Japan Science and Technology Corporation

Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology


Area of Research
「Society Systems for Better Environment Performance」

Representative of  Research
Junko Nakanishi , PhD of Engineering
  Research Center for Chemical Risk Management (CRM)
  Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences
 Yokohama National University






Overview of the research project:

The research project is aimed at developing a scientific framework for the management of chemical use based on risk-benefit analysis which is a variation of cost-benefit analysis and is often referred to as a type of cost-effectiveness analysis. In the process, the methodologies for evaluating the risks posed by chemicals to human health, for balancing the benefits against risks from chemical use and for balancing the human health risks against the ecological risks will be developed. The research project includes the engineering, ecology and economic viewpoints. It is a basic scientific study in the sense that it aims at understanding the environmental behaviors of chemicals , and at the same time, a practical and policy-oriented study in the sense that the main motivation behind this project was the need to formulate environmental policies on a scientific and economic basis. This research is important because Japan lags behind other developed countries in chemicals regulation from a broad perspective. The chemical regulation policy in Japan has been established from a narrow perspective that considers just one chemical, one environmental medium and one risk, at a time. In addition, the policy only emphasizes only the human health protection, while overlooking need for the protection of ecological systems. Furthermore, regulatory agencies and some proenvironment economists tend to believe that the risk-benefit analysis should not be applied to environmental policies, as doing so will provide great advantages to big industrial powers.

he overview of the project is shown in Figure 1 and mainly includes the following three objectives under which some sub-objectives have been listed;
1) to evaluate the human health risks from chemical use 
2) to evaluate the risks to ecological systems from chemical use ,various types of exploitation and fishing
3) to balance the risks against the benefits from chemical use. 
The final goal of the project is to propose a chemical management principle based on the
 results of case studies of several target chemicals selected for the research project and to propose a framework for establishing the chemical management principle.


last update: 26.December.2002