Registration and Assessment of Chemical Substances

The Ministry of Environment is promoting the enactment of 「Act on registration, evaluation, etc. of chemical substances」(hereinafter referred to as "the act") to advance the management system of domestic chemicals and to proactively take action to a current trend of its tightened international chemical regulation.

The act went through the prior announcement of legislation in February, 2011 and organized and operated a forum with the parties concerned to collect various opinions from industries and related departments. The act also mandates to adjust different opinions through several business conferences, National Assembly discussions and meeting with industries. The act helped create a consensus to promote legislation through policy council with different departments in March, 2012, and was submitted to the National Assembly in September 2012.

Since the introduction of the act, the law allows business sectors to produce and register substance information. It also provides a precautionary risk management through securing of toxicity information on chemical substances and restriction and prohibition of harmful substance uses including carcinogens.

Strategic Approach to International Chemical Management (SAICM)

The UN has selected a “Strategic Approach to International Chemical Management” (SAICM) as an international standard at Dubai in February, 2006 to minimize the health and environmental risk caused by the production and uses of chemical substances until 2020.

Korea has been operating SAICM promotion council composed of the Ministry of Environment as a center and related ministries including the Ministry of Employment and Labor and the Ministry of Knowledge and Economy, NGO, industries and private experts to implement SAICM in Korea, since 2006. Meanwhile, the total of 5 SAICM promotion councils were held to discuss international meetings related to SAICM, responses in each country and the direction of SAICM implementation in Korea.

Based on 273 detailed implementation areas mentioned in SAICM, the status of domestic implementation and implementation plan by subject (government, industry, NGO, etc.) were drawn and national implementation plan was built at the pan governmental level for SAICM implementation, finally submitted to UNEP in 2011.

Green Chemistry

Sustainable and green chemistry refers to efficient, effective and safe eco-friendly process and sustainable design, manufacturing, and technology of product to reduce the use and causes of harmful chemical substances. In order to achieve a policy goal in domestic chemical management policy, the technical support is needed and this can be achieved through the technical development of green chemistry. Accordingly, the Ministry of Environment has started a chemical management technology research group since April 2011 and established a sustainable R&D roadmap (2011~2020) for a regulatory response to chemicals. Currently, it is divided into chemicals management based technology, basic study on toxicity and risk assessment and risk reduction technology; conducting technical development of green chemistry. 

Risk Assessment

A project of risk concerned substance is being promoted to establish a reasonable management plan including setting environmental standard and emission allowance standard by evaluating risk concerned chemicals in all chemicals being used in Korea. Furthermore, 100 types of national priority pollutants list which should be urgently managed at the national level were drawn (October, 2010) and detailed risk assessment was separately conducted according to the result of annual initial risk assessment.

Risk assessment for risk concerned chemical goods has started since 2012 and this risk assessment was performed for main ingredients contained in air freshener and deodorizer. It is expected to establish a management plan according to the results of the assessment.

Furthermore, the announcement related to the 「guideline on selection standard, procedure and methodology of substances subjected to risk assessment」is planned to be newly revised in 2013.

Last modified : 2013-10-29 17:54

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