SON, Merck, Katchey raise awareness on water purification for laboratory analysis

Chief Executive Officer, Katchey Company Limited, Kate Isa (left); Marketing Director, Merck Millipore, Dr, Maurice Memmi; Director, Labouratory Services, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Louis Njoku; and Country Sales Manager, (Chemicals) Merck Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences Limited, Kingsley Udoakpan at the One Day seminal/Workshop on Lab Water Technologies in Ikeja, Lagos …yesterday                                                 PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Chief Executive Officer, Katchey Company Limited, Kate Isa (left); Marketing Director, Merck Millipore, Dr, Maurice Memmi; Director, Labouratory Services, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Louis Njoku; and Country Sales Manager, (Chemicals) Merck Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences Limited, Kingsley Udoakpan at the One Day seminal/Workshop on Lab Water Technologies in Ikeja, Lagos …yesterday PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

With water said to be the most used reagent in any laboratory test, the need to have a better understanding of its role and the processes of its purification to meet global standard becomes paramount.

As a result, Katchey, a Nigerian-owned company that provides laboratory products in conjunction with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and Merck Pharmaceutical Company organised a one-day capacity building workshop/seminar for stakeholders in laboratory analysis to keep them in tune with the globally accepted practice in water purification.

With the theme: “Innovative Solutions for Production of Pure and Ultrapure Water in the Laboratory”, the participants were exposed to water purification fundamentals- water contaminants and water purification techniques; water quality monitoring: Resistivity, TOC, other criteria of water purity; International water quality standards and classification.

Others include reliable and economical production of pure (type 3 and type 2) water- Integrated total pretreatment; Intelligent RO; Unique Elix technology; E- Pod concept; New solutions in the production of ultra pure (type 1, reagent grade) water; Water polishing and quality monitoring at point of use; Pure and ultrapure laboratory applications overview among others.

Speaking at the workshop, the Director General (D.G), SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu noted that the purification process of water, which is the most widely used reagent in the laboratory, for different applications in line with regulatory policies on standardization activities need not to be over-emphasized.

Noting that there are broad ranges of pure and ultrapure water purification systems designed for scientists working in pharmaceutical, clinical, food and beverage, academic, industrial, research and governmental laboratories, the D.G who was represented by Director, SON Laboratories Services, Louis Njoku however said that indentifying the appropriate water purification system for any given application in line with international water quality standards and classification could be challenging, particularly when production economy has to be considered.

Njoku revealed that Nigerian products and produce face rejection globally due to substandard laboratory analysis. He reminded the various lab representatives that their work is central to good quality product that meets global standard which will in turn boost the economy of the country through exportation.

He went further to state that a lot of the laboratory managers see laboratory as equipment. Noting that equipments are one aspect of it with reagents a very important part, Njoku urged lab managers not to cut corners and use the right reagents for effective results and quality products.

Meanwhile, the Chief Execuitve Officer, Katchey Company Limited, Mrs. Kate Isa revealed that the partnership with Merck which stems from the pharmaceutical company’s huge plans for the continent and Nigeria in particular is geared towards building knowledge-based capacity in the country.

She expressed optimism that the workshop will help in re-orientating lab managers and make them implement changes that will be of immense benefit to the country.

According to her, “Nigeria is no more in isolation, the whole world is interested in her; it is the biggest economy in Africa. We can no longer do things the way we did them before; we can no longer get away with ‘manage it anyhow’, because we are now connected to the rest of the world; We need to play by the rules of the world.

And so, for the businesses of theses participants to survive, they have to do the right things. They have to follow the standards of quality that is globally acceptable.”

Kate pointed out that labs that use water from air conditioners to run analysis will not work because the right result will not be gotten and it would destroy the equipments used for the analysis and heaping great loss on the lab.

She urged them to use the right type of equipments to run their analysis, reminding them that if they have the intention to export their products, they must abide by global best practices.

The guest speaker from Merck Millipore Lab Water Merck Initiative Africa, Dr. Maurice Memmi in his presentation noted that distillation alone cannot produce clean water for analysis, adding that its running cost is much higher than waterfication system.

According to him, “the investment is smaller but the user pay more in electricity and the water consumption of a distiller is high too. To produce one litre of distilled water, you need 20 litres of water and 19 litres will go to the waste. And the electricity consumption is 200 times more than waterfication system.”

He finally said that nothing can be done in a laboratory analysis without a pure water.

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