Issue 13, September 2000

NewsCasting

Electrozariad Shows the Way in Russia

The International Lead Management Center (ILMC) and the Russian organization, Electrozariad JSC, have signed a joint memorandum and entered into a formal working arrangement to reduce the risk of lead exposure in the Russian Federation and will pool their expertise to develop and formulate improvement options and policy considerations to raise the collection rates for used automotive batteries, to improve environmental performance and reduce occupational exposure in lead acid battery manufacturing and secondary lead smelting industries. It is anticipated that Pilot Program activities implemented in pursuit of the lead risk reduction program will serve as demonstration projects for the Russian lead industry and that successful methodologies will be shared with both Federal and Local Government Agencies, and Federation Industry Organizations.

The objectives for the lead risk reduction program are threefold and set out in the memorandum:

The Joint Stock Company, Electrozariad JSC is based in Moscow and was formed in 1991 from the former Soviet Union’s Ministry of Electro-technical Industries by the leading battery manufacturing enterprises of the new Russian Federation.

Electrozariad’s main activities are to coordinate the procurement and distribution of raw materials and the transport of finished products for the Russian battery manufacturing industry; to provide expert technical advice and central administrative services; to develop the investment programs for the various manufacturing and smelting operations in the Russian Federation; to harmonize international cooperation in the worlds lead acid battery industry and to provide a liaison between the industry and the government of the Russian Federation.

In the early 90’s Electrozariad initiated a program to develop alternative sources of raw materials for battery production, particularly lead. One source that, from 1998, is now being realized is the recovery of used automotive batteries. Electrozariad was instrumental in the development of infrastructure necessary to raise the collection rates for used automotive batteries. A pilot project was started in Moscow in cooperation with the City Government to provide a reliable and environmentally sound system of collecting and sorting spent car batteries for shipment to the secondary smelters. Thanks largely to the efforts of the Electrozariad Management the uncontrolled disposal of battery electrolyte is now completely forbidden in the City of Moscow.

Now Electrozariad is working to extend the successful pilot scheme in Moscow to cover 19 regions in the South and South Eastern parts of the Russian Federation. The first phase of this project will involve information gathering and sharing, environmental sampling and occupational exposure monitoring. The manufacturing process information and the environmental data collected and collated at the various plants should facilitate the determination of the extent and location of lead emission sources and the effectiveness of current environmental and occupational control regimes.

Those companies affiliated to Electrozariad understand very well that the lead industry has suffered for many years with a poor public image and that no battery manufacturing or secondary lead plant can survive in the modern world without introducing and maintaining control measures to minimize the risk of environmental, population and occupational lead exposure. The association with the ILMC has given the Russian Battery Industry the opportunity to visit major US and European battery production and recycling plants, to study and gain from their collective experience in the areas of environmental control and monitoring, employee health and safety education and personal protection.

Electrozariad are already in the process of assisting and advising a number of Russian battery manufacturing plants and lead smelters on the adoption of suitable strategies to improve the monitoring of employee's levels of lead exposure and raise the standard of environmental compliance. With the increasing need to improve environmental performance and reduce population exposure in mind, Electrozariad have agreed with the Russian Occupational Health Institute and ILMC to begin a voluntary program to introduce biological monitoring and surveillance in one of the main battery recycling and manufacturing plants. ILMC will assist with this project providing exchange visits and training in any new analytical methodologies for plant medical officers and technicians.

Monitoring and testing methodologies to determine occupational lead exposure and environmental contamination will be in accordance with the State Committee for Environmental Protection Guidelines, but may also include tests using analytical instruments accredited by and widely used in some of the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Indeed, some of these additional procedures and instruments have already been used in the Russian Federation during 1996/97, in a limited study of lead exposure in Saratov, Volgograd, Ekaterinburg.

Special attention will also be paid to issues surrounding current environmental legislation that requires the application of standards in the Russian Federation that are significantly stricter than similar control regimes imposed in the European Community and the OECD. Issues surrounding current occupational and environmental monitoring and the adequacy of current standards will be examined together with local Russian Institutes of Occupational Health.

In this respect the Russian Public Health Ministry has approved in principle, new rules for working with lead including the use of biological monitoring. The exact procedures and exposure limits, however, have not yet been established and Electrozariad are currently in discussions the Occupational Health Medicine Institute to determine procedures and standards that are appropriate to the Russian lead industry. It is anticipated that ILMC will assist Electrozariad in the preparation of a suitable brief for the Russian Government to consider, based on measurements of occupational exposure data.

Meanwhile, Electrozariad will be setting up a second voluntary program with the lead industry to improve compliance with existing Russian environmental regulations and establish base line values for occupational exposure levels and environmental emissions that can be used in future discussions with the Government, the Occupational Health Medicine Institute and the Public Health Ministry.

ILMC Welcomes New Chairman

At the last ILMC Board of Directors meeting Paul Framp, Mount Isa Mines, retired as the Chairman and handed the mantle for the next two years to Dan Vornberg, The Doe Run Co., At the same meeting David Sinclair, Pasminco, was elected as the ILMC Vice Chairman.

Of his two years as Chair of ILMC Paul Framp said:

“I have been privileged to spend two years as the Chairman of ILMC and to be involved closely with the extremely worthwhile work of the Center. Our task has been to share hard won knowledge and best practices with a wider audience, to reduce the risks of working with lead and to raise environmental performance.

