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March 2010

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ishiiMr. Shigeo Ishii, JSDA Senior Managing Director presented Japan Issue & Outloook at the SDA Annual Meeting on 27 January 2010.


I am delighted to have this opportunity to share views on our industry and discuss the JSDA's current issues and status with global colleagues. The Japan Soap and Detergent Association is made up of 23 full member companies and 38 supporting member companies. The JSDA has 20 or so large and small committees in which about 200 representatives from the full member companies are registered participants. This year is the 60th anniversary of our foundation.


Today, as usual, I will first talk about the laundry detergent market in Japan, then outline our main activities in 2009, and finally present our concerns regarding 2010.


As you can see from the graph, the laundry detergent market in Japan has remained at almost the same level since 2002 in terms of both volume and sales. The market has a volume of just under 800,000 tons and a value of almost 1,500 million dollars.


A breakdown of laundry detergents shows that sales of liquid detergents are growing, reaching about 39% of the total in 2009. As a result of this growth, laundry habits in Japan have been changing, and we expect it will lead changes in the ingredients used in laundry detergents as well.


Next I would like to talk about the reduction of plastic containers that the JSDA has been promoting. As I said last year, we have been aiming to reduce the amount of plastic used per unit volume in detergent containers by 30% compared with the 1995 level by 2010. In this graph, the blue bars show the total amount of plastic used and the red line shows the proportion of plastic used per volume of detergent compared with 1995. The total amount of plastic used in 2008 was 60,800 tons. This was 63.8% of plastic used per unit volume in 1995, which is considerably higher than our target.


This graph shows the year-by-year trend of percentages of refill and replacement containers of eight types of detergent. As you can see, the use of refill and replacement containers has been increasing year by year and has reached levels of almost 60% to 80% of total production. The reduction of the amount of plastic used per volume of detergent and of the total amount of plastic used is due to this increase in the amount of refill or replacement containers used. Based on the trends of containers and products, we aim to set goals for 2010 onwards and further reduce the amount of plastic containers used.


Now I will outline the JSDA's key activities in 2009. First, our campaign to promote hand washing. As you are aware, hand washing is essential for the prevention of infectious diseases and it is important to instill the habit of hand washing in children. This year it has been reported that the number of people contracting infectious diseases such as noroviruses has greatly decreased. One reason for this is that people have been washing their hands more than before in response to the spread of the new type of influenza commonly known as H1N1 swine flu.
Up to 2007, the JSDA has promoted local cleaning and hand washing programs through various initiatives. For example, we established the "Earth Pikapika Grand Prize" for water environment cleaning activities by elementary school children. We also invited children to submit designs for hand-washing stickers, made stickers based on the winning designs, and distributed them to elementary schools. From 2008, instead of foregoing initiatives, we held a new program of hand-washing poster contest and posted the prizewinners on the JSDA website so that they could be downloaded and printed at school or at home. Their sizes range from postcard size to A4 size. The posters shown here are the winners of the highest award and the outstanding awards in 2009. I very much hope you will take a look at the JSDA website.


Next I would like to talk about GHS labeling. As I said last year, GHS labeling of consumer products in Japan is going to be implemented as industry self-imposed program, and the JSDA has drawn up guidelines for the implementation of GHS labeling. On November 16 last year, we announced to the media that we would implement GHS labeling from 2011 regarding human health hazards on some soap and detergent products. At present, chronic health hazards are assessed based on the likelihood of injury, and the environmental hazards are still pending. The categories to be implemented in the first stage are hand dishwashing liquid, chlorine bleach, chlorine cleaner, and acid cleaner. We chose these items because hand dishwashing liquid has a high ownership rate and frequency of use in ordinary households, so consumers have many opportunities to come into direct contact with it or read the label, and because chlorine bleach, chlorine cleaner, and acid cleaner are products that require a relatively high level of care when used. The JSDA's GHS Guidelines and an information leaflet for consumers are posted on the JSDA website.


Now I would like to outline our key activities related to environmental safety.
This slide shows the JSDA's environmental monitoring program.
We started trial environmental monitoring of surfactants in river water in 1994. Since 1998, in order to assess the risks of surfactants to aquatic organisms, we have been continuously evaluating the concentrations in the surface water of urban rivers in Tokyo of four surfactants used in household detergents and fabric conditioners: linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS), polyoxyethylene alkyl ether (AE), alkyldimethylamine oxide (AO) and dialkyl dimethylammonium chloride (DADMAC).
In 2000, these four surfactants were designated as PRTR chemicals.
In order to make our monitoring program more comprehensive, we added sampling points, and since 2002 we have been conducting monitoring of 7 points.


