Chemical Substance Pollution Prevention

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Basic Stance

The UACJ Group believes it would be ideal if products could be made without giving rise to any substances negatively impacting the environment, anywhere within the supply chain. That ideal is at the root of our constant efforts to prevent contamination by chemical substances.

Fiscal 2017 Results

For discharges of environmental pollutants accompanying its production activities, the UACJ Group has set and abides by pollutant discharge standards that are stricter than those of Japan’s Air Pollution Control Law, Water Pollution Control Law, local government ordinances, and conventions.

In fiscal 2017, there was one accident in which an environmental wastewater standard was violated. On September 17, a release of wastewater with a pH (the standard for hydrogen ion concentration) of 8.7 occurred at UACJ Copper Tube Corporation’s plant. The standard calls for a pH of 5.8 to 8.6, and the release was into a river. The accident was caused by the growth of algae in a pond on the plant grounds and the consumption of CO2 as a result of photosynthesis. This was a natural phenomenon and occurred over a short period of time, so there were no impacts on the river. Measures for controlling the growth of algae are being developed to prevent a recurrence.

Pollutant Control at Individual UACJ Works (Fiscal 2017)

○: Measurements fall within standards

  Measurement Item Nagoya
Works
Fukui
Works
Fukaya
Works
Nikko
Works
Air NOx、SOx、soot and dust
Water  pH、BOD
n-H(mineral oil)、SS

Control of PRTR Substances

The UACJ Group, in accordance with the PRTR Law, identifies amounts of targeted substances handled, released, and transferred, and reports them as required. We also work to reduce these volumes.

In fiscal 2017, factors such as progress in converting to a detergent containing lower amounts of controlled substances reduced overall releases of targeted substances by the Group as a whole by 11.3% compared to fiscal 2016.

* PRTR Law: Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof

Amounts of PRTR Substances Handled

(Contain manganese, chromium, nickel, and lead as alloy substances)

Graph of Amounts of PRTR Substances Handled

Amounts of PRTR Substances Released or Transferred

 

Graph of Amounts of PRTR Substances Released or Transferred

  • ※Measurement Scope: UACJ (Nagoya, Fukui, Fukaya, Nikko), UACJ Color Aluminum Corporation, UACJ Extrusion Nagoya Corporation (Nagoya, Anjo), UACJ Extrusion Oyama Corporation, UACJ Extrusion Gunma Corporation, UACJ Extrusion Shiga Corporation, UACJ Foil Corporation (Isezaki,Shiga,Nogi), UACJ Foundry & Forging Corporation, UACJ Copper Tube Corporation.

Handling, Releases, and Transfers of PRTR Substances (Fiscal 2017)

No. Substance Amount Used (kg) Amount Released (kg) Amount Transferred (kg)
412 Manganese and its inorganic compounds 2,648,330 0 21,412
300 Toluene 784,345 180,502 46,190
80 Xylene 211,075 9,839 2,489
87 Chromium and chromium(III) compounds 195,746 0 28,502
296 1,2,4-trimethyl benzene 172,732 74,248 6,779
273 1-dodecanol 155,046 79,203 49,758
53 Ethyl benzene 76,199 4,004 629
374 Hydrogen fluoride and its water-soluble salts 61,983 1,702 15,372
71 Ferric chlorides 48,222 0 0
308 Nickel 39,023 0 0
297 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene 34,093 22,129 1,711
88 Hexavalent chromium and its compounds 27,947 0 61
302 Naphthalin 8,283 203 44
304 Lead 5,996 0 0
407 Polyoxyethylene = alkylether 5,040 4,990 0
438 Methylnaphthalene 4,699 23 0
133 Ethylene glycol monoethyl ether acetate 4,140 67 9
321 Vanadium compounds 3,813 0 0
392 n-hexane 2,914 416 290
245 Thiourea 2,750 0 2,750
207 2,6-Di-tert-butyl-4-cresol 2,362 644 1,718
83 Cumene 1,050 24 4
  Total 4,495,789 377,995 177,719
  • Measurement Scope: UACJ (Nagoya, Fukui, Fukaya, Nikko), UACJ Color Aluminum Corporation, UACJ Extrusion Nagoya Corporation (Nagoya, Anjo), UACJ Extrusion Oyama Corporation, UACJ Extrusion Gunma Corporation, UACJ Extrusion Shiga Corporation, UACJ Foil Corporation (Isezaki,Shiga,Nogi), UACJ Foundry & Forging Corporation, UACJ Copper Tube Corporation.

