Qatar hopes to set up laboratories equipped with latest technology by next month to test samples of electrical appliances and children’s toys to ensure they are of high quality, a senior environment ministry official told this newspaper yesterday.
Once the facilities are set up toys that pose health hazard to children and electrical equipment, including plugs and wirings, that do not comply with high Qatari specifications will not be allowed to enter the local market.
“These laboratories, and a third one to check radiation levels, are to be set up within three weeks,” said Dr Mohamed Saif Al Kuwari, Assistant Undersecretary for Laboratory Affairs at the Environment Ministry.
When told that Qatar still sends samples of several imported products overseas for laboratory tests to check quality, and can easily open these laboratories locally, Al Kuwari said: “We plan to set up labs one by one — in a phased manner.”
He said some 150 samples of polythene were sent to a laboratory in Saudi Arabia recently for quality tests and after results were had from there, food grade polythene bags were approved for mass packaging of hot food items like ‘khubs’, the popular Arabic bread, in Qatar.
“We send samples of shampoos, soaps and detergents to labs in the UK and based on their results allow these products to be sold in the local market,” said Al Kuwari.
If the results in respect of some products are negative, those are immediately pulled out of the shelves in shops.
Samples of cement and soil are, for instance, sent to labs in France for quality checks, he said. “We have a top-grade food lab already here where we send samples of food for quality checks,”
Al Kuwari hinted that once set up the three proposed labs will take the total number of such labs to seven. “We already have four labs.”
Follow us on our social media channels: