As a company that deals with chemicals, and as a company committed to reduction of environmental load, we adopt appropriate handling methods and designate prohibited substances whose use is restricted due to the risk, in consideration of the hazards and harmfulness of chemical substances, in order to ensure the safety and health of our customers, Group companies, and employees who handle products and raw materials on-site.
We have established a system to ensure proper use of individual raw materials. This includes creating a raw material sample manual in our company format, and checking whether or not prohibited and/or restricted substances are included based on SDS information.
Also, we work to create systems in which we conduct risk assessments required by the Industrial Safety and Health Act for safe handling when we start handling new raw materials or change the handling of existing raw materials.
Due to the impact on paint users and manufacturing workers, as well as the adverse effects on the environment, we believe it is important to comply with laws and regulations regarding the handling of hazardous chemical substances, and also consider reduction of their use through development of alternative methods and other means. We have established management methods for the hazardous chemical substances handled, and are striving to reduce the burden by formulating targets and recommending the handling amount.
Hexavalent chromium is used in paints that require corrosion resistance, mainly because it protects the steel material from rust corrosion and maintains aesthetic qualities of such coated objects. We are working to reduce the amount of hexavalent chromium handled by developing alternative materials that are less harmful and through other means.
In FY2021, we achieved our target of 7.41 tons, an 88.4% reduction from the FY2003 level.
Changes in the Amount of Hexavalent Chromium Contained in the Products Sold
Toluene (T), xylene (X), and ethylbenzene (EB) have long been used in solvent paints due to outstanding properties such as excellent coating film finish and rapid drying time. These substances contained in paint are released into the atmosphere in processes from painting to drying; therefore, we control the content in the products sold as a way to reduce atmospheric emissions.
The amount in FY2021 fell below that of FY2015, and we achieved our target of 21,400 tons.
Changes in the Amount of Toluene, Xylene, and Ethylbenzene Contained in the Products Sold
We consider the conservation of biodiversity to be an important issue for our customers and business activities. In order to prevent the negative impact on biodiversity from chemical substances contained in the products and raw materials handled, we select manufacturing sites in locations that have relatively low impact on biodiversity, such as industrial parks, and manage the use of substances that have a significant negative impact on the natural environment.
Specifically, since nonylphenol, octylphenol, and other chemicals are suspected of being endocrine disrupting substances, their use in new products has been prohibited from the very start. We are also working to come up with other substances, and will continue to promote efforts to conserve biodiversity.
Polyoxyethylene octylphenyl ether and polyoxyethylene nonylphenyl ether have long been used as key materials in water-based coatings.
However, since it came to light that these substances are harmful to aquatic environments, we have been working to go greener by reducing their use in new products, or by switching to less harmful alternatives.
By replacing raw materials that contain these substances, we reduced the total amount of both substances shipped as products from 0.64 tons in FY2020 to 0.32 tons. We will continue working to switch to less harmful alternatives with the goal of abolishing the use of raw materials that contain these substances in 2022.