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12.10.2007 Business & Finance

Standards Board Closes Down Shifa Plastics

The Ghana Standards Board (GSB) yesterday ordered the closure of Shifa Plastics Company Limited, producers of plastics products.

The company was found to have used lead acid battery cases in the manufacture of plastic products.
Lead which is a heavy metal, is poisonous, can cause cancer and is dangerous to human health when it comes into contact with food.

The order followed an operation led by Mr Eugene Adarkwa-Addae, Director of Quality Assurance of GSB, at the premises of the company in Accra.

According to Mr Adarkwa-Addae, the chemical had the capacity to cause Respiratory failure as well as cancer, all of which are fatal.

He said GSB made the detection when personnel went there to ask the company to renew its licence which had expired two weeks ago.

He noted that the correct material to be used for the production of plastic products were Virgin Polypropylene or Virgin Polystyrene which had no health hazards.

Mr Adarkwa-Addae said the aim of the operation was to deter all producers of plastic products from using such products and any recycled material from outside its premises.

He indicated that they would continue to conduct spot checks on the company and other producers of plastic products.

“If they have to use any recycled material from outside, we have to be informed and this has been spelt out to them”, he added.

A Senior Scientific Officer of GSB explained that lead and lead-oxide contained 35 per cent sulphuric acid and 65 per cent of water and that when charged there was a reaction that produced lead sulphate.

That, he said, was the magnitude of health hazards when the manufactured plastics products were used to serve food.
The General Manager of the Company, Mr William Xu, expressed ignorance of the danger that was involved in the use of the lead material.

He, however appealed to the GSB authorities that he would rectify the situation. The team from GSB asked Mr Xu and the management to report to the office next week Tuesday.

Meanwhile the company has been instructed to cease all productive activities till further notice.

Story by Raymond Baxey

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