NSF flushability testing

New NSF Program to Verify 'Flushable' Product Claims

The Flushable Consumer Products Certification program provides a solution to clogging issues associated with wastewater treatment systems.

NSF International has launched a new certification program that provides third-party verification of consumer product claims asserting they can be safely disposed of via toilet flushing.

Developed in response to the increasing number of flushability claims on many disposable consumer products, the Flushable Consumer Products Certification Program provides a solution to many clogging issues associated with wastewater treatment systems.

NSF flushability testing

The testing lab uses a custom-built rig that includes various drainline slopes, toilets, and pipe diameters used in U.S. and European plumbing.

The program addresses consumer products making flushability claims, such as facial tissues, baby/cosmetic wipes, kitty litter, pet refuse bags, disposable diapers and feminine hygiene products.

The comprehensive program evaluates products against rigorous flushability guidelines developed by industry experts called the “The Guidance Document on the Flushability of Nonwoven Consumer Products,” which provides a comprehensive framework and test methods for evaluating flushability characteristics.

NSF International’s Flushable Consumer Products Certification program includes the following steps:

  • Manufacturers submit product information and samples to NSF.
  • NSF tests product samples to ensure they meet the requirements of the guidance document. This testing is conducted using a flushability rig, custom-built to conduct the testing outlined in the Guidance Document, which includes various drainline slopes, toilets and pipe diameters used in both the US and European plumbing systems.
  • NSF inspects the manufacturing facilities to verify that products are being manufactured to approved specifications and adhere to proper safety and quality checks.

NSF certification is granted if all test and inspection requirements are successfully completed. Certified flushable products will bear the “NSF Certified Flushable” Mark, demonstrating compliance with stringent criteria. The Mark indicates whether certified products are suitable for a sewer system, a septic system or both.

Annual facility audits/inspections and periodic product testing are required to maintain a company’s active listing on NSF’s website and continued use of the NSF Mark. This NSF “Certified Flushable” Mark may also be used on product packaging and marketing materials.

According to the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry and the European Disposables and Nonwovens Association, “Providing technical guidance on what constitutes a flushable product is critical to ensure the compatibility of products with wastewater collection and treatment systems. Providing information to consumers that clearly indicates which products are and are not flushable is another important aspect.”

“The NSF Flushable Consumer Products Certification Program complements our 30-year history of providing wastewater treatment certification, compostability, and related sustainability services,” said Tom Bruursema, general manager, NSF International’s Wastewater and Environmental Research Programs. “NSF Certification provides credibility among public health and wastewater authorities, improves retailer confidence in flushable products and makes flushable products more appealing to a growing “green” consumer base.”

For additional information, visit www.nsf.org/info/flushability.