South Korea to Approve New Biocide Law Soon

The South Korean Ministry of Environment (MoE) wants to advance the planning of a Biocides Law quickly. The urgency results from a scandal involving humidifier disinfectant made by Reckitt Benckiser. An ingredient in the sanitizer, polyhexamethylene guanidine (PHMG), was responsible for more than 100 deaths and numerous injuries a few years ago. The case has surfaced again because the company just officially apologized in May for the harm done.

The planned law will contain elements of the European Biocidal Product Regulation (EU) No. 528/2012, such as a list of permitted ingredients and the definition of rules to follow when handling articles.

According to the MoE, a list of 15 products already exists, including air fresheners and deodorants. Manufacturers and importers are now being asked to supply data on their products, including all ingredients, the purpose of their use, and possible risks and dangers. They are also to sign a declaration that they agree to the publication of the data.

In the next step, planned for 2017, data on biocidal products contained in industrial products, electrical appliances, and packaging is to be collected and prepared for legal regulation.

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