Safety level standards for four types of environmental risk factors (DNOP, DINP, TBT and Nonylphenol) have been set. The levels are applied to children’s toys that can be placed in the mouth or be in contact by hands of a child.
※ DNOP (Di-n-Octylphthalate), DINP (Di-isononylphthalate), TBT (Tributyltin compounds)
The Ministry of Environment (Minister Yoo Young-sook) has enacted and promulgated on the 27th a ‘regulation for restricted use of environmental risk factors in children’s products’. The regulation is to protect the health of children who are more sensitive and vulnerable to hazardous substances than the adults.
Main focus of the enacted regulation is to set and manage the rule for restricted use of environmental risk factors in children’s products by selecting four types of substances in total, two among 135 types of environmental risk factors that are subject to risk assessment (Notification No. 2009-116 of the Ministry of Environment) which exceeded the risk assessment standard, DNOP and DINP and two from the Toxic Chemicals Control Act, TBT and Nonylphenol.
Since 2007, the ministry has been conducting annual risk assessment for environmental risk factors that may influence the children’s health through contact with the substances contained in the toys and stationary products and the result of the assessment was the basis for the establishment of the regulation.
※ Risk assessment: quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the risk posed to human health and/or the environment by the actual or potential presence of and exposure to particular pollutants. (as specified by OECD, risk = hazard x exposure)
In case of DNOP and DINP, the ministry set the level taking the migration rate into account after conducting the risk assessment. The migration rate refers to the exposure to the substances when a child places the product in the mouth or makes contact with hands. As TBT and Nonylphenol are already designated as restricted substances under the Toxic Chemicals Control Act, standards of equivalent levels are applied.
The standards set for DNOP and DINP which are mainly used as plasticizers of plastics and are contained in children’s products including toys and stationeries, are expected to be used for management of plastic products. Also, TBT and Nonylphenol will be applied to wooden products and ink products for children, respectively.
After the one-year grace period considering the preparation time for related industries, the notification will go into effect from September 27, 2013.
An official of the ministry said that restrictive regulation for children’s products will be set based on the continuous risk assessment on the substances that may affect children’s health.
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