How Do We Judge the Authenticity of NSF Water Purification Products?
When water purification companies market their products they often claim that the products they sell or their components are NSF certified. This is likely due to the fact that many people are familiar with the abbreviation and find it credible. We must keep in mind that the cost of applying for NSF certification is in fact quite high. The application cost for a single product to be certified can be between $30,000 and $80,000. On top of that manufacturers must pay an annual fee of $6000 per product in order to keep the certification valid. So it is no wonder that NSF certification is regarded as a vital selling point. This feature serves to boost customers’ trust in the quality of the product.
While some manufacturers have a long-term commitment to quality and integrity of their products and strive to improve the quality of the product to ensure product safety, and thus have no problem spending large amounts of money applying for NSF certification, there are some who will deceive consumers in order to save money and avoid applying for NSF certification, thereby reducing manufacturing costs. These products may in fact release harmful toxins in the drinking water.
I would like to offer consumers some tips to help see through these deceptive practices. These are two common tricks employed by dishonest vendors:
Uploading Other Manufacturers’ Certificates
Some manufacturers upload certificates that are not their own, but of other companies or suppliers. They do not want consumers to know how to verify whether the vendor has actually applied for NSF certification, so they casually put someone else’s certificate on the website. To ensure that the certificate is authentic, we can compare the name on the certificate with the brand name of the water purifier to see if the company name matches the name on the certificate.
Uploading Expired Certificates
The product may be NSF certified and the yearly fee paid, but the certification is not permanent. Manufacturers must apply for a new certification every five years and incur the costs (see above) once more. This complicates matters greatly which is why some manufactures use expired certificates which will be found under the product on the shopping website. To verify the validity of the certificate consumers can refer to the NSF website and check the product’s information.
Once the manufacturer has applied for NSF certification the NSF registers the name of the manufacturer on their official website, which is in English. Consumers may follow the steps below to save time finding the name of the manufacturer.
The official website of NSF in the US is https://www.nsf.org.
The steps to find the name of the certified manufacturer are as follows:
1. Find the search icon: Search Certified Products and Systems
2. Enter the name of the company (the company’s name must be in English)
3. If the authentication name on the screen is the same as the company name of the product you want to buy, it is correct.
Reprints welcome but please cite the source.
June 15, 2020