Dulux Paints, part of leading international paint business ICI Paints, has given the environmental movement in the regional paints business a boost by calling for greater government protection for paint consumers in the countries of the region.
According to managing director (exports and licensing) Tony Myers: “Currently, there is no UAE national legislation in place for paint manufacturers to regulate the composition of paint or driving environmental concerns. However, Al Gurg Leigh’s Paints, manufactures Dulux paints adhering to ICI Paint's charter for safety, health and environment (SHE) performance.
“Globally, ICI Dulux Paints works in accordance with the CHIP Regulation 1994, which stresses the usage levels of restricted and banned materials in the production of paints. Environmental concerns should play a more significant role for businesses and retail customers when selecting a paint product."
“Due to commercial reasons, many local paint producers do not make an effort to source eco-friendly ingredients, thereby producing cheaper and more hazardous paints. This is a great cause of concern because many of the ingredients at high levels can be dangerous, particularly lead. In some cases, high levels of lead exposure, can lead to kidney damage or cause serious harm to the central nervous system or even death,” he warns.
Philip Mathew, general manager, Al Gurg Leigh’s Paints, says: “Lead poisoning particularly comes into the spotlight with children. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, nearly one million children in the US under six have blood lead levels high enough to impair their ability to think, concentrate and learn. In children, lead poisoning can reduce IQ, cause learning disabilities and impair hearing." A report by the International Union of Operating Engineers, estimates indoor air pollution to be two to five times worse than outdoor air pollution.
One of the many causes of indoor air pollution is the volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be found in many paints. “It is for these reasons that safety, health and environmental care are central to our business. For over three decades, ICI Dulux has remained the only paints company producing paints with no added mercury, lead and chromium rich compounds,” he says.
Recently, AGLP completed projects for the Modern High School and Westminster School in Dubai. Moreover, it has worked on many major healthcare facilities including Zulekha Hospital, American Hospital and the Wellcare Hospital. In the UAE, several bodies like Ministry of Public Works and Housing have recognised and commended AGLP’s commitment to SHE issues, he says.
“At ICI Dulux, we believe that our work is never so urgent or important that we cannot take the time to do it safely. Dulux paints will continue to set an example for other paint manufacturers by strictly using environment-friendly raw materials, even where regulations have not come into force. Concern for safety, health and environment is what our business is determined to continuously build upon,” Mathew concludes.