The NSF Drinking Water Additives Program is the model for health effects evaluation of products and materials in contact with drinking water, including buried plastics pipe. One of the standards developed by the program, ANSI/NSF Standard 61 (Drinking Water System Components - Health Effects), covers the toxicology of indirect additives to drinking water for all types of potable water contact products and materials, including plastics pipe. For many years, NSF Standard 14 (Plastics Piping Components and Related Materials) has been the model toxicological and performance standard for plastics pipe, serving regulators, users, industry, and the public. Although it remains a viable standard, health effects in NSF Standard 14 are now addressed by reference to ANSI/NSF Standard 61.
How these Standards address potential health effects of plastics pipe and their impacts on specifiers, users, and designers is addressed. Extraction testing and toxicology requirements are provided special emphasis. NSF's product Certification (Listing) program for plastics is explained, along with a discussion of the problems and opportunities presented by consensus standards and third-party product certification programs.