Environmental Trustmark Enables Suppliers and Consumers to Distinguish Products that Minimize Harmful Indoor Air Emissions
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 22 July, 2013 – The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC), responsible for the development of quality infrastructure and raising awareness on quality in Abu Dhabi, announced the launch of its ‘Exterior and Interior Paints Conformity Scheme' that will test and certify paint products for compliance to safety and environmental performance standards.
The roll-out of the scheme is a collaborative venture between the QCC, the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council through its Estidama program, and the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD).
The ‘Exterior and Interior Paints Conformity 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 ‘Trustmark for Environmental Performance' certification can be gained upon the successful testing of the product against the criteria of the scheme.
The new scheme aims to improve the quality of paints in the emirate particularly with regards to lead and heavy metals content and identify eco-friendly paint products that release low toxic emissions. The scheme has been specified for 12 types of exterior and interiors paints, varnishes and stains.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in paint products are the key contributors to indoor air pollution. Emitted into the air, VOCs can lead to serious health issues including asthma, respiratory diseases, and allergy in children.
The ‘Exterior and Interior Paints Conformity Scheme' offers paint manufacturers an opportunity to obtain voluntary certification that authenticates their conformity to the UAE's safety and environmental quality criteria. The certification additionally serves as an endorsement to the industry and consumers that the paint product complies with the Estidama program. The need for such compliance is imperative given the prevalence of paints in the UAE that continue to carry toxic heavy metals and high levels of VOC.
His Excellency Abdulla Hassan Al Muaini, Executive Director of Conformity Scheme Services, QCC, said: “In our role as the quality custodians in Abu Dhabi, we work closely with regulators and industry leaders to enable manufacturers and suppliers to get the opportunity to be certified under the Abu Dhabi Trustmark for Environmental Performance. 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 wellbeing of consumers and the environment as a whole. The Environmental Performance Trustmark also enables consumers to make educated choices and opt for certified environmentally sustainable products.”
Dr. Mohammed Al Madfaei. Executive Director of the Integrated Environment Policy and Planning Sector, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, said: “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. 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.”
Mohamed Al Khadar Executive Director of Development Review and Estidama, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council said: “Indoor air quality is a subject of prime importance for Estidama and we have promoted it for some time. It's a key concern our regulation compliances are addressing for any new school, hospital and Emirati home. This new scheme will help to assert this drive through market place awareness from both the supply chain and purchaser alike. Manufacturers within the Trustmark scheme will ensure ease of compliance in relation to the Estidama program”.
Paint 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 Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council's certification.
The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council was established in 2009 to raise the quality of the emirate's exports and locally traded products, while protecting the interest of consumers and supporting the UAE's competitive economy. This is achieved through empowering regulators to establish and implement product safety, legal metrology and conformity schemes. QCC also sets guidelines and benchmarks to identify and verify that the products manufactured and traded in Abu Dhabi conform to the highest quality standards.
For more information on QCC's certification process, requirements and criteria, please visit www.qcc.abudhabi.ae