In the second half of 2021, the South Korean Ministry of Environment and the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute investigated and penalized a total of 387 illegal consumer chemical products, which include 340 products without completing the safety verification and reporting obligations, 33 products found to have excessive levels of hazardous substances and 14 products violating label requirements.
As a result, these products have been into the “Hazardous Product Sales Blocking System” and prevented from being circulated, imported, or sold online.
Among the 340 products violating the verification and reporting requirements, 33 of them were disinfectants and 2 of them were humidifier-use disinfectants. Specifically, 29 “air fresheners patches used on masks” were investigated this time. These patches had been verified and reported as air fresheners or deodorants used indoor or on fiber but being directly attached to facial masks in practice. MoE warning that such usage has not yet undergone risk assessment, and any market circulation is illegal.
33 products have completed the safety verification and reporting formalities, but failed to comply with the safety standards, which define the name and maximum limits of prohibited or hazardous substances.
4 products contained up to 16 mg/kg of Methylisothiazolinone (MIT), a prohibited substance. Another prohibited substance, Lead, was detected in 5 products including cleansers and removers. The highest level of Lead detected was 8.7 mg/kg, about 7 times the allowable limits.
In addition, 7 products contained up to 18 times the level of formaldehyde limit in safety standards, including tattoo dyes, air fresheners. Also, a colorant was found to contain benzene at up to 25 times the level allowed by its safety standard.
- MoE's News Release (in Korea)
- South Korea Added 4 Low-risk Biocidal Substances
- K-BPR: MoE Clarifies Submission Deadlines for 5 Types of Existing Active Substances
- AgroPedia: Overview of Consumer Chemical Products and Biocides Regulations in South Korea
- South Korea Refined Use Purposes of Biocidal Products
- K-BPR: South Korea Delists over 100 Existing Biocidal Active Substances
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