This table shows the profile of surfactant concentrations in rivers. As you can see, all the measured surfactant concentrations were below the reported predicted no-effect concentration (PNEC). This suggests that surfactant risk to aquatic organisms in Japanese rivers is low under current conditions.


Measured surfactant concentrations have also been decreasing year by year. This graph shows the example of LAS, and other surfactants have also been decreasing.

We proactively communicate our monitoring and risk assessment. In 2008, a paper on our 10 years' monitoring of the 4 surfactants and risk assessment using these data was published in the Journal of Oleo Science, and was awarded the Japan Oil & Fat Industry Technical Paper Prize. Recently, a high-tier Japan LAS environmental risk assessment paper was accepted by the Journal of the Japan Society on Water Environment, and was published in January 2010.


The amended Chemical Substances Control Law was promulgated in May 2009 and comes into effect in April 2010. After the law comes into effect, companies will calculate their production and import volume from April 2010 to March 2011, and report this volume and its uses to the government in June 2011. Based on this information and on existing information on hazards, the government will determine the candidates for Priority Evaluation Chemicals - chemicals on which detailed risk assessment should be made - by June 2012, and publish the first list of Priority Evaluation Chemicals within 2012.
One reason for this amendment of the Chemical Substances Control Law was the achievement of the targets determined at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg in 2002. As you are aware, it was agreed at the WSSD that "by the year 2020, chemicals will be used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment." The WSSD also called for "transparent science-based risk assessments and management procedures, taking into account the precautionary principle."
Another reason for the amendment was the advances in the inspection of existing chemical substances. Since the enactment of the Chemical Substances Control Law in 1973, every new chemical substance has been subjected to premarketing evaluation. The government has also been conducting safety assessments of existing chemical substances used prior to 1973, and does not have completed assessment of most of them.


The key amendments are that all chemical substances, even biodegradable ones, are covered and that tiered risk assessment is applied. As this slide shows, the government first conducts risk-based screening according to volume used and method of use of each chemical substance and determines the Priority Evaluation Chemicals. It then receives more detailed information from producers or importers and conducts a primary risk assessment based on use, production and import volume, and exposure information from the environmental emission rate, and on hazard data regarding the properties of the chemical substances. Chemicals substances about which concern is expressed in the primary risk assessment are subjected to a further risk assessment. If there is still concern, the chemical substance is categorized as "Class I Specified" or "Class II Specified" and its production and import volume and uses are restricted.


The main impact on the Japanese detergent industry of this amendment is that even existing readily biodegradable chemical substances could become subject to restrictions because they are high production volume chemicals. In December 2009, at an inter-ministerial committee meeting of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and the Ministry of the Environment, existing chemical substances were discussed based on the current Chemical Substances Control Law, and some existing chemicals were added to Type II and Type III monitoring chemicals. Since these additional chemical substances were added due to their relatively high environmental emission rate and high toxicity, they are strong candidates for inclusion in the list of Priority Evaluation Chemicals in 2011.
Fortunately, in this year's deliberations, surfactants common to our industry, such as LAS and amine oxides, were not added, but some chemicals relevant to us were included, as listed below. If we can provide information for risk assessment, such as hazard information and river monitoring information, we may be able to avoid restrictions on the production and handling of these substances in Japan. We very much hope you will cooperate with us in this.


Finally, I would like to talk about carbon footprint labeling. As you know, carbon footprint is being studied in the United Kingdom and many other countries, and the ISO is currently drawing up rules on methods of carbon footprint calculation and communication. In Japan, voluntary carbon footprint labeling is being promoted mainly by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The main aims of this are to visualize carbon emissions so that they become a reason why consumers choose products and to reflect the views of Japan in the ISO 14067 standard.
These activities began in earnest in 2008. Although carbon footprint labeling has begun to appear on some private brands, it has not yet been used on any national brand labels.
At present, industries involved in producing consumer products in Japan, including the JSDA, have set up working committees and have just begun to investigate methods of carbon footprint calculation and communication, and many industries are still at the stage of observing international trends such as the ISO standard.


Thank you for your attention.

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