Abu Dhabi to Certify Safer Paints
End users of certain interior and exterior paints in the United Arab Emirates will soon have a new tool to determine the safety of the products they choose.
The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC) has announced the launch of an "Exterior and Interior Paints Conformity Scheme" that will certify paint products for compliance to safety and environmental performance standards.
The QCC is responsible for the development of quality infrastructure and raising awareness on quality in Abu Dhabi.
An announcement said the need for the program is "imperative, given the prevalence of paints in the UAE that continue to carry toxic heavy metals and high levels of VOC."
The program aims to identify lead and heavy metals content, as well as eco-friendly paint products that release low toxic emissions. The scheme has been specified for 12 types of exterior and interior paints, varnishes and stains, including products for interior and exterior walls and trim, performance coatings, primers and decorative effect coatings.
The scheme is a collaboration by the QCC; the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council through its Estidama program; and the Environment Agency—Abu Dhabi (EAD). Estidama is a sustainability program.
"A key objective of EAD's is to ensure that the air quality of Abu Dhabi is in line with the health and safety of our population," said Dr. Mohammed Al Madfaei, executive director of the Integrated Environment Policy and Planning Sector, EAD.
"With the type of development across Abu Dhabi's construction sector, it is important we continue to make progress in improving indoor and outdoor air quality and the Interior and Exterior Paints Conformity Program is a critical step towards ensuring healthier homes, schools and workplaces," Al Madfaei said.
The scheme is the latest addition to the "Trustmark for Environmental Performance," Abu Dhabi's certification program that ensures the compliance of products to safety, environmental and sustainability performance standards. The voluntary certification program is earned after successful testing of the product against the criteria of the scheme.
Paint manufacturers will have an opportunity to obtain voluntary certification to authenticate their conformity to the UAE's safety and environmental quality criteria. The certification also endorses the paint product as compliant with the Estidama program.
|The National / Sarah Dea|
The paint program meets Abu Dhabi's "priority to ensure the well being of consumers and the environment as a whole," said Abdulla Hassan Al Muaini, executive director of Conformity Scheme Services for QCC.
Manufacturers and suppliers that wish to receive the Trustmark for Environmental Performance must have their products tested and verified by an internationally accredited laboratory when applying for the certification.
Abdulla Hassan Al Muaini, executive director of Conformity Scheme Services for QCC, added: "The certification ensures that these products are embedded with features that enhance safety, sustainability and performance standards.
"We continuously seek to launch schemes that meet Abu Dhabi's priority to ensure the well being of consumers and the environment as a whole. The Environmental Trustmark also enables consumers to make educated choices and opt for certified environmentally sustainable products."
The QCC was established in 2009 to raise the quality of exports and locally traded products, while protecting the interest of consumers and supporting the UAE's competitive economy. QCC also sets guidelines and benchmarks to identify and verify that products manufactured and traded in Abu Dhabi conform to the highest quality standards.