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ZABS cautions against misuse of certification mark on hand sanitizers

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The Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) has noted with great concern the number of manufacturers and individuals asserting that their sanitizers are ZABS certified and approved in a bid to sell to unsuspecting members of the public. As the demand for sanitizers continues to increase in the wake of the Corona Virus, (COVID-19 ) pandemic, some manufacturers and individuals have been producing sanitizers and giving false information that their products have been certified by ZABS and that members of the public should buy these products with confidence on account of that.

We wish to state that ZABS has a record of all the products including sanitizers that have been tested and certified and those that are genuinely carrying the ZABS mark of quality. We therefore will not entertain any company that is found misusing the certification mark and asserting that their products have been tested and certified when in fact not. In the next few days, we will publish a list of all the companies and the brands whose products have been duly certified by ZABS to avoid misleading the consumers and help them make informed decisions when buying the products.

To would be manufacturers of sanitizers, disinfectants and hygienic soaps, be advised that ZABS laboratories are accredited and have capacity to test the efficacy of these products for their effectiveness in killing microorganisms. It is therefore important that the products are tested as people need to be sure that the sanitizers they are using are effective to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19 as specified by the WHO guidelines. In this regard, our laboratories will remain operational and open to manufacturers and producers for testing of the sanitizers and disinfectants. We are also collaborating with the various regulators to ensure that products are tested and confirmed safe for use.

While we receive different samples of products for analysis, we would like to caution that testing of a product does not mean it has been certified or given a mark of quality as these two processes are different. Testing involves analyzing the finished product to verify if it conforms to the requirement of the standard and if it does, the test reports will confirm if the product is safe for use or not. On the other hand, certification is a much more meticulous process that involves assessing not only the product but the processes or systems used to come up with that final product. Those companies whose production processes and products meet the required standard are then issued with a ZABS mark of quality and recognized as certified.

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