KARACHI: Exporters fear that the discrete use of restricted Azo dyes in the textile and leather products could jeopardise the improved prospects of textiles export to European Union countries.
Azo dyes are often used in the colouring process of textiles and leather but some have the capacity to release certain aromatic amines which pose cancer risks. Dawn
Pakistan Bedwear Exporters Association (PBEA) Chairman Shabir Ahmed told on Tuesday that many members had approached the association complaining about use of banned Azo dyes by some textile processing mills.
“The association plans to form an inquiry committee to trace out such ‘rough elements’ who are bent upon to damage the country’s exports by using such globally restricted dyes which are cheap in price but are hazardous for human life,” he informed.
He further said that the EU and many other developed countries have laid down legislation to prevent exposure to these hazardous amines. “This implies that Azo dyes releasing the aromatic amines can no longer be used to dye textile and leather products that come into contact with the skin,” he added.
“Undoubtedly it is a serious matter and we have to take prompt action against such elements before it is traced out by our foreign buyers which may result into irreparable damage to the country’s exports,” he maintained.
Shabir said that the threshold limit for the prohibited amines, allowed to be found in the article or in the dyed parts thereof is 30ppm for each amine but some PBEA members have complained that they have detected much higher ratio.
He also criticised the government for not taking any action to curb such practices which may cause irreparable damage to the textile exports.
The PBEA chairman said the blacklisting of fish processing units in 2007 by the EU for having unhygienic conditions resulting in total ban on fish exports damaging the country’s interest.
Shabir Ahmed disclosed that his association had already traced out a textile processing unit located in SITE industrial area which is using the banned dyes harmful for human health.
He urged the ministry of commerce to take action and also blacklist those labs which are blindly issuing certificates to such processing units using Azo dyes in textiles. He also suggested that all such units should be sealed in order to save the country’s external trade.