NSF 600 and What It Means to the Coatings Industry

Beginning January 1, 2023, the new NSF/ANSI/CAN 600 (NSF 600) standard will take effect. NSF 600 will dramatically reduce the allowable extractable levels of xylene, ethylbenzene, and toluene in coating and lining formulations when in contact with potable water. These new, stricter requirements mean that many well-known products in the market will no longer be available for use on tanks, piping, valves, and fittings for potable water. And after several years of industry talk, speculation, and unease about how this will impact future projects in the market, we now have a clearer picture of what to expect.

So how will NSF 600 truly impact water coating and lining projects from a specification, application, cost, and performance standpoint? Here are some common myths about NSF 600 that we now have some facts on:

MYTH: NSF 600 replaces NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 (NSF 61) for coatings in contact with potable water.

FACT: NSF 600 is a companion standard to the existing NSF 61 that includes more stringent, codified language regarding the reduction of the maximum contaminant levels (MCL) of commonly used solvents used in coating formulations, such as xylene, ethylbenzene, and toluene.

MYTH: NSF 600 eliminates the use of solvent-based products previously available on projects associated with potable water linings.

FACT: While many lower volume solids products will not meet the requirements of NSF 600, some previously used products, particularly those with higher solids content and exempt solvent packages, will meet the more stringent extractable requirements of the standard. The most significant impact this will have on asset owners and specifiers is that almost all project specifications written before the implementation of NSF 600 will need to be reviewed and updated to reflect this change.

MYTH: Only 100% solids epoxies will be allowed.

FACT: Higher solids epoxies with exempt solvent packages, most 100% solids aromatic polyurethane-based linings, and many moisture cure products (including those that are zinc filled) should meet the requirements of NSF 600. This will mean that some widely used products will no longer be available. This does not mean that contractors will have to dramatically change what they have been doing previously, as the equipment to apply these products is the same or similar.

MYTH: All coating manufacturers are impacted equally.

FACT: The reality is that some manufacturers are more prepared than others. Some coating manufacturers have introduced new product offerings with unproven formulations to meet regulatory compliance. Carboline's products, however, meet the new requirements of NSF 600 and come with years of proven, successful installations. What this also means is that from a cost and performance standpoint, Carboline can offer its customers materials that provide maximum service life with little or no impact on the cost and performance of the overall coating system.

Below are the Carboline products that have been certified by UL to meet the drinking water criteria of NSF/ANSI/CAN 600:

You can learn more about Carboline's lining systems for potable water here. For more specific information on NSF 600 and what it might mean to your organization, we encourage you to visit the NSF website. And for assistance on your next project that may involve NSF 600-compliant materials, don't hesitate to get in touch with your local Carboline Technical Sales Representative.