The Special Assistant and Head of Public Relations to the Director General of SON, Bola Fashina, said in a statement on August 28, that importers of school uniform materials into Nigeria should be warned.
The cancer causing uniforms, he alleged are made by two China based companies, Sing Shun Fat School-Clothier Company and Zenith Uniform Company.
The statement signed by Fashina, disclosed that the azo dyes which were found in some school uniforms in Hong Kong contained up to 173 milligrams and 41 milligrams per kilogram of the tested samples respectively, which were well above the maximum allowed in the standard.
“Use of the 4-amino azo dye have been banned in Europe, Japan and other parts of the World prior to the finding.’’
According to Fashina, 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 SON Chief Executive, Mr. Osita Aboloma, he said, has advised importers of school uniform materials in Nigeria to endeavour to undergo the process of conformity assessment of such materials prior to import.
Such verification, he said, should be made through the Standards Organisation of Nigeria off-shore conformity assessment programme (SONCAP), in order 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.
“All international accredited firms (IAFs) undertaking the off-shore conformity assessment programme on behalf of the 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.’’