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South Korea’s Ministry of Labor publishes hazards and risks of 71 new chemical substances pursuant to OSHA

On March 28, 2024, the South Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) issued a Notice on the Names, Hazards, Risks, and Annual Manufacture and Import Quantities of New Chemical Substances and Measures to Be Taken (MOEL Notice No. 2024-162). The Ministry stated that it has reviewed the toxicity data of new chemical substances submitted by businesses during the period from January to March 2024, has classified the hazards and risks of new chemical substances, and has formulated precautionary measures to protect workers at workplaces. In South Korea, there are two laws that manufacturers and importers of new chemical substances must comply with: the Act on Registration, Evaluation, etc. of Chemicals (hereinafter “K-REACH”) and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (hereinafter “OSHA”). The notice issued this time was to take measures for new chemical substances used in workplaces based on the OSHA. The major differences between the two laws are as follows.

Differences between K-REACH and OSHA

In the notice mentioned above, the hazards, risks, annual manufacture and import quantities, and precautionary measures for workers were reported for a total of 71 chemical substances. According to the notice, 27 out of these substances have been identified to show toxicity, carcinogenicity, and/or other hazards. Some notable examples are shown below.