Product Stewardship - Chemicals and Product Safety
In order to ensure product safety and raise our chemicals management level, we are conducting the following activities:
Enhancement of the chemicals management system
The Resonac Group is promoting thorough legal compliance and risk management with the aim of building a chemical management system befitting a leading global functional chemicals manufacturer.
In 2021, we revised our rules on the management of chemical substances and improved the internal chemicals management system by measures such as appointing a person in charge of the management of chemical substances at each of our Group sites. We are also continuing the activity that we started in 2020 to improve chemicals-related risk assessment at our sites in Japan, thereby enhancing the company-wide chemicals management system also from the perspective of risk management.
Management and communication of information about products and chemical substances used in products
The Resonac Group creates Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) for its products based on the information stored in the comprehensive chemical substance management system. We provide customers with SDSs that have been examined and approved under the internal examination system.
We have completed the revision of our SDSs to ensure compliance with JIS Z 7252/7253 (Japanese Industrial Standard for methods of classifying chemicals according to the GHS and methods of communicating information on the hazards of chemicals [SDSs, labels, etc.]), which was revised on 25 May 2019, within the grace period until 24 May 2022.
Moreover, as part of our effort to foster product stewardship, we are proactively conducting activities to select chemical substances for which the Resonac Group will make risk assessments on a priority basis and disclose the results to stakeholders. In 2021, we summarized the risk assessment results made for a total of 30 substances and disclosed them on the chemical substance risk assessment support portal “JCIA BIGDr” provided by the Japan Chemical Industry Association (JCIA). As a result, we were given the grand prize at the JIPS Awards held by the JCIA for fiscal 2021 as the company that disclosed the greatest number of safety summaries in the year.
Compliance with chemical substance-related laws and regulations in Japan and abroad
We strive to ensure compliance with laws and regulations related to its products, product materials and chemical substances by making use of its comprehensive chemical substance management system. In order to meet the management requirements imposed by the laws of each country pertaining to manufacturing, export volume and others, we are making combined use of the system’s tabulation function and our core system for highly reliable and transparent tabulation, and utilizing the results to submit reports to the authorities in Japan and abroad.
- Laws and regulations in Japan: We are using the comprehensive chemical substance management system to foster compliance with laws and regulations, including the following, in a systematic manner: the Act on the Regulation of Manufacture and Evaluation of Chemical Substances; the Industrial Safety and Health Act; the Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Act; and the Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof. As for the Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Their Manufacture, etc., the Resonac applies the company-wide central management system and enhances compliance.
- Laws and regulations outside Japan: With regard to chemical substances, more laws and regulations are being enacted, and existing ones are frequently revised to enhance and expand the regulations on these substances. We are making use of various information sources and databases to monitor the trend and share the obtained information with our local staff in each country so that we can respond in a timely manner to the enactment and revision of the laws.
Risk management for nano-materials
The Resonac Group handles a range of nano-materials. We make risk assessments of all nano-materials that we handle as raw materials and products for the safety and health of our workers and customers. We do this in line with the safety management rules that we set in 2017 for nano-materials and based on the management system built and operated for the materials. We also set the guidelines for the safety management of nano-materials based on the rules and handle all nano-materials according to the guidelines.
Moreover, we regularly check whether nano-materials are managed appropriately or not at the meetings of the council set for the safety management of the materials. This council is chaired by the officer in charge. The decisions made by the council on whether or not to continue the projects/development activities for nano-materials are reported to the Management Committee for its final decision. We are currently working on implementing measures to apply the safety management system for nano-materials also to former Showa Denko Materials.
For the management of chemicals, it is important to provide individual employees, who support such management, with internal education so that they can acquire the knowledge necessary to ensure compliance and handle products in an appropriate manner.
Accordingly, the Resonac Group is working to enhance its internal educational program and build a systematic education system. The Group is providing employees with education on a continual basis to help them increase their sensitivity to, awareness of, and knowledge about the management of chemicals, thereby preventing noncompliance with regard to chemicals management.
For example, as a part of the internal educational program, we organize seminars on SDSs, the Industrial Safety and Health Act, polymers, the Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Act and on relevant laws and regulations enforced outside Japan and chemical risk assessments. In addition, briefing sessions are held for the persons in charge of the management of chemical substances at divisions and sites to familiarize them with the Act on the Regulation of Manufacture and Evaluation of Chemical Substances and our internal rules. We do all this online, so that many employees can improve their knowledge without location restrictions.
Consideration for animal testing in safety assessment
To develop useful chemicals for society and ensure appropriate control of chemicals, we need to conduct various types of safety assessment as required by laws and regulations. We are therefore working actively to introduce new evaluation technologies such as computer-based toxicity prediction assessment (in silico) and alternative test methods (in vitro) such as the use of cultured cells. We are conducting safety assessments using these new technologies as much as possible to avoid using animals for testing.
Meanwhile, it is extremely difficult to complete all safety assessment without any animal testing. Thus, we respect the “3Rs principles” in animal testing: Replacement (using alternative methods); Reduction (reducing the number of animals used); and Refinement (relieving pain), and we are entrusting animal testing to external institutions that are operating in accordance with Act on Welfare and Management of Animals.