The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has alerted the nation about some cancer-causing substances found in some school uniform materials made by two China-based companies.
A statement issued by the Director-General of SON, Mr Osita Aboloma on Friday in Abuja, named the companies producing the materials as Sing Shun Fat School-Clothier Company and Zenith Uniform Company.
Aboloma said that the azo dyes found in some school uniforms in Hong Kong contained up to 173 milligrams and 41 milligrams per kilogram of the tested samples respectively.
He added that the amounts of the dye contained in the materials were well above the maximum allowed in the standard.
“Use of the 4-amino azo dyes have been banned in Europe, Japan and other parts of the world prior to the finding.
“Azo dyes could release carcinogenic substances known as aromatic amines when they mix with sweat, which accounted for the ban on the use of the dye in many countries of the world.”
The D-G advised importers of school uniform materials in Nigeria to endeavour to undergo the process of conformity assessment of such materials prior to import, through the SON off-shore Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP), to avoid bringing them to the country.
He further advised Nigerians to report any suspected uniform materials that may already be in the country to SON for necessary sampling, laboratory tests and analysis to be carried out at its Textile and Leather Laboratory in Kaduna for necessary regulatory action.
Aboloma added that all International Accredited Firms undertaking the off-shore Conformity Assessment Programme on behalf of SON all over the world have been put on alert regarding the cancer-causing substance in school uniform materials and other clothing materials to be imported into Nigeria.