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).