Construction

Global authorities must regulate chemicals

Onus still lies in private sector choice to embrace regulations

Until global bans on hazardous materials are enforced, responsibility will lie with private sector companies.

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Authorities around the world must do more to regulate the development and use of hazardous chemicals and compounds and lead smaller and regional manufacturers out of their comfort zone.

Speaking exclusively to Big Project Middle East, IBS-Mapei managing director, Stephano Iannacone said that until global bans on hazardous materials are enforced the responsibility will continue to lie with private sector companies absorbing the cost of more ethical manufacturing.

“People are always afraid to go to the unknown, whether they are working individually or as part of an industry sector, they are in a comfort zone. This has to be imposed by the authorities otherwise, unless you have a personal drive to do something and you commit and are willing to absorb the costs, the number of people willing to do this is limited compared to the market,” Iannacone said.

Referring to the implementation of bans in Europe and the Middle East, Iannacone went on to praise the import regulations implemented in Qatar, which ensure the control of hazardous substances.

The comments were back by Dow Chemical’s MEA general manager, Dr Ilham Kadri, who said: “When we began operating in Jebel Ali [Dubai] we were producing waterborne technology and people asked us why, because they were still using solvent borne technology. But we believe in this transformation and have a set of values around innovation and R&D.”

Commenting on the existing regulations in the UAE, Iannocone added: “As long as there is a choice, obviously the end users are not driven by principle or standard they are driven by the cheapest way and that’s not necessarily the best way for what we are discussing.”

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