11 May 2018

Uganda's Toilet Papers Are Poor Quality, Pose Health Risks - UNBS

Photo: The Citizen
Bad toilet paper poses a health risk in Uganda.

Toilet paper manufacturers in Uganda are producing substandard products that pose risks of infections to consumers, the country's bureau of standards has said.

Consumers, especially women, are exposed to diseases such as cervical cancer and candida, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) says.

The findings are contained in a UNBS-commissioned research to find out the PH and bacterial load makeup and strength of sheets from which toilet papers are made.

Speaking during a consultative meeting with toilet paper manufacturers in Kampala Thursday, Ms Patricia Ejalu, the UNBS deputy executive director, said after analysing the commissioned results, the results were not so good.

"We did an analysis and our results were not so good. Most of the toilet papers on the market were below [required standards]," she said, adding that this exposes consumers to a number of infections.

In January, UNBS destroyed substandard goods worth Ush1.7 billion ($459,000), of which an estimated Ush6.4 million ($1,728) was the value of toilet papers.

The findings, Ms Ejalu said, have forced UNBS to come up with a tough measure that will require all players to get certification to manufacture the product.

The new measure is effective July 1.

Importers' concerns

However, importers said they were concerned over the pre-verification of imported raw materials used to make the toilet papers, which the quality assurance body now deems substandard.

Mr Walter Adhola, the Tender Roll production manager, said the move will increase the price of toilet papers, arguing that manufacturers will have to shift from their current raw material source (China) to UK.

A number of manufacturers, according to UNBS, produce toilet papers in cottages without certification.

Other manufacturers are illegally reproducing existing products, especially those manufactured in China.

The new certification, Ms Ejalu said, will require all manufacturer to acquire a quality mark, which unlike in the past, will be mandatory for all toilet paper manufacturers.

UNBS research, which involved 17 local brands and seven imported ones, concluded that Ugandan toilet papers are below standards and are a danger to human life.

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