ANN ARBOR, Mich. — March 14, 2016 — A new protocol from global public health organization NSF International verifies water filters that are effective at decreasing microcystin from blue-green algae in drinking water.

NSF Protocol 477: Drinking Water Treatment Units Microcystin certifies a water filter’s ability to reduce microcystin to below the health advisory limit set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for infants and young children, which currently stands at 0.3 parts per billion. Products must be retested periodically and re-certified every year.

Microcystin is the most common type of cyanotoxin, a group of chemical contaminants formed by blue-green algae. Exposure to unsafe levels of microcystin in drinking water can cause symptoms including fever, headache and vomiting as well as liver and kidney damage in more severe cases.

“This is a very important issue to NSF International as we have been developing national standards, testing and certifying drinking water treatment technologies for more than 70 years,” said Clif McLellan, vice president of Water Systems at NSF International. “With the availability of NSF Protocol 477: Drinking Water Treatment Units Microcystin, manufacturers now have a way to demonstrate to consumers that their water filters can effectively reduce microcystin to below EPA health advisory limits and provide an additional barrier to cyanotoxins over and above treatment by the municipal water utility.”

NSF International said that it developed the microcystin test protocol at the request of regulatory agencies concerned about communities with elevated levels of microcystin in the lakes and rivers that serve as their primary source for public drinking water.

However, if a water utility notifies the public about cyanotoxin in the water supply, consumers should always follow the instructions from the utility even if a certified filter is in place.

The first products to earn certification are Access Business Group’s eSpring models 100185, 100188 and 100189 and Coway Co., Ltd. models CIFN11-PLUS, CIFN11S-PLUS, CIFN14-PLUS, CIFN8-PLUS and CIFN85-PLUS.