Glass - Back to the Future!

Presenting Author:
Nicola Favaro

article posted 21 March 2016

Nicola Favaro Lab director of Stazione Sperimentale del Vetro Degree in Industrial Chemistry - Università Ca Foscari Venice More than ten years of experience in the field of glass science, from glass container to flat glass European Coordinator of the GaE (Glass Alliance Europe) REACH WG Member of different technical WG in glass field.

Chemical Agents Exposure in the Glass Industry: assessment and main issues

Nicola Favaro*, Walter Battaglia, Mauro Campeol
Stazione Sperimentale del Vetro – Venice - Italy

In the recent year the production workflow and the relate business is only one of the main topics that the top management of a glass industry has to face; in fact the number of general legislations dealing mainly with environment, workplace safety, REACH, etc. that must be followed are increasing in terms of number and complexity. The chemical agents workplace assessment and evaluation in the glass industry is one of the activities that SSV currently carries out: the aim is to investigate the exposure of the workers to the main chemical agents, assess the related risk and define possible corrective actions. The risk of exposure is mainly related to the type of raw materials used in the production, the type of process applied, the type of protection system adopted and finally the type of classification available for the specific substance. Such risk assessment is an important step and requires a deep knowledge of the process workflow and relate activities. The main chemical agents that need to be analysed are: respirable crystalline silica (sand); hydrochloride acid and MBTC (hot end); Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (forming), Soluble Nickel (mould soldering), Refractory Ceramic Fibres (insulation), etc. To assess the risk of exposure of these chemicals different methodologies can be used: such methods are not always the same and can change countries by countries. The introduction of the REACH Regulation is still increasing the framework complexity; in fact the risk assessment has not only to abide by the CAD (Chemical Agent Directive) and CMD (Carcinogenic Mutagen Directive), but also the Exposure Scenarios defined by the supplier for the specific application. The aim of the presentation is to provide an overview of the main pollutants present in the workplace of the glass industry and the relative methodologies applicable for their characterizations. Specific cases will be discussed, such as Respirable Crystalline Silica, MTBE, soluble nickel. Finally an investigation of the main problem link to the Exposure Scenario under the REACH Regulation will be analysed.