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Protection against chemical substances - the REACH Regulation

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The REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) regulation lays down requirements for the registration, valuation, authorisation and restriction on the use of chemical substances, with the aim of ensuring the protection of health and the environment. The most significant effects of applying this regulation are as follows:

  • substances which have not been registered may not be marketed and for certain substances this is the case if specific approvals have not been obtained;

  • substances may not be used for purposes other than those envisaged in the registration and may not be used where there are specific restrictions.

A2A has various roles regarding the REACH regulation: as producer, as in the case of the production of subproducts; as downstream user, in all the cases where preparations or substances are purchased for use in the Group’s various industrial activities; and as potential importer, in view of the possible purchase of substances or preparations from non-EU countries.
The CLP Regulation regards the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures and amends previous European legislation on the subject, aligning it to a harmonised system at a global level (Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals - GHS), with the aim of facilitating international trade while maintaining the present level of the protection of health and the environment.
In 2011 A2A further investigated the opportunities of REACH registration concerning the application of legislation on the subproducts for ash and chalk produced by the Monfalcone power station and registered in 2010. The applicability of the REACH regulation to waste recovery processes, especially for products deriving from the treatments of the residues and ash at the waste to energy plants and for the production of secondary solid fuel, was assessed. In conclusion, at the beginning of 2011 the ammonium sulphate obtained from the purification of the underground water at the Gerenzano (MI) landfill was pre-registered.
Two days of training on the REACH and CLP regulations were given to the workers’ representatives for safety and the environment and a training meeting was held for all the people in the Group who have jobs connected with environmental and safety matters: besides describing the changes introduced by the new CLP regulation, the meeting also pointed out the implications that the new regulation have on the scope of application of other environmental and safety legislation.