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Public Comments Invited on the Amendment of the "Operation of the Law concerning the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc."

July 20, 2007

In Japan, it was recently revealed that Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) was contained as an unintentional by-product at significant levels in certain chemical substances, such as Tetrachlorophthalic anhydride (TCPA) and its derivatives.

HCB is the chemical substance that is to be eliminated globally based on the Stockholm Convention. And in Japan, it is designated as one of the Class I Specified Chemical Substances, the production, import and use of which are all prohibited under the Law concerning the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc. (Chemical Substances Control Law, CSCL.) In order to reduce the amount of contaminant HCB, the Class I Specified Chemical substance, to be contained in other chemical substances as a by-product as much as possible, the Law requires the BAT (Best Available Technology/Techniques) to be applied for preventing its generation.

Therefore, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) are going to amend the "Operation of the Law concerning the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc." to clarify the interpretation of the Class I Specified Chemical Substances contained in other chemicals as by-products in small quantities.

The three Ministries will widely invite comments on this amendment from the public. All written procedures related to this invitation of public comments will be conducted in Japanese. Therefore, comments should be submitted in Japanese.

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