Article

Japan to Join the Global Ban on PFOA

Posted on: March 8, 2021

by Yuko Howell

vegetables in a frying pan - Japan to Join the Global Ban on PFOA Japan is moving forward with a domestic ban on the production, import, and use of Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts, and 2,2,2-Trichloro-1-(2-chlorophenyl)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)ethanol (also known as o,p’-Dicofol), thus keeping its commitment made at the 9th meeting of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in 2019.

On February 24, 2021, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Ministry of the Environment (MoE), and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) announced an amendment to the Cabinet Order of the Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of their Manufacture, etc. In the proposal, PFOA, its salts, and o,p’-Dicofol will be added to the group of substances regulated as Class 1 Specified Chemical Substances, which includes Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBT) substances. Under Japan’s Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of their Manufacture, etc., manufacture and import of a Class 1 Specified Chemical Substance requires prior authorisation from METI. The use of the regulated substances is only authorised when there are no alternatives and the use will not pose a risk to the environment or human health.

Class 1 Specified Chemical Substances are listed in Article 1 of the Cabinet Order of the Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of their Manufacture, etc.

In addition, the following list of products are to be added to Article 7 of the Cabinet Order which prohibits the import of products containing PFOA and its salts.

  1. Water-resistant and oil-resistant paper
  1. Water-repellent and oil-repellent textiles
  1. Cleaning agents
  1. Anti-reflection agents used in the manufacture of semiconductors
  1. Paints and varnish
  1. Water and oil repellent
  1. Adhesives and sealing fillers
  1. Fire extinguishers, fire-extinguishing agents, and fire-extinguishing foam
  1. Toners
  1. Water-resistant and oil-resistant clothes
  1. Water-repellent floor and oil-repellent floor coverings
  1. Floor waxes
  1. Photographic paper

The government is accepting public comments on the proposed amendment until March 26, 2021.

The amendment is expected to be finalised by early April and come into force in mid-October.

PFOA related substances are not included in this amendment as the regulatory review of these substances has not been concluded.

References

Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc. (Act No. 117 of 16 October 1973) (in English) http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/law/detail/?id=3350&vm=02&re=01

Cabinet Order for Enforcement of the Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc. (Cabinet Order No. 202 of 7 June 1974) (in English) http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/law/detail/?id=3455&vm=02&re=01

Public comment submission concerning an amendment to Cabinet Order for Enforcement of the Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc. https://public-comment.e-gov.go.jp/servlet/Public?CLASSNAME=PCMMSTDETAIL&id=595121023&Mode=0

Key words

Japan, Stockholm Convention, Japan CSCL, PFOA


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