Risk assessment procedure

“Risk of chemicals” is the possibility of undesirable effects on human health or the environment by chemicals . Risk of a chemicals is assessed by the hazard of the chemicals and the exposure to the chemicals.


Hazard assessment of chemicals is to thoroughly investigate what kind of adverse effects emerges at what dose, and usually it refers to determining the maximum acceptable amount that does not cause an adverse effect on human health or organisms in the environment (no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) or no observed effect concentration (NOEC)). Exposure assessment is to assess the exposure or amount of intake of chemicals for humans or organisms in the environment.

Therefore, risk assessment of chemicals, for instance in the case of adverse effect on general organisms, refers to comparison of NOAEL and the exposure, and the risk of chemicals varies depending on the exposure if the NOAEL was the same. If risk assessment finds a substance having a possibility to cause adverse effect, stricter and more detailed management appropriate to the risk is applied for the chemical.


At Kao, appropriate risk assessment and management are carried out for newly used or newly sold chemicals prior to marketing, depending on their purpose of use. Meanwhile, risk reassessment is carried out for currently used chemicals using the latest safety information and assessment methods from the viewpoint of SAICM, in addition to risk assessment carried out in the past prior to marketing, aiming at realization of more appropriate chemicals management. Risk assessment of chemicals is carried out by the following procedures in accordance with our risk assessment policy.

  1. Risk assessment of multiple chemicals with a similar toxicity profile (e.g., a certain regularity can be identified in their physicochemical properties and toxicological properties) is carried out by putting them into one category.
  2. Prioritization of risk assessment is reviewed regularly taking into account the change in the production amount or use amount (i.e. exposure for humans and the environment) and based on the regulations in the world, social concern over certain chemicals, etc.
  3. Hazard information of chemicals is compiled by utilizing data possessed by Kao as well as information in internationally credible risk assessment documents, academic papers, and database held by public institutions.
  4. If risk assessment using existing information indicates a chemical having a possibility to cause adverse effect on human health or the environment, risk assessment will proceed to the next step, namely, a more detailed risk assessment by acquisition of new data.


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