Priority setting for management of hazardous biocides in Korea using chemical ranking and scoring method

Yun Hee Choi, Min Sung Kang, Da An Huh, Woo Ri Chae, Kyong Whan Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Biocides are non-agricultural chemical agents for the prevention of unhygienic pests. The worldwide demand for biocidal products has been rapidly increasing. Meanwhile, biocides have been causing negative health effects for decades, resulting in public health scares. Therefore, governments around the world have tried to strictly control biocides, and it is necessary to prioritize the health risks of biocides for efficient management. Chemical ranking and scoring (CRS) methods have been developed for the effective management of chemicals. However, existing methods do not use suitable variables to evaluate biocides, thus possibly underestimating or overestimating the actual health risks. We developed a new CRS method that reflects the exposure and toxicity characteristics of biocides. Eleven indicators were chosen as appropriate for prioritizing biocides, and scoring based on the globally harmonized system of classification and labeling of chemicals (GHS) improved the efficiency of the method. Correlations between individual indicators in this study were low (−0.151–0.325), indicating that each indicator was independent and well-chosen for prioritizing biocides. The effect of each indicator on the total score showed that carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, and reproductive toxicity (CMR) chemicals ranked high with r = 0.558. This result demonstrated that the most dangerous toxicants should play a more decisive role in the top ranking than the others. We expect that our method can be efficiently used to screen regulated biocides by prioritizing their health hazards, thus leading to better policy decision making about biocide use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1970
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 2


  • Biocide
  • Chemical ranking and scoring method
  • GHS
  • Health hazard
  • Risk priority

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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