The EPA has revised the Regulated Toxic Chemical Substances and Matters Concerning Their Handling and Management (列管毒性化學物質及其運作管理事項) in order to tighten handling and management of organotin compounds. It is part of the joint efforts between the EPA and the Council of Agriculture (COA) to stop fake agrochemicals. The revisions were done to prohibit the use of organotin in the manufacture of biocides, anti-fouling paints, or anti-fouling system, following the global trend of controlling it. With the new toxicity classification of organotin compounds tightened, existing enterprises will be given a buffer implementation period of six months to a year and a half in phases so as to comply with the regulations related to accident prevention and emergency response.
In 2022, an underground agrochemical factory was discovered in Yunlin, where the owner used triphenyltin chloride, a toxic chemical substance, to make a fake agrochemical known as “White Paste.” Yunlin County Environmental Bureau found out that between 2019 and 2021 the owner had brought into the country 33.5 metric tons of triphenyltin chloride and did not report its operating records in accordance with the Toxic and Concerned Chemical Substances Control Act (毒性及關注化學物質管理法). Besides issuing fines and voiding its approval documents for operating toxic chemical substances, the environmental bureau handed the owner over to the prosecutor’s office for further investigation on the grounds of false registration and possible falsification documents.
As part of the joint efforts to prevent harmful use and abuse of organotin compounds, the EPA has studied international control efforts, looked into its domestic handling, and consulted experts and scholars. Limits concerning ten organotin compounds, such as tributyltin oxide bis(tributyltin) oxide and triphenyltin chloride, are further adjusted. To strengthen controls of organotin, their use is now banned in the manufacturing of biocides, anti-fouling paints, or anti-fouling systems. Moreover, the EPA has updated information on these substances by adding the Chemical Abstracts Service Number (CAS No.) of triphenyl-α-naphthyltin, tripropyltin fluoride, tritolyltin bromide and tritriphenylstannyl-methane, and adjusted the toxicity classifications of organotin compounds like tributyltin oxide bis(tributyltin) oxide and triphenyltin hydroxide..
Meetings were held in October 2022 since the announcement of the amendments, and enterprisers are given a buffer implementation period of six months to a year and a half in phases. This is done as adjustment of toxicity classification of organotin compounds affects regulations on transportation of these substances, detection and alarm equipment, and placement of professional response technicians, and changes of licenses. Not only so, in line with a full asbestos ban in Taiwan, registrations and approval documents for all uses of organotin compounds, except for research, experiment and education, have all expired in their validities, hence relevant regulations were revised as well.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, February 2023
- Ministry of Environment