Overall aspect of regulations


Various chemical substances have contributed in our affluent and bountiful life over more than half a century, but as the number and amount of substances used in our life increased, more hazards of the chemical substances have been revealed and endanger our human lives and living things in the environment. Japanese government authorities have been dealing with such various hazard problems arising from chemical substances by setting adequate and timely legislative measures and have brought satisfactory results at each time.


On the other hand, this type of chemical management system, in a long history, lead to the creation of number of laws and regulations independently and/or dependently by individual ministries. Hence, the result of the overall regulation is quite complex.


This section tries to classify such laws from the perspective of a combination of exposure areas where chemical substances are used and toxicity to human or to the environment. The laws for substances with dangerous properties (e.g., Fire Service Law), the laws for recycling, and some other are not included.


1) Workplace:

a) Acute human toxicity:

Poisonous and Deleterious Substance Control Law
b) Acute and long-term human toxicity:

Industrial Safety and Health Law, and Agricultural Chemical Regulation Law


2) Consumer:
a) Acute human toxicity:

Poisonous and Deleterious Substance Control Law
b) Acute and long-term human toxicity:

Food Sanitation Law, Pharmaceutical Law, Household Products Containing Harmful Substance Control Law, and Building Standard Law
c) Long-term toxicity:

Agricultural Chemical Regulation Law


3) Environment:
a) Acute and long-term human toxicity and ecotoxicity:

Air Pollution Control Law, Water Pollution Control Law, and Waste Management and Public Cleansing Law
b) Long-term human toxicity and ecotoxicity:

Pollutant Release and Transfer Law, Agricultural Chemical Regulation Law, and Chemical Substance Control Law.
c) Acute and long-term human toxicity:

Soil Contamination Countermeasure Law


Key laws for marketing and use
Even with Japan having numerous and complex chemical laws, the regulations of primary concern are limited to chemical control and hazard communication. This section illustrates such priority laws.


1) The Law Concerning the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of their Manufacture, etc. (Commonly refer to as Chemical Substance Control Law: CSCL)
2) Industrial Safety and Health Law (ISHL)
3) Poisonous and Deleterious Substance Control Law (PDSCL)
4) Household Products Containing Harmful Substance Control Law (HPCHSCL)
5) Law Concerning Reporting, etc. of Releases to the Environment of Specific Chemicals Substances and Promoting Improvements in Their Management (Commonly refer to as Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Law: PRTR)
6) Fire Service Law (FSL)
7) High Pressure Gas Control Law (HPGCL)
8) Household Products Quality Labelling Law (HPQLL)


Japan prohibits or highly restricts marketing or use of hazardous chemical substances under multiple regulations: CSCL, ISHL, PDSCL and HPCHSCL. These regulations cover both industrial and consumer products. Japan requires new chemical notification before manufacturing or importation under two laws: CSCL and ISHL. Safety information must be submitted to the authority for evaluation, and must await notice of approval before starting business. MSDS is mandatory under three laws: ISHL, PRTR and PDSCL, and labelling is required under ISHL, PDSCL, FSL, HPGCL, HPQLL and CSCL.