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The health, industry and environment ministries will compile a database on the toxicity and other features of some 28,000 chemical substances over a three-year period starting in fiscal 2004 in line with a new law, officials said Tuesday.

Chemical substance data are currently managed separately by the three ministries. The unified database is intended to help enforce an updated chemical substances law that takes effect next April or May, they said.

Under the revised law, the toxicity of a substance will be determined not only from its effects on human health, as at present, but from its effects on animals and plants. Penalties, including fines, for unauthorized manufacture of restricted toxic substances will be increased.

The database, with an estimated design and development cost of some 150 million yen in the first fiscal year, will be available to the public via the Internet after completion, except for content classified as corporate secrets, the officials said.

Manufacturers and importers of chemical substances that were not classified when the original law took effect in 1973 will be obliged to submit data on the substances to the three ministries.

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