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Bill to Amend the Chemical Substances Control Law

February 24, 2009

A bill to amend the Chemical Substances Control Law has been submitted to the 171st ordinary session of the Diet.

This bill is aimed at introducing a comprehensive control system to minimize the adverse effects of chemical substances on human health and the environment and at ensuring the international consistency of Japanese regulations on chemicals.

1. Background of the Amendment
In recent years, public interest in safety and security, including ensuring the safety of chemical substances, has increased in Japan. At the global level, an agreement was reached at the World Summit on Sustainable Development to minimize adverse effects of chemicals on human health and the environment by 2020, and a new regulation on chemical substances entered into force in Europe in 2007. In addition, it is expected that additional chemical substances will be listed under an international treaty to prohibit their manufacture and use with specific exceptions. Thus, circumstances surrounding the control of chemicals have changed substantially.

Japan, however, has yet to take sufficient measures in this regard. For example, the risk assessments of many of the so-called "existing chemical substances"

>>For Japanese

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