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NSF International
NSF International is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization that provides standards development, product certification, auditing, education and risk management for public health and safety.

NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. Serving companies in over 100 countries, NSF is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michiganmarker.


NSF was founded as the National Sanitation Foundation in 1944 to standardize sanitation and food safety at a time when the United States had no national sanitation standards. The three founders of NSF; Walter Snyder, Henry Vaughn, and Nathan Sinai, were two professors and a health department official from nearby Toledo, Ohio. These three men sought to develop standards for sanitation by reaching a consensus of the parties that had a stake in the outcome, namely the public, the business community, and government agencies. By involving all three, each could feel invested in the process and would work to achieve a common goal.


  • 1944: National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) established in the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • 1952: NSF Testing Laboratory Chartered; NSF Council of Public Health Consultants formed.
  • 1963: NSF opens regional offices, headquarters moved to W.
  • Stadium Blvd. in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • 1967: NSF Testing Laboratories (NSFTL) changed to a not-for-profit corporation.
  • 1972: World headquarter and principal laboratories moved to Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • 1985: NSF opens European headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
  • 1990: National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and NSF Testing Laboratories (NSFTL) merge and renamed to NSF International.
  • 1991: NSF product certification programs receive American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation.
  • 1996: NSF receives designation as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food Safety and Drinking Water Safety and Treatment.
  • NSF-ISR becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary to provide management systems registration services.
  • 1997: NSF global expansion continues with offices opening in Nairobi, Kenya, Tokyo, Japan and Sydney, Australia.
  • NSF goes online with its complete product listings.
  • 1999: NSF moves to new world headquarters on Dixboro Road in Ann Arbor, Michigan and establishes a joint venture with UK-based WRc, PLC, a leading provider of water products testing services.
  • 2001: NSF acquires Cook & Thurber, LLC, a leading provider of processed-based food safety and quality audits.
  • 2003: NSF launches national consumer advertising campaign to further increase brand awareness and also launches the Scrub Club, a web-based public health initiative to help raise awareness about the importance of proper and consistent handwashing.
  • World Health Organization widens NSF designation as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.
  • 2004: NSF acquires Quality Assurance International (QAI, Inc.), the global leader in organic certification and opens office in São Paulo, Brazil (NSF do Brasil) to serve the South American market.
  • 2005: NSF expands testing operations in Taiwan with new lab in Taichung.
  • NSF International Strategic Registrations, Ltd.
  • (NSF-ISR) acquires the operations of Deloitte & Touche Quality Registrar Inc.
  • 2006: NSF establishes NSF Shanghai Co.
  • Ltd. in the People’s Republic of China and acquires Davis Fresh Technologies, the premier provider of food safety audits for the perishable food industry.
  • 2007: NSF completes 80,000 square-foot laboratory expansion and acquires David Begg Associates and CMi.
  • 2008: NSF launches new sustainability program.

Application and products

NSF International, often referred to as simply NSF, certifies materials and products for a multitude of applications. One important field of NSF's interest are materials and products that come into contact with drinking water systems components.

NSF Standards are generally accepted standards for a variety of public health related industries and subject areas. These include drinking water treatment and contact materials, health and wellness supplements, food equipment manufacturing and composition, plumbing, refuse containers, and dishwashing equipment.

More details can be found at

Standard Development

NSF Standards are developed, maintained, and revised by the committee ballot system, similar to that used by ANSI and ASTM. The committees consist of equal numbers of representatives of groups affected by the scope of the standard. For instance, for Standard 61, Drinking Water Systems Components - Health Effects, the committee is made of manufacturers of plumbing parts, material manufacturers (plastics, metals, etc), toxicologists, state regulatory officials, and the like. Any changes related to testing requirements are vetted through lab testing, and balloting ensures majority rule.


NSF headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, contains both administrative & technical staff, with over 100,000 square feet of state-of-the-art laboratory space that houses chemistry, engineering, microbiology, and toxicoloy labs. All testing for NSF standard compliance is conducted in-house.

Board of Directors

See also

External links

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