In an article published on April 29, 2019, news provider Chemical Watch informed about an announcement from South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety that it aims to complete comprehensive risk assessments by 2022 for 60 hazardous substances that come into contact with the body. Specifically, the ministry will select the substances “with the goal of protecting and promoting public health” that have exposure routes through ingestion, inhalation, absorption or direct application. Substances used in food, food additives, and food packaging are mentioned as being eligible for selection. Consumer organizations and academic scientists are invited to propose substances for assessment if they can provide evidence of hazard.

A 20-member committee will be formed to assess the substances, and the assessments should confirm human toxicity, establish safety standards for human exposure, and judge the risk posed by the substance to humans. Data will be gathered either from the domestic market or from international sources if needed, and exposure modeling will be used where data are insufficient. OECD test methods will be used for the toxicity assessment, however other methods are reported to be allowed. The assessments are set to begin on July 1, 2019 and refer to a number of existing national laws given the wide range of substances that could be assessed across different product types.


South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (April 17, 2019). “Food and Drug Safety Notification, No. 2019-29.” (in Korean)

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Sunny Lee (May 1, 2019). “South Korea to assess risk of 60 hazardous substances.” Chemical Watch