Chemical Substance Management and Pollution Prevention

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Basic Stance

The UACJ Group strives to properly manage chemical substances and control emissions while also switching to chemicals with low impacts on the environment and human health. We do this out of concern not only for effects on the natural environment but also for safety - for employees engaged in manufacturing our products and customers when they use our products. In our efforts to control emissions, we have established and abide by our own standards, which are stricter than those set forth in Japan’s Air Pollution Control Law, Water Pollution Control Law, local government ordinances, and conventions.

Fiscal 2018 Results

As a result of heavy rain from a typhoon that strucked on October 22, 2017, the Nagoya Works released wastewater exceeding the overall standard for chemical oxygen demand (COD) into a river. However, because the person in charge misunderstood the standard, this irregularity was not reported to local government authorities. On June 25, 2018, local government authorities informed us of the standard violation and directed us to report on the cause and measures for avoiding a recurrence. To avoid future violations, we improved the system for confirming overall standards and took steps to prevent water pollution incidents and strengthen our monitoring and notification systems.

Pollutant Control at Individual UACJ Works (Fiscal 2018)

○: 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 system*, which is based on the Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof, identifies amounts of targeted substances handled, released, and transferred; and reports them as required; while also working to reduce these volumes.

In fiscal 2018, lower production meant that we handled a smaller amount of chemical substances than we did in fiscal 2017. Nevertheless, an increase in industrial waste generated, and other factors, caused the amounts of chemical substances the Group as a whole released and transferred to increase by 15 tons (4.0%) and 17 tons (9.4%), respectively.

* PRTR system: This system is for the control of chemical substances that are harmful to human health or the ecosystem. Under this system, businesses ascertain the amounts of harmful chemical substances they have released into the atmosphere, water, or soil, or transferred to locations outside of their business facilities, and report this data to the national government. The national government then uses this data and estimates to summarize and disclose volumes of chemical substances released or transferred.

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 2018)

No. Substance Amount Used (kg) Amount Released (kg) Amount Transferred (kg)
412 Manganese and its inorganic compounds 2,535,608 0 21,200
300 Toluene 771,721 190,919 47,785
80 Xylene 203,756 18,742 1,899
87 Chromium and chromium(III) compounds 178,801 0 28,294
273 1-dodecanol 165,089 84,320 52,808
296 1,2,4-trimethyl benzene 159,894 66,436 23,955
53 Ethyl benzene 67,158 2,541 191
374 Hydrogen fluoride and its water-soluble salts 61,335 1,557 14,029
71 Ferric chlorides 49,985 0 0
297 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene 30,531 19,596 1,331
88 Hexavalent chromium and its compounds 29,814 0 124
308 Nickel 29,168 0 0
302 Naphthalin 7,948 195 52
407 Polyoxyethylene = alkylether 5,882 5,746 80
392 n-hexane 4,676 1,859 661
438 Methylnaphthalene 4,604 23 0
321 Vanadium compounds 3,618 0 0
304 Lead 3,297 0 0
133 Ethylene glycol monoethyl ether acetate 3,245 26 0
207 2,6-Di-tert-butyl-4-cresol 2,598 833 1,765
245 Thiourea 2,125 0 2,125
411 Formaldehyde 1,118 26 5
277 Triethylamine 1,101 62 16
  Total 4,323,070 392,882 196,320
  • * 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 Foundry & Forging Corporation, UACJ Foil Corporation (Shiga, Nogi, Isezaki), 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. In fiscal 2018, measures to reduce VOC emissions included switching to a thinner substitute, consideration of possibilities for installing exhaust gas treatment equipment, and advancement of fuel switching.

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 aluminum melting furnaces and closely controlling the materials put into them.

In addition, we annually measure levels of dioxins for aluminum melting furnaces, as required by law, and report results to the government. All of our measurements of dioxins for fiscal 2018 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.

Reuse of Wastewater from Our Works

The Nikko Works discharges its wastewater into the Otani River. Downstream from the works, a water treatment plant purifies river water for daily use by local communities. Understanding that, we have established pH, COD, SS, and other wastewater standards that are stricter than those mandated by law, and we rigorously monitor the quality of our water discharges 24 hours a day to ensure compliance with these strict standards.

  • * pH: Hydrogen ion concentration, COD: Chemical oxygen demand, SS: Suspended solids

Prevention of Soil and Groundwater Contamination

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

At our other business locations, we conduct groundwater and soil contamination inspections when accidents occur but also when reconstructing buildings, performing large-scale maintenance, and on other occasions when it is deemed necessary.

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