Ministry of Textiles, India has recently unfurled new set of regulations to enhance standards of body coverall suits. The officials have also announced the body coverall manufacturers need to submit declaration that there are no commercial benefits for them as well as the procured fabrics meet the specifications.
Markedly, testing norms have not changed, only the certification process has.
The new norms for body coveralls and for fabric state that the domestic coverall/fabric manufacturers applying for approval certifications will now have to attach a notarised affidavit which will declare they are not traders.
It was observed that traders were misusing official certification process to sell unverified and sub-standard coveralls. The announcement has come after Ministry received a lot of complaints about quality deficiencies in body coveralls lately, putting lives of medical professionals at risk during widespread of COVID-19.
The declaration must also contain the type of fabrics – non-woven, woven or knitted – and GSM that manufacturers will use in body coveralls. The declaration will further state where they are procuring fabrics from.
It’s worth noting here that testing for new coverall samples is conducted by four authorised agencies from the textile ministry and the new norms have been directed to these agencies – SITRA, Coimbatore; DRDE, Gwalior; and the two Ordnance Factory Board outlets out of which one is located at Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh and other is based out of Avani, Tamil Nadu.
According to SITRA, the certification will remain valid only till 6 months after which the manufacturers will have to reapply for the same.
It is also observed that technical products like body coveralls are not being taken under utmost sincerity by the manufacturers and that is why defaulted products are coming out of factories.
Commenting on the situation, Swasti Dey, CEO, Material Intelligence Lab told Apparel Resources, “With this COVID thing going on, we are deploying our instruments to test PPEs. COVID virus is found to be 120 nanometres so regardless of whatever you make – woven, non-woven and coated, etc., it is very important to measure pore size of the material used. The pore size should be less than 120 nanometres so that virus should not penetrate the fabric layer.”