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Information on the Regulatory Treatment of Styrene



Several governmental agencies in Japan are involved in regulatory oversight of styrene and other substances, including the Ministry of Health & Welfare (MHW), the Ministry of the Environment (MOE, formerly the Japan Environment Agency), the Ministry of Labour (MOL), and the Ministry of Industry and Trade in the Environment (MITI). These agencies incorporate many standards from both the U.S. and Europe (OECD - Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) as part of the Japanese regulatory schemes.

The MOL has proposed draft guidelines of 50 ppb for styrene for indoor air quality guidelines. MOL sponsored neurobehavioral epidemiology studies of unsaturated polyester (UP) resin workers estimating exposure (by urinary metabolites) at <20 ppm or >=20 ppm (8 hour), but did not establish any neurobehavioral effects. The MOE has conducted developmental/ neurochemical studies on styrene (Katakura et al), and did not establish a no-effect concentration. The global styrene industry (Europe, U.S. and Japan, through the Japan Styrene Industry Association - JSIA) has planned new 2-generation reprotoxicity and developmental neurotoxicity studies on styrene.


Several governmental agencies in Korea are involved in regulatory oversight of styrene and other substances, including the Ministry of Environment (MOE), Ministry of Labour (MOL), Korea Food & Drug Administration (KFDA), Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Science and Technology. Research programs on environmental, safety and health issues are conducted in two ways: (1) Studies by national institutes, such as the National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) and National Institute of Agriculture Science & Technology (NIAST); and (2) Studies by outside institutes, such as universities and public institutes. Global studies on styrene, conducted in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, have been shared with the Korean government through the Korea Foam-Styrene Association (KFRA).

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