KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) says it has requested that all shipment of toilet tissue and paper hand towels entering the island be detained for sampling by its compliance inspectors.
BSJ’s directive comes in the wake of reports that substandard paper towels and tissue were in the local market.
"In response to health and safety concerns expressed regarding substandard toilet tissues being imported and in communication from the Jamaica Customs Department regarding the quality of toilet tissue and paper hand towel imports, the BSJ has intensified its inspection, not only on imports of these products but also products manufactured locally," the watchdog agency said in a release Wednesday.
According to BSJ public education coordinator, Ellis Laing, it was discovered that several women were having health-related issues and investigations revealed that, "increased bacteria were found thriving on tissue, which would indicate that the conditions under which they are being manufactured are less than ideal".
Mandated to protect the integrity of products offered to the consumer, the BSJ said that to date ten shipments have been detained, three of which tested positive for high bacterial load.
“In this situation the importer will be required to either re-export or destroy the product. Where destruction is selected the BSJ monitors the process. Four shipments have been given full releases due to satisfactory results; testing of the remaining three is still on-going," the BSJ reported.
Laing added that the Ministry of Health is currently increasing surveillance of local manufacturers of toilet tissue and paper hand towels, “to ensure compliance to good manufacturing practices".