NSF/JWPA developing iodine water filtration protocol

A joint protocol to evaluate the ability of certain water filtration products - such as reverse osmosis - to reduce iodine (including radioactive iodine) from drinking water currently being completed by NSF International and the Japan Water Purification Association (JWPA).

Once the protocol is complete, manufacturers can have their activated-carbon, ion-exchange, and reverse-osmosis water filtration technologies tested and certified to ensure effective iodine reduction.

The program, which was announced at the WQA Aquatech event in Las Vegas, USA, on 7 March 2012, has been developed at the request of water-treatment systems manufacturers following the earthquake and nuclear powerplant meltdown in Japan in March 2011. Its aim is to remove consumer confusion and permit evaluation of systems that reduce radioactive iodine.

The international protocol will be known as NSF/JWPA Protocol P72 Drinking Water Treatment Units - Iodine Radioisotope Reduction. Once the protocol is complete, manufacturers will be able to have their products tested and certified by NSF International to ensure they effectively reduce iodine and help protect consumers.

"It has been almost a year since the finding of radioactive iodine in the tap water," said Naotaka Ueda, general secretary of JWPA. JWPA tried to find out if residential water purifiers could reduce radioactive iodine, which led to JWPA and NSF working together to produce the new protocol.

To be a truly international protocol that can be applied to many regions of the world, the NSF/JWPA Protocol P72 requires that the system meet appropriate drinking water treatment country standards.

For example for the US market, the system also must meet the requirements of NSF/ANSI Standard 42: Drinking Water Treatment Units - Aesthetic Effects or NSF/ANSI Standard 53: Drinking Water Treatment Units - Health Effects for adsorptive or absorptive media and NSF/ANSI Standard 58: Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Treatment Systems.

For Japan, the requirements of the Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) 3201: Testing Methods for Household Water Purifiers must also be met.

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