The government on Tuesday said the National Test House (NTH) will set up facilities for testing nanoparticles, toys, helmets and air conditioners in the current fiscal. Kolkata-headquartered NTH, set up in 1912 under the then Railway Board, has since grown into a laboratory of national importance in the field of testing and quality evaluation, ensuring the quality of almost all sorts of industrial and consumer products.
“About 25,000 samples are tested annually. Even testing is done visiting the physical sites,” Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan told reporters.
Not only manufacturers but consumers also get the products tested at NTH, she said, adding that huge testing facilities are available with it which the industry should make use of to ensure quality products for users.
Of the total samples tested at NTH, about 15-20 per cent are from individual consumers, especially drinking water, building material and consumer durable goods like pressure cookers, she added.
On future plans, Joint Secretary in the Consumer Affairs Ministry Vineet Mathur said, “NTH is going to set up a testing facility to look into nano properties of materials this financial year. This is a new area for NTH.”
This testing facility would be useful to ascertain the impact of nanoparticles used in products like cosmetics, among others, he said.
The testing equipment for nanoparticle testing will be procured in phases. In the first year, about Rs 2 crore will be spent on two pieces of equipment, he added.
Since the eastern region has very few food laboratories, NTH plans to set up a food testing lab in Kolkata this year with the help of food safety regulator FSSAI and the food processing ministry.
Besides, facilities to test impulse voltage, outdoor electrical equipment and air conditioners will be set up this year.
“Right now, we are using air conditioners that have performance ratings given by manufacturers. With the establishment of a testing facility, we can test the performance of air conditioners,” he said.
The official said the NTH will set up toys testing facilities in Mumbai and Jaipur, an helmet testing unit in Chennai this year.
On the failure rate of samples, NTH said it is about 8-10 per cent, with more than 10 per cent failure rate in samples of TMT steel bars and cement.
NTH, earlier known as Government Test House, currently has a network of six regional offices at Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Ghaziabad, Jaipur and Guwahati.