Historical review on development of environmental quality standards and guideline values for air pollutants in Japan
Authors: Kawamoto, T; Pham, TT; Matsuda, T; Oyama, T; Tanaka, M; Yu, HS; Uchiyama, I
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health.
HERO ID: 755536
Environmental quality standards (EQSs) have been established as desirable levels to be maintained for . . .
Environmental quality standards (EQSs) have been established as desirable levels to be maintained for protection of human health and the conservation of the living environment by Basic Environment Law. EQSs in ambient air had been set for 10 substances (sulfur dioxide (SO(2)), carbon monoxide (CO), suspended particulate matter (SPM), nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)) and photochemical oxidants (Ox), benzene, tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, dioxins and dichloromethane) and guideline values for 7 (acrylonitorile, vinyl chloride monomer, mercury, nickel compounds, 1,3-butadiene, chloroform and 1,2-dichloromethane) in Japan by 2009. EQSs for the classical (or traditional) air pollutants, SO(2), CO, SPM, NO(2) and Ox, were set according to the minimal requirement to protect human health, based on evidence from epidemiological studies conducted before the 1970s. In 1996, the Central Environment Council designated substances which may be hazardous air pollutants and substances requiring priority action, and adopted the concept of risk assessment to set EQSs and guideline values. A life-long risk level (virtually safe dose) of 10(-5) was used to set EQS for benzene, and guideline values for vinyl chloride monomer, nickel compounds, and 1,3-butadiene. EQSs for trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene and dichloromethane, and guideline values for acrylonitorile and mercury were set using uncertain factors and lowest observed adverse effect (LOAEL)/no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL). The results of animal experiments were utilized to set guideline values for chloroform and 1,2-dichloroethane. The benchmark approach and human equivalent concentration (HEC) were adopted for 1,2-dichloroethane. The history of setting EQSs and guideline values for hazardous air pollutants is one of adopting new concepts into risk assessment.