Substances of Concern

From Procurement to Manufacture, Toyota is Grasping and Assessing the Risks of Using Chemical Substances, and Is Switching Towards the Use of Substances with a Smaller Environmental Impact

Complete Elimination of the Four Substances of Concern

With regard to the four substances of concern (lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium), Toyota has been taking action to achieve their early elimination based on the Toyota Global Standards. As a result, in August 2006, their usage was completely eliminated at all production affiliates in Japan. Overseas, the use of these substances was largely eliminated at major plants around the world by the end of 2007.

VOC Levels within Vehicle Cabins Reduced in All New and Fully Changed Models

It is generally accepted that, of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs*1) emitted by vehicle interior parts, toluene, xylene and formaldehyde may have a particularly detrimental effect on human health. In order to reduce the amount of VOCs generated, Toyota is continuing to review the materials, processing methods and adhesives used for interior parts. In all of 8 newly launched or fully changed models in FY2009, Toyota has achieved the voluntary goals set by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Reduction of the Discharge Volume of Substances Subject to PRTR

TMC Discharge Volumes of Substances Subject to PRTR


Toluene, xylene, ethyl benzene, and 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene account for 92% of all substances subject to the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR*2). In order to reduce these four substances, Toyota has carried out PRTR substance discharge reduction activities in the main source of that discharge, the painting process. As measures for FY2009, Toyota reduced usage and improved recovery rates for cleaning solvent, and moved forward on water purification of cleaning solvent for waterborne paints. Through these activities, Toyota achieved its goals, and reduced the annual discharged volume to 900 tons (a 19% reduction over the previous year).

GADSL: A Managed Chemical Substance List Enacted Collaboratively by Global Automobile, Automotive Parts and Chemical Makers

The industry-wide managed chemical substance list enacted by the Japanese, U.S. and European automobile, automotive parts and chemical maker representatives who form the GASG (Global Automotive Stakeholders Group) in order to conform to global chemical substance regulations, is called the GADSL*3. Based on the regulated substances of each country, this list was created in 2005, and is updated according to chemical substance regulatory trends. (In the 6th edition of February 2010, there were 110 substance groups and 2,732 chemical compounds.) Each automobile maker uses this GADSL to designate to suppliers the substances that must be declared, and to advance the conformity of internal standards. Discussions are being held about utilizing it in future, along with the chemicals in products gathering system IMDS*4, in conforming to REACH*5.

*1. VOC(Volatile Organic Compounds)
*2. PRTR (Pollutant Release and Transfer Register)
*3. GADSL (Global Automotive Declarable Substance List)
*4. IMDS(International Material Data System)
*5. REACH(Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals)