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Industrial consulting chemical laboratory, one step away from becoming the only one in South America to certify footwear for export

Industrial consulting chemical laboratory
Industrial consulting chemical laboratory

The Chemical Laboratory of Industrial Consulting of the Universidad Industrial de Santander will participate for the first time in the International Leather, Footwear and Manufacturing Fair, which will take place in Neomundo on February 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th.

The presence of this UIS laboratory in this specialized event of this sector is due to the fact that it has become a focus of interest for leather and footwear entrepreneurs, who have bet on the Chemical Laboratory of Industrial Consulting to receive accreditation before the ONAC for the test “quantification of total lead in raw materials, accessories, textiles and other inputs required in the manufacture of footwear for import and export”.

As it is known, large buyers in the world market are very demanding with these manufactures due to the difficulties of entry by the strict sanitary measures in different countries, since these are very sensitive products for the consumer, especially in the children segment, because they may contain harmful substances such as lead.

In this direction, the project of the Chemical Laboratory of Industrial Consultations was chosen in the call 888 of Ministerio de Ciencia Tecnología e Innovación and if these analyses are accredited before the ONAC, it would be the only one in South America to have these accredited controls with the capacity to certify the footwear businessmen of this region and other parts of the country.

The accreditation of these tests, when performed in Bucaramanga, would greatly benefit the Santander and Colombian businessmen both in costs and time to expedite their exports, because they would no longer have to send samples for analysis to the U.S. and Guatemala, where they currently perform this service.

The director of the Chemical Laboratory of Industrial Consultations of the UIS, professor of the School of Chemistry Luz Yolanda Vargas Fiallo, explained that “footwear producers and exporters must comply with international consumer safety standards (CPSC), which establishes lead concentrations that are safe for the user”.

“Therefore, the exporters’ need is to have an accredited laboratory in Colombia for the determination of this metal in textiles and footwear, since at present they resort to laboratories outside the country, even if they have initial reception in Colombia, thus increasing logistics, time and transportation costs,” said Professor Vargas Fiallo, a master’s degree in chemistry and specialist in environmental chemistry.

The project “Validation and implementation of the methodology for the determination of total lead in textiles, footwear, raw materials and accessories by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (AA-HG) as quality control in export and import type products” was created to meet this need.

“This has been possible thanks to our experience because we have provided support to several footwear companies so that they can have a reference in the acquisition of raw materials and thus develop their products with acceptable lead levels and thus help them to export their products in compliance with the limits required by international standards,” said the laboratory director.

Finally, she clarified that the main products are “children’s footwear, sandals, saddlery, handbags, accessories and everything related to leather and textiles”. The Industrial Consulting Chemical Laboratory (LQCI UIS) is located within the central campus of the Universidad Industrial de Santander and offers industry and the community in general specialized technical, research and consulting services in laboratory analysis and related work.

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