launches the Scrub Club, a website that helps teach children about the importance of proper and consistent hand washing; NSF launches athletic banned substances certification program, which builds on the dietary supplement certification program to include screening for over 140 banned substances.
2005 - NSF expands testing operations in Taiwan with new lab in Taichung.
2006 - NSF establishes NSF Shanghai Co. Ltd. in the People's Republic of China to enhance food and water quality throughout Asia.
2007 - NSF completes an 80,000 square-foot laboratory expansion at their headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to increase its engineering, microbiology, chemistry, and toxicology laboratory capabilities, bringing its headquarters and lab facility to a total of 150,000 square feet.
2008 - NSF launches the Environmental Sustainability Program that provides carbon footprinting and accredited, third-party verification of environmental claims and greenhouse gas emissions. This program also includes standards development and certification for sustainable products, such as carpet, furniture, and other building materials, as well as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
2009 - NSF begins testing children's toys and products, becoming one of the first organizations to earn the Toy Safety Accreditation from the American National Standards Institute under the new Toy Industry Association's Toy Safety Certification Program; NSF opens office in India; NSF acquires Surefish, a recognized leader in seafood quality, with offices in Seattle, Alaska, Vietnam and South Korea.
For more information about NSF International and their sustainable business solutions, visit www.nsfsustainability.org.
About NSF International
NSF International (www.nsf.org) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that writes national public health standards and certifies products to help ensure the safety of food, water, dietary supplements and consumer goods. Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide, and is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety, and Indoor Environment.
Now operating in more than 120 countries, NSF's programs include testing, certification and safety audits for the food and water industries, certification and banned substance screening for the dietary supplement and functional food industries, toy and consumer product testing, and environmental sustainability services including, carbon footprinting and environmental claims verification. Additional services include management systems registrations through NSF International Strategic Registrations Ltd., organic certification provided by Quality Assurance International and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education. NSF's sustainable business solutions include carbon footprinting, greenhouse gas verification, as well as standards development and certification for sustainable products.