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Essay 대회2019 Essay 대회 중등부 유엔아카데믹임팩트 한국협의회 회장상 수상자

<GLEC Korea 2019 중등부 논술대회 수상자>

유엔아카데믹임팩트 한국협의회(UNAI Korea) 회장상


대원국제중학교 이진용


Essay Topic - SDGs Goal 3

As an aftereffect of the 2011 humidifier disinfectant incident, people’s concerns towards the safety of chemicals have intensified. After the series of controversies, the new term, ‘Chemophobia (Chemophobia)’ has emerged, calling for the proper regulation of chemicals in order to safeguard the environment and public health. As a response to chemical-related incidents, the U.N. stresses the importance of exercising strict control over the chemicals in order to precaution the millions of deaths that occurred from contamination of the environment. In South Korea, where there is widespread fear of chemicals, what is an effective way to manage chemicals? By acknowledging the current legal framework’s shortcomings, how can we effectively supply the eco-friendly products to the wider public? 

 

Grand Prize Winner's Essay

Today, the world is facing a monumental crisis. The increasing concerns about the safety of chemicals are now a clear, distinct problem, as surfaced by the emerging new term, 'chemiphobia'. The sheer amount of these unsafe chemicals and the vast multitude of the population using it has made this chemical crisis a lethal, potentially devastating problem that can threaten billions of people's health and welfare. Thus, there has been a rising consensus among people that governmental regulation of chemical products are necessary for the protection of public health. It is also widely agreed upon that better ways of distributing environment-friendly products to the public should be made in order to supply the population with safer chemical products. I, for one, believe that well-regulated and strict control by the government should be mandatory for these procedures to be efficiently done, and here's why.

It is not a stretch to say that many, if not most, chemical products out in the open market are, in some ways, harmful. The sequence of shocking revelations such as the 2011 humidifier crisis and the fine dust crisis raging on even today has opened the eyes of the public, enabling them to realize the potential dangers of harmful chemicals. It has been revealed that unlike previous thoughts, it isn't only the environment that is affected by harmful chemicals. As shown by the humidifier incident and in further incidents, harmful chemicals have been found in many products that are commonly used among us. The usage of these harmful chemicals by companies is usually motivated by one reason: the rise of a product's quality. Sometimes, the usage of certain chemicals can be useful to boosting a product's capability, and in a capitalist world and a competitive market, companies often opt to use these chemicals and risk the safety of the public using it.

These cruel and immoral acts from manufacturing companies have been gone undetected, or in some cases, unpunished by the government due to the leniency and corruptness of its regulatory laws. As many examples of the usage of harmful chemicals have surfaced in recent years, the underlying problem of this crisis has been correctly identified as the often useless regulation systems of our government. With the current chemical crisis being a massive problem that has contaminated the entire premise of the manufacturing world, it is essential that all manufactured products go under the strict control of a new law regarding the safety of chemical products. As it is impossible to acknowledge the exact state of the crisis and the products these chemicals are used, precautionary actions against all products must be taken. And the best and safest action would be the formation of extremely strict regulatory laws by the government regarding chemical products, and mandating that every single chemical product should go under this law. Every product should go under intensive testing and surveillance, and only ones that are qualified should be able to be sold to the public. Another important action would be making the public aware of the importance of safe chemicals and the danger of unsafe chemicals being used in everyday products. These actions would serve two purposes. Firstly, due to the strict regulation by the government, the public would only be exposed to safe products, guaranteeing public health. Secondly, it would propel a massive technological effort on the chemical front, as companies would be motivated to develop and discover new, safe chemicals that would serve their purpose, leading to a new blossoming of efficient chemicals that are also safe for our bodies.

The ongoing crisis of chemical safety is one that has continued to plague our world for quite a few years now. And the blatant truth so far is that no one is safe from these chemicals, as not a single product can be declared completely safe. In such a dire and potentially disastrous state, I am adamant that aggressive measures would be necessary to solve this problem. Increased control of product regulation by the government and public would lead to an age where all products could be trusted to be safe, and where corporations battle each other to form safer chemicals to provide the public. That way, the world can overcome this crisis, and become a better, safer place for all of us to live and coexist.

We support the Sustainable Development Goals.