Reducing VOC Releases

Having targeted for reduction substances such as toluene, xylene, ethyl benzene, and 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene, the UACJ Group is cutting releases of these VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) into the air. As one example, the cleaning solution we use for the finishing of sheet products is being replaced with one that has very low levels of the VOCs targeted for reduction.

Prevention of Air Pollution

The UACJ Group is working to reduce its emissions of air pollutants by keeping plant facilities in top working condition and converting from heavy oil to LNG as a fuel. At present, our efforts are succeeding in keeping SOx and NOx emissions at low levels.

NOx Emissions

Graph of NOx Emissions

SOx Emissions

Graph of SOx Emissions

  • Measurement Scope: UACJ (Nagoya, Fukui, Fukaya, Nikko), UACJ Extrusion Oyama Corporation.

Control of PCBs

The UACJ Group, in accordance with the Law Concerning Special Measures Against PCB (Polychlorinated biphenyl) Waste, accounts for PCB-containing equipment for each of its plants, submits reports to supervisory authorities, and properly stores and manages these items. We also conduct surveys of fluorescent lamp ballasts and other small electrical devices and electrical devices suspected of containing small amounts of PCBs, and properly manage those exceeding standards.

To steadily and properly render PCB-containing equipment harmless, we have commissioned the Japan Environmental Safety Corporation to perform this work. We use certified processors as necessary to handle small amounts of PCB-contaminated oil. And we are working to complete the proper disposal of items with high concentrations of PCBs ahead of the deadline established by the amended Law Concerning Special Measures Against PCB Waste, which took effect in August 2016.

Addressing the Problem of Asbestos

The UACJ Group has carried out a study of its historical and current usage of asbestos in products, plant buildings, equipment and fixtures. At present, we are not using asbestos in products and have never sold products containing asbestos.

As for our plant buildings, to a very limited extent, we have used spray-on asbestos, which entails a high risk of dispersion into the air, and have been working to remove it since fiscal 2004. For spray-on asbestos that was used at UACJ Foil Corporation’s Nogi Mill and at UACJ Copper Tube Corporation and is still in place, we have completed containment work and confirmed that no asbestos is being dispersed into the air.

Regarding equipment and fixtures, we have already completed the replacement of items for which there was a risk of asbestos dispersion. Equipment and fixtures with a small risk of asbestos dispersion are being replaced when regular inspections are due and on other occasions, as well.

Measures to Control Dioxins

For its aluminum melting furnaces that qualify as designated dioxin-emitting facilities under the Law concerning Special Measures against Dioxins, the UACJ Group has implemented management that lowers dioxin concentrations in exhaust gases to levels below the regulatory standard.

More specifically, we prevent the development of dioxins by strictly managing the volume of combustion air for the subject aluminum melting furnaces and closely controlling the materials put into them.

In addition, we annually measure levels of dioxins for subject aluminum melting furnaces, as required by law, and report results to the government. All of our measurements of dioxins for fiscal 2017 came in below regulatory standards for the 24 facilities covered by air pollution regulations and the 2 facilities covered by water pollution regulations.

Prevention of Water Pollution

With the partial revision of the Water Pollution Prevention Act, promulgated in June 2012, reporting of information on storage facilities, piping, etc. used for harmful substances and compliance with standards set for structures became mandatory.

At the UACJ Group, all necessary reports were prepared at individual business locations by the May 31, 2015 end of the deferment period.

Prevention of Soil and Groundwater Contamination

UACJ Extrusion Oyama Corporation and UACJ Color Aluminum Corporation, as responses to past incidents of soil and groundwater contamination, have implemented continuous purification of contaminated groundwater. Regular confirmations of the effectiveness of these measures have determined that contamination levels are falling.

Measures to Deal with Soil and Groundwater Contamination

Business Location Period Contaminant Response
UACJ Extrusion Oyama Corporation Since fiscal 1999 Tetrachloroethylene Soil replacement, water extraction and purification
UACJ Color Aluminum Corporation Since fiscal 2004 hexavalent chromium, fluorine Soil replacement, water extraction and purification

For information on the management of chemical substances included in products, please refer to the section titled, “Environmental Consideration in Products.”

Environmental Consideration in Products