KAMPALA – Cosmetics on Ugandan market have failed a laboratory quality test on compliance to Uganda standards raising serious concerns on safety.
According to a report, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) discovered that cosmetics imported into the country contain hydroquinone and mercury ingredients that make it the most high risk product on the Ugandan market.
In the month July 2018, the market surveillance inspectors picked 249 samples of products which were submitted to UNBS laboratories for further analysis.
“Among the tested samples, cosmetics registered the highest failure rate of 100% on compliance to Uganda standards,” reads the report by UNBS.
The UNBS conducts regular market surveillance inspections to determine the level of compliance to Uganda Standards to protect consumers and the environment from dangerous substandard products.
The UNBS Act compels the agency to safeguard required standards in relation to the quality of products that are put on the market
The report says further that most of the cosmetics which failed contained hydroquinone, a banned substance used in skin lightening creams.
The report adds that various scientific studies have confirmed that hydroquinone has adverse effects on human heath such as damage to internal organs e.g. the liver, besides skin discoloration, mild burning and skin dryness.
The July 2018 report says that the anti-bacterial toilet soap registered the second highest failure rate at 71.4 per cent, followed by energy savers at 62.5 per cent and toilet paper at 55.5 per cent respectively.
Dr. Ben Manyindo, the UNBS Executive Director said they have published a list of brands that failed the UNBS compliance tests to help the public look out for them and shun them.
“Products that fail our compliance tests are seized from the market, kept in our warehouses for further management and/or destruction. We recently destroyed more than 400 metric tonnes of substandard products worth Shs3.5 billion,” Dr. Manyindo said.
He revealed that UNBS will continue to play its role of seizing the substandard products from the market to protect the health and safety of consumers.
Mr Godwin Bonge Muhwezi, the head Public Relations at UNBS said as a result of the laboratory analysis, in July the UNBS Market Surveillance Team seized items 6.2 tonnes of assorted food items, 1.2 tonnes of Cosmetics, 2,051 pieces of mattresses, 410kgs of electrical items, and 450kgs of toilet paper.
“UNBS will continue to perform its mandate of enforcing standards to protect consumer health and safety and the environment against dangerous and sub-standard products,” Mr Muhwezi said.
He said fighting substandard products requires a concerted effort involving UNBS working together with manufacturers, traders, consumers, and other government agencies.
“And we would like to urge the public to report cases of substandard products on the market on our toll free line: 0800133133,” added Mr Muhwezi.
The report names the brands that failed the UNBS compliance tests as Cosmetics Local Hajjati Lususu; Mama Lususu; Sure Deal; Serious Herbal; Skin Doctor; Zero Pimples; Zonei; Imported Caro light toning; Caro light body lotion; Caro light cream; Citrolight body cream; Eclaire cream; Elegance Rico cream; New Santana; Light Cream; Super Claire Cream; Elegance Rico cream; Toilet Paper: Local Eden Brand; Cozy; Hemico; Kleena; Lovely; Luxury; Nannies; – Facial Tissue; Relax Blended Tissue; Silkee Jambo; Soft Nap; Softee Toilet Tissue; Super Silk; Swan Soft; Wisper; Kleena; Silkee Jambo; Softee Toilet Tissue; Luxury Imported Piao; Piao Piao; Virony; Cosy White; Rosy; Sifa; Tena; Soft Wind Piao Piao, Mattresses: Local Eco Foam; Rio Foam.
Energy Savers (Bulbs)Imported Canny; CIXING; DXBZ; Long stay; Nomi; Semco; Tedex; UNITEC; and Va Light.
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is a statutory body responsible for developing and promoting standards and quality of products and services to facilitate fair trade, promote local industries and protect consumers.