Companion Standard to NSF/ANSI 61 & 60 for Drinking Water

Pouring water representing the companion standard NSF/ANSI 600, Evaluation and Criteria for Chemicals in Drinking Water.

If you don’t comprehend the significance of water, then you’re likely not a human being living on planet Earth. Or any other living thing, for that matter. Even nanobes, the smallest cell-walled organisms (although there is debate as to whether “life” is present), require moisture to survive. For the rest of us, microorganisms like these cannot be present in our water by the time to drink it.

Due to the sheer importance of clean water, an agglomeration of standards is dedicated to drinking water systems. These standards have even reached such substantial levels of user importance that two notable standards—NSF/ANSI/CAN 61-2022 and NSF/ANSI/CAN 60-2021—even have a companion standard. This is NSF/ANSI/CAN 600, and it focuses on the “Health Effects Evaluation and Criteria for Chemicals in Drinking Water.”

Origin of NSF/ANSI/CAN 600

These two drinking water product standards have seen a medley of changes over the years. First commencing development at the request of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1985 and first published in 1988, NSF/ANSI 61 and NSF/ANSI 60, while also being American National Standards, were designated as National Standards of Canada in 2019, hence their current designation NSF/ANSI/CAN. Their 2018 revisions saw the issuing of NSF/ANSI/CAN 600, the content of which had previously existed in the annexes of these two standards.

Specifically, Clause 3 of NSF/ANSI/CAN 600, “Toxicology review and evaluation procedures,” existed in past editions of NSF/ANSI 61 and 60 as Annex A, and 4, “Normative drinking water criteria” used to be Annex C in NSF/ANSI 60 and Annex D in NSF/ANSI 61.

You can learn more about these other standards in our posts NSF/ANSI 60-2021: Drinking Water Chemicals Health Effects and NSF/ANSI 61-2022: Drinking Water System Components – Health Effects.

NSF/ANSI/CAN 600: What’s Covered?

In providing support, NSF/ANSI/CAN 600 contains information on the toxicological review and evaluation procedures for substances imparted to drinking water through contact with drinking water system components and additives. In defining these areas, the standard establishes the human health risk, if any, to drinking water under the anticipated use conditions of these products.

Changes to NSF/ANSI/CAN 600-2021

The first edition of NSF/ANSI/CAN 600 was released in 2018, and it was revised in 2019. The current, 2021 edition, revises the 2019 version and is provided with the 2021 editions of NSF/ANSI 61 and NSF/ANSI 60. It went through the following changes:

  • A definition was added for reference concentration (RfC).
  • The drinking water intake rates were updated in Section 3, “Toxicology review and evaluation procedures.”
  • Pass/fail values for contaminants were updated in Table 4.1, “Drinking water criteria.”
  • Footnote 7 was revised to reference new optional lower lead Q value under NSF/ANSI/CAN 61.

NSF/ANSI/CAN 61-2022: Drinking Water System Components – Health Effects and NSF/ANSI/CAN 60-2021: Drinking Water Treatment Chemicals – Health Effects come with a complementary copy of NSF/ANSI/CAN 600 from the ANSI Webstore.

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