Reminder to Pool Owners and Operators: Seasonal Pools Must Meet New Anti-Entrapment Legislation Before Opening

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Suction Fittings and Covers Must Comply with New ASME/ANSI Standards.

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While pools that are open year round were required to install appropriately-sized suction fittings that complied with the VGBPSSA by December 20, 2008, some seasonal pools that closed before this date may still need to upgrade these devices in order to be in compliance

NSF International is reminding owners and operators of seasonal public pools that new legislation, which took effect in December 2008, now requires them to install anti-entrapment devices that meet the new Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGBPSSA) before opening for the season. The VGBPSSA Act was adopted to help protect children from life-threatening injuries and deaths from potentially dangerous pool and spa drains.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)¹ records, there were more than 120 suction entrapment accidents between 1990 and October 2003, of which 25 resulted in death. To help reduce the potential for such incidents, the VGBPSSA Act requires all suction outlet fittings and covers manufactured, distributed, or sold in the United States after December 20, 2008, to comply with ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007: Suction Fittings for Use in Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs, and Whirlpool Bathtub Appliances. This standard addresses potential suction and mechanical entrapment hazards, including hair, limb and body suction entrapment.

"While pools that are open year round were required to install appropriately-sized suction fittings that complied with the VGBPSSA by December 20, 2008, some seasonal pools that closed before this date may still need to upgrade these devices in order to be in compliance," said Richard Martin, NSF Recreational Water Business Manager. "In addition to testing other recreational water system components, NSF is also involved in testing and certifying suction fittings in accordance with these new requirements."

The NSF Certification process for suction fittings under the new ASME A112.19.8 standard involves various stress tests, including pull and shear load tests, impact tests, as well as finger and hair entrapment and body block testing. NSF also reviews product design, fasteners, packaging and installation instructions to verify compliance with the ASME standard and ensure that the water contact materials and coatings used in the product's construction comply with the public health requirements specified in NSF/ANSI Standard 50 - Equipment for Swimming Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs and Other Recreational Water Facilities and ANSI/UL 1081 - Standard for Swimming Pool Pumps, Filters, and Chlorinators.

Pool owners and public health officials can obtain a list of products that have met ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 requirements on NSF's Web site. For more information on certification to the new pool and spa safety legislation contact Richard Martin at 734-769-5346, martin @ nsf.org or visit the NSF Web site.

About NSF International:
NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, helps protect you by certifying products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods (http://www.nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, organic certification provided by Quality Assurance International and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education.

¹ Public Field Hearing Concerning Swimming Pool Safety U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

CONTACT:
Anna Schmitt-Reichert
Phone: 734.827.6818
Email: aschmittreichert @ nsf.org

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