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생활환경 화학물질 보건 문제와 정책 제언

Chemical Exposure in Living Environment - Health Issues and Policy Suggestions

보건학논집 - 서울대학교 2017년 54권 2호 p.35 ~ 41
최경호,
소속 상세정보
최경호 ( Choi Kyung-Ho ) - 서울대학교 보건대학원 환경보건학과

Abstract


Objectives: During the past several years, we have learned that our living environment is not safe from hazardous chemicals and the risks associated with such chemicals could claim significant costs to our society. Recently, a series of chemical safety issues among general public, including fipronil and other pesticide tainted eggs and fears over allegedly toxic sanitary pads, have again clearly showed that chemical safety management system of Korea has failed to earn people’s trust, and exhibited significant gaps to fill. The purpose of this essay is to suggest underlying causes of this failure in chemical safety system, and to emphasize several areas to consider to improve the current chemical safety management system of Korea.

Results: Several reasons were identified to explain the current malfunctioning of the chemical safety management system. First, right-to-know of the public has often been neglected and hence informed decision was not possible. Second, risk assessment framework on which current safety regulations rely has limitations that should be supplemented by refined safety testing methods and epidemiological investigations. Third, specialized but separated managements by multiple ministries often leave some products or areas outside without proper management. In order to address these challenges, public’s right-to-know should be strengthened at community level. In addition, integrated and consistent systems for chemical risk assessment and disease surveillance should be prepared and streamlined with the functions of existing ministries that are responsible chemical safety management.

Conclusion: Recent experiences and public fears on chemicals in living environment indirectly show that the value of our society has been moving from industrial development to sustainability and health. The current chemical safety crisis should be the first step toward advancing the chemical safety management system of our society.

키워드

chemical safety; egg; santitary pad; management system; right-to-know; risk assessment

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