27. 05. 2019


Assessment of air quality: 10 years of Catas experience

Ten years have now passed since CATAS decided to also engage in the environmental sector related to air quality assessments. The services offered concern the main areas of this topic, namely:

emissions in the atmosphere;

industrial hygiene and workplaces;

indoor air quality.

Production plants with processes that generate emissions of potentially contaminated air that is conveyed to the outside (emissions into the atmosphere) must obtain, pursuant to the Italian Legislative Decree 152/06, the authorization to carry out this activity. The authority responsible for issuing the authorizations is the Local Region which, following the request from the companies, start the process and issues the authorization with some provisions regarding the quality of the air emitted into the atmosphere. In particular, concentration limits are set for specific pollutants - defined according to the type of production activity - which must not be exceeded.

Companies are required to carry out self-control activities, commissioning specialized laboratories to carry out sampling and analysis, to demonstrate compliance with the limits.

As regards industrial hygiene and in particular air quality in the workplace, companies are required to comply with the prescription of the Italian Legislative Decree 81/201 which provides that the employer performs, periodically and in case of changes in the working conditions or the materials used, the measurement of the agents to which the worker is exposed and which may present a health risk. Among the many contaminants that must be monitored, particular attention must be paid to carcinogens, such as hardwood dust, formaldehyde, benzene, and so on.

Also in this case the company relies on competent laboratories to carry out investigations inside the workplace, in order to keep the chemical risk assessments up to date, based on the exposure indexes to which the workers are exposed.

The importance of the air quality all the people breathe is becoming a topic that is increasingly known and felt not only in the workplace but also at home (indoor air quality).

It has now been shown that the persistence of harmful substances emitted in confined spaces (eg volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide) or coming from inside (eg atmospheric particulate matter from outside air) can pose serious health risks. Therefore, the identification and control of emissions and air quality of indoor environments, where the population spends the prevailing part of the day, has become a particularly sensitive aspect to which even the private individual is much more attentive.

Similarly to what is done in the workplace, it is possible to assign a specialized laboratory to carry out monitoring, in order to verify the possible presence of contaminants to which we are exposed inside our homes.

For all these aspects, CATAS offers a high competence service in the execution of sampling, analysis and interpretation of results.

Thanks to the now decennial experience, combined with the latest generation instrumentation and specialized technicians, CATAS offers companies and individuals high quality performances in the evaluation of air quality.

Furthermore, in the sector of atmospheric emissions, Catas is accreditated for most of the required tests by Accredia the national accreditation body.

For info: 
Catas Environment Section

Flaviano Collavini
+39 0432 747253