Like many other countries, Japan has developed a number of systems for the assessment and management of different types of chemicals. While pharmaceuticals, food additives, pesticides, acutely toxic substances and other specific types of chemicals have a longer history of regulation, the general regulation on industrial chemicals started in the 1970’s. It was in the 1970’s that industrialized countries were confronted with severe pollution affecting human health and the environment (see also Chapter 1), and Japan was no exception. As a result of pollution caused by PCBs the first regulations in Japan focused on persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substances.
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