Chemical safety has been managed in accordance with the Toxic Chemicals Control Act enacted in 1990. This system will be significantly reorganized by the Chemicals Control Act to be enforced as of January 1, 2015. This section gives a brief introduction to the current system; the provisions of the new Chemicals Control Act will be described in “Current Policy Focus. (1) Reinforced Management of Chemical Safety.”

The Toxic Chemicals Control Act focuses on the toxicity management of chemicals, safety management of poisonous and toxic chemicals, investigating chemical emissions and distribution, and responding to chemical accidents.

Dangerous chemicals are currently classified into 900 types of poisonous substances and substances requiring preparation for accidents, 6,000 types of single dangerous substances, and energy and high-pressure gases. Target substances and control methods vary among government ministries. In the case of the Ministry of Environment, chemicals that have a high likelihood of accidents or are likely to cause major damage are designated as substances requiring preparation for accidents(69 types). Any facility that handles1) a certain amount or more is required to formulate and submit a self-prevention plan containing information on the toxicity of the substance concerned, status of control facilities and equipment owned, safety control organizations, staff and organization charts, and emergency measures to address any accidents.
1) Manufacture, use, retention, or storage.

Toxic chemicals are classified into poisonous substances and substances under observation according to the degree of toxicity identified in toxicity examination and safety tests. In order to import any poisonous substance, the type and purpose thereof must be declared to the Korea Chemicals Management Association. The operation2) of any such substance requires a poisonous substance business registration at the local government. According to a 2013 performance report, 45,046 thousand tons of poisonous chemicals were distributed, with 37,675 thousand tons manufactured and 7,371 thousand tons imported. There are 7,200 businesses selling poisonous substances. Substances that are deemed likely to be carcinogenic are designated as substances under observation. The manufacture or import of any substance under observation must be declared to the Korea Chemicals Management Association, but unlike poisonous substances, there are no special regulations regarding business operation.
2) Manufacture, retention, storage, transportation, sale, or use.

Substances that are identified as being particularly harmful according to the results of risk assessments and those that are restricted or prohibited by international organizations and international agreements are specifically provided for. Restricted substances are significantly harmful when used for certain purposes and therefore distribution and use is prohibited for these specific purposes, while prohibited substances are prohibited under all circumstances. Currently 12 types of restricted substances and 60 types of prohibited substances have been designated

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Last modified : 2017-12-12 08:38

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