This project focuses on four aspects, including usage survey and baseline data study of toxic and concerned chemical substances (TCS and CCS), enforcement of chemical sampling and testing technologies, promotion of inter-ministerial cooperation for border management, as well as implementation of TCS and CCS e-commerce inspection.
First, for the usage survey and baseline data study of TCS and CCS, post-market inspection and consulting sessions for handlers of TCS and CCS, as well as importers of asbestos- and mercury-added products were conducted this year. From total 50 handlers of TCS and CCS, the data on use patterns, usage, manufacturing process, chemical reaction formulae and final articles of chemicals is gathered. The 50 handlers have used 587 chemical substances in 66 chemical processes, of which 55 are TCS, 2 are CCS and 530 are general chemical substances. The result shows a wide use of TCSs in synthetic resin industry as monomer, solvent, and a variety of additives. The CCS hydrofluoric acid can be used in cleaning metal surfaces or as catalyst for alkylbenzene production. TCSs are used mainly as reactant in chemical process, TCSs that are not completely reacted are seperated from starting material mainly with fractional distillation and then recycled back to original reactor tank. TCSs that cannot be recycled will be transferred to wastewater and waste storage inside of factories for treatment.
For survey on importers of asbestos-added products, written survey was conducted for 329 importers who have imported asbestos-added products during 2019-2021. Over 72% of the importers have actually imported non-asbestos products and have received consultation on how to use correct c.c.c. code. 46 importers who have imported asbestos-added products have received information and promotion for alternatives to reduce domestic use of asbestos-added articles. In addition, for source control of asbestos-added products, this project has facilitated the draft of “Restriction on the Importing of Asbestos-Added Products” and conference for importers to gether their opinions. For survey on mercury-added products, the “Restriction on the Importing of Mercury-Added Products” was implemented in January 2021. Import approval visa documents granted by Toxic and Chemical Substances Bureau (TCSB) should be received before importation of mercury-added products, currently only one importer has applied for approval for SSR. The approval process still requires the applicant to provide sufficient documents, therefore until now there is no import of the aforementioned products.
For reinforcement of sampling and testing technologies for chemical substances, this project has gathered information regarding TCSs without proper testing methods, chemical substances that will possibly be announced as CCS, as well as chemical substances showing urgency for testing methods. After comprehensive study of testing methods announced by domestic and international authorities and reliable institutes, the result was further evaluated for feasibility and amendments were put forward by authorized environmental analysis institutes to provide government authorities with standard testing methods as references. In addition, this project has performed 25 times of field sampling and 300 times of sample tests. Field sampling includes samples of chemicals suspected to be TCS and CCS from the border and workplaces. Testing samples include nitrous dioxide (laughing gas) and other items required by governemnt authorities. Moreover, taking “Execution Guidelines for Quality Control in Environmental Analysis (NIEA PA 104)” and “Testing and Analysis Methods for Chemical Substances - Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Organic Chemicals (NIEA T101.11C), Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Inorganic Chemicals (NIEA T102.11C)“ as references, this project has developed standard operating procedures and operation manuals for quality assurance and control in sampling and testing of TCS and CCS. In addition, based on sample accumulation, this project has applied to National Institute of Environmental Analysis for certification of “Samping Methods for Chemicals (NIEA T103.10B)” on 29, October 2021.
For promotion of inter-ministerial cooperation for border management, this project has assisted in developing operating procedures for sampling on the border and for taking samples from gas tank/cylinder on site. 25 times of sampling for chemicals suspected to be TCS and CCS were performed on the border and 56 gas samples were collected, of which six samples (from three samplings) declared as other gases for import were seized. For building spectral libraries of TCS and CCS, most widely used TCSs based on handling data gathered in 2020 were analyzed using B＆W Tek TacticID-1064 Handheld Raman Analyzer. Spectral libraries of 202 TCSs and CCSs were collected and underwent rapid tests with single or mixure of four accessible solvents (reagent grade) from laboraories: Methanol, Acetone, Dichloromethans and n-Hexane. The result shows that the Handheld Raman Analyzer can accurately qualitize samples in one single solvent or mixture of two solvents, but samples in mixture of three or more solvents are prone to be interfered and therefore may not be interpreted or detected. Comprehensive result shows, main component in more complicated samples cannot be accurately analyzed.
For e-commerce inspections, e-search was carried out across 8 domestic online shopping platforms. To screen products with high risk, a list of keywords is established, then online inspection of 341 TCSs, three CCS and CCSs to be announced were carried out electronically and double checked manually, resulted in a list of 56,527 products with risk, from which 117 suspecious products were verified manually. After informing platform operators, all of the products were removed and are no longer available. In addition, ammonium nitrate and hydrofluoric acid were announced as CCS on 20, August 2021 and the sale on e-commerce websites is banned as of the announcement day. Hence the online sales status of ammonium nitrate and hydrofluoric acid was checked and 58 products from 41 different e-commerce websites were removed or modified before the announement day.