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Japan ISHA Identifies 4 Substances that have a High Risk to Health

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On June 3, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan identified four substances that pose a risk of respiratory issues or skin absorption to workers on exposure. The Ministry recommends that companies that produce or process these substances should take precautionary measures under the Industrial Safety and Health Act (ISHA), including alleviating or preventing workers’ exposure to these substances by improving ventilation conditions, as well as providing personal protective equipment (PPE).


According to the 2021 annual risk assessment, substances that have a higher risk of inhalation or skin absorption are listed as following:

  • Pyridine, CAS number 110-86-1, is mainly used in pharmaceuticals, solvents and reaction mediums, raw materials for pharmaceuticals, surfactants, vulcanization accelerators, sedatives, and denaturant of alcohol.
  • Thiourea, CAS number 62-56-6, is mainly used to produce medicines, metal corrosion inhibitors, rubber medicines, pesticides, surfactants, electroplating pharmaceuticals, processing agents for fibers and paper, and synthetic resin coatings.
  • Tetramethylthiuram disulfide, CAS number 137-26-8, is mainly used as natural rubber, components for automotive parts, as well as sealants, adhesives and materials for food packaging.
  • Thallium and its soluble compounds are mainly used in semiconductors, alloys, mineral solvents, optical testing instruments and thermometers. Studies show that these substances have a high risk of skin absorption in workers.

Currently occupational exposure assessments are being conducted on these substances.

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