I remain convinced that lead products, such as the lead acid battery, have a very important future, but it is critical that best practices are spread globally, to minimize the risks of population exposure and environmental contamination.

During my time with ILMC, the organization has worked with many people throughout the world, sharing experiences and knowledge from Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Australia and Oceania I can see that this process has started to make a difference in a positive way and most importantly, that we are establishing a transferable methodology for risk reduction in our industry. ILMC’s practical approach, working with multiple stakeholders, has paid dividends in pilot programs and the task ahead is to spread this approach and its benefits, further and further afield.

I'd like to thank all those who have worked with the Board and myself over the last two years and I'll be remaining on the Board to contribute to the activities of the ILMC.”

Following the Board meeting and looking forward to his term as the Chair of ILMC Dan Vornberg said that:

“Over the past four years, beside serving on the ILMC Board, I have had the privilege to attend several workshops in Mexico and North American and present papers on environmental standards and practices; help to host visitors from the Philippine Republic at the Doe Run operations to discuss secondary lead regulations and practices in the US, and to be involved in setting up a new assistance program to implement lead risk reduction in Callao, Peru. These experiences have convinced me that the formula of industry cooperating with government and drawing upon their own experiences and good practices with other industry groups is a proper and a most effective approach towards solving both environmental and occupational lead risk reduction issues globally.

Now, I am looking forward to my new role as I take up the Chairmanship of ILMC in October of this year. I intend to continue supporting the outstanding staff and consultants of ILMC as they work through the pilot experiences in any way that I can. In addition, I hope to see first class documentation emerge as the organization reflects on what has been learned from the Pilot Programs and records its experience in a set of "toolbox methodologies" as recommended by the ILMC Policy Advisory Group. I also envisage that as an organization we will need to turn our attention to convincing more of the secondary lead industry of the value of this voluntary approach and persuading them to join the membership of ILMC.

A fourth objective will be to reach out to other international organizations to illustrate to them the positive results and benefits that can arise out of the shared participative approach of ILMC and to adopt this style as policy for reducing the risk from lead exposure.”

PAG Welcomes New Member

Since the formation in 1996 of the International Lead Management Center (ILMC) in response to the OECD Ministerial Declaration on Lead Risk Reduction, the Center's activities have been monitored by the OECD Joint Committee and scrutinized annually by an independent Policy Advisory Group (PAG).

Over the last four years the PAG has provided guidance and advice to the ILMC Board of Directors and the Executive Director on overall ILMC activities, new Pilot Programs, and individual projects especially:-

The Policy Advisory Group (PAG) comprises of a diverse group of individuals drawn from outside of the lead industry, but with a wide range of international experience and expertise in the following related areas: -

Joining the PAG for the October meeting in London will be Dr. Olivia la O' Castillo who lives and works in Manila. Dr. Castillo has a wealth of experience in the use of cleaner industrial production methods and international environmental affairs, and as the first PAG member from the ASEAN region brings a new perspective to the discussions. She is the Chair of the interim board of directors of the Asia Pacific Roundtable for Cleaner Production (http://www.apcpr.org) and President of the Philippine Pollution Prevention Roundtable for Cleaner Production (P3R) (http://www.p2.org/p3r.html) that was formed in June 1997 to stimulate business and industry, the government, communities and other sectors to adopt cleaner production methods to address growing pollution problems in the Philippines.

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is the global body responsible for promoting the use of cleaner production and Dr. Castillo is a Member of UNEP's Support Group for the Declaration of Cleaner Production to Action and a member of the UNEP support group for the '”Status of Government Strategies and Policies for Cleaner Production”. In this context she is the local Philippine consultant of the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) Regional Technical Assistance (RETA) project for the Promotion of Cleaner Production Policies and Programs for Selected Member Developing Countries.

The Republic of the Philippines won the bid over Korea and Singapore to host the 3rd Asia Pacific Roundtable for Cleaner Production. This conference will be held in Manila from 28th February to 2nd March 2001. Dr. Castillo is the Chair of the Host committee and is currently finalizing plans to accommodate between 250 and 300 delegates expected to attend the conference and the pre conference training courses. These courses will include one concerned with ISO-14003 sponsored by the European Community's Regional Institute of Environmental Technologies (RIET) (http://www.riet.org/); a seminar entitled "The Greening of the Financial Sector", sponsored by Environment Australia with global and investment bankers, insurance executives; and workshops on "Environmental Performance Indicators" sponsored by the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft (CDG) and the Institute of Fraunhofer of Magdeburg from the Federal Republic of Germany; and many others including Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Eco-labeling.

Dr. Castillo has already worked briefly with ILMC when in February this year she assisted with the UNEP Environmental Technology Assessment (EnTA) Workshop that was organized by the Center’s Program Manager, Brian Wilson, and hosted in Manila by Philippine Recyclers Inc. (PRI).

Dr. Olivia la O'Castillo's experience will undoubtedly bring to the PAG new ideas and perspectives to the risk reduction program. The PAG members and the Board of Directors welcome her to the ILMC and look forward to the next PAG meeting.

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NewsCasting is published quarterly by the International Lead Management Center, a not-for-profit organization established by the International Lead Community in response to the need for international action on the issue of lead risk reduction. Please direct correspondence to :

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P.O. Box 14189

Research Triangle Park, NC, 27709-4189

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