SLS introduces standards for COVID-19 related products

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 02:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Standards process for face masks, hand sanitisers, gloves completed 
  • Exporters encouraged to apply for new standards 
  • SLS plans to evolve standards process to 11 COVID-19 related products 
  • ISO, IEC standards expected to increase quality for local consumers

In a bid to increase exports of COVID-19 related equipment and promote the quality of local products, the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLS) has introduced new standard types which can be obtained by companies. 

SLS Director General Dr. Siddhika G. Senaratne said yesterday that the process for giving SLS status to hand sanitisers, face masks and gloves had been completed by the institution. She also said the institution was considering expanding the list to include 11 COVID-19 related medical products. 

“With the spread of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka there has been an explosion of people producing masks, gloves and hand sanitisers. But these need to be regulated so we know whether the product is of the right quality. For example if hand sanitisers have less than 70% alcohol content then it will not kill the virus. Therefore we decided to develop new standards for these products,” she said. 

The SLS is also hoping the introduction of standards to these products will assist export companies to ship more overseas. Sri Lanka’s apparel sector is among companies changing their production lines to produce masks, PPE and gloves for potential exports. A prominent alcohol producing company also chipped in to make large bottles of hand sanitiser recently for use in hospitals. 

“There is a huge demand for COVID-19 related products and it is likely that more local companies will start manufacturing them. Therefore new standards have to be developed to help these companies export their products as well as ensure that Sri Lankans also get quality products for their use.” 

The standards process has been made to fall in line with International Standardization Organisation (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) requirements. Companies seeking to produce hand sanitisers, face masks and gloves were encouraged by the SLS officials to apply for standardisation approval.