|RAMCAR Leads the Way
By Irving C Guerrero, Vice President of Philippine Recyclers,
|Ramcar, Inc. is
the largest integrated manufacturer of lead-acid storage batteries in the
Philippines and Southeast Asia, with subsidiary companies engaged in the
manufacture of pure refined lead, low maintenance and no maintenance lead
alloys, lead oxide, battery separators, polypropylene and hard rubber
containers and covers. Ramcar's advanced battery manufacturing facility is
located 10 miles (17 kilometers) north of Manila and close to the Company's
Secondary Lead Plant at Bulacan, Philippine Recyclers, Inc.
Ramcar is a
member of the Independent Battery Manufacturers Association and the world's
largest association of battery manufacturers the Battery Council International.
The Company supplies most of the domestic market and exports to the USA,
Australia, China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Cameroon, and Hong
For over 70 years, from its pioneering efforts in initiating the
local manufacture of storage batteries in 1919 to its growth up to the present
day, Ramcar has maintained a tradition of leadership in the Philippine battery
industry and today is no exception. Ramcar is currently working with the
Government of the Philippines, the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development (UNCTAD) and the International Lead Management Center (ILMC) to
improve the Company's environmental performance at its battery recycling plant
in Bulacan and ultimately operate to world's best practice.
start of the project last year the Bulacan Plant Management has endorsed
improvements in surface water management, wastewater treatment, the storage of
contaminated waste and commenced work on ISO 14001 accreditation.
14001 accreditation will provide an objective assessment of environmental
performance and confirmation of sound recycling practices, enabling PRI to play
a bigger international role in secondary lead.
Used lead acid batteries
are delivered to the Secondary Plant shrink wrapped and palletized. Up to the
Spring of this year the batteries were stacked on an acid resistant concrete
storage area open to the elements. In the "wet" season there was the risk of
surface water contamination during the heavy rainstorms typical of Manila and
Southeast Asia. Batteries are now stored under the cover of a purpose built 100
by 50 metre canopy. The new facility minimizes the risk of contamination to the
surface water drainage system from battery acid. A surface drain that
completely surrounds the storage area collects any leakage from the stored used
batteries and the effluent is directed to the water treatment plant.
The water treatment plant has also undergone a major overall in the
last six months and is now able to treat process effluent to meet the discharge
consent levels set by the Philippine Government. Nevertheless, Tony Garcia, the
Senior Research and Development Engineer, has been charged with the task of
introducing additional improvements to the treatment process to increase
reliability and further reduce the lead content of the liquid effluent.
Environmental Engineers, Rosa Diokno and Edmundo Esguerra have been
conducting laboratory trials on the feasibility of stabilizing discard
residues, using cement and chemical binders. Tests on the encapsulated residues
demonstrate successful slag stabilization using pozzolan cement and pass the
American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) standard for lead leaching.
Meanwhile, until the residues are encapsulated they will be stored in
the new double lined concrete bunker designed to US Environmental Protection
Agency (USEPA) Standards for the containment of contaminated waste material.
Recently, a delegation from RAMCAR and PRI visited Lead Production
plants in the USA. The team were tasked to study technologies and operating
techniques that would enable PRI to further improve environmental controls and
eliminate the production of unstable by-products and residues.
Senior Vice President and President of Philippine Recyclers, Jacob Targorda,
Assistant Smelting Manager, Lito Sans Luis and Tony Garcia spent 10 days in the
US visiting both Primary and Secondary Lead plants. The first week was spent at
the Saunders battery reprocessing plant in Birmingham Alabama. The purpose of
this visit was to examine ways of improving baghouse control systems to improve
process hygiene controls and reduce occupational exposure.
the team were also interested in the smelting operations to ascertain those
conditions that consistently produce stable non-leachable slags.
theme was continued into the second week of the program which started with
discussions with the ILMC Program Manager, Brian Wilson and continued with site
visits in Missouri to the ASARCO Primary Smelter at Glover and the Doe Run
Plant at Herculaneum. Improved dust free refining techniques applicable to the
Secondary industry were of particular interest to PRI as were the first class
liquid effluent treatment facilities at both primary smelters.
On their return to
the Philippines the team have set about preparing a plan for the next phase of
the Company's environmental improvement program. It is anticipated that there
will be proposals to implement changes to the mode of operations in the
recycling process to reduce lead levels in waste residues, improve occupational
hygiene and enhance the treatment of liquid effluent.
|The ILMC Attends Moscow Workshop ..........
Lead Pollution in Russia"
|Since 1996 a USA - Russian
non-governmental project on Lead Pollution in Russia has worked to develop a
network of scientists, environmentalists, and policy-makers to address lead
pollution problems in Russia. The project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation
and based at the Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow, is
co-directed by Dr. Valerie Thomas of Princeton University and Dr. Anna Orlova,
currently Visiting Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and
The project now includes leading Russian experts in
occupational health and environmental science, representatives of key
government ministries, and leading environmental activists. Participants are
working to evaluate the nature and extent of lead pollution in Russia, and to
promote activities to effectively address these problems.
progress to date and to develop new initiatives, an international workshop was
convened, hosted by the Institute of Occupational Medicine of the Russian
Academy of Medical Sciences and chaired by Director Nikolai F. Izmerov. A
specific aim of the workshop was to identify priorities for the Russian Federal
Lead Risk Reduction Program and where possible to determine the means either to
reduce or eliminate lead exposure. The workshop entitled, "Lead Pollution in
Russia" was attended by Representatives from the Federal Government, Acedemia,
Industry and the International Community, including the ILMC.
Gavrilov, Director of the Federal Geo Information Center, outlined the
Government's strategy to reduce the risk of environmental and population
exposure emphasizing the need to prioritize action and target resources.
The ILMC were invited to provide an overview of the terms of the OECD
Ministerial Declaration on Lead Risk Reduction, featured in the Gore /
Chernomyrdin 1998 Accord. The Accord sets out the framework for the USA and the
Russian Federation to address the problem of lead contamination through the
offices of the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the
Federations State Committee for Environmental Protection. Also outlined
were current ILMC risk reduction case study material featuring current Pilot
Considerable interest was shown in the
presentation, particularly the relevance of the Ministerial Declaration to the
Accord and Russian Federation's desire for full membership of the OECD.
James Rochow, the Director of the Alliance to End Childhood Lead
Poisoning,outlined the Alliance's International Action Program emphasizing the
need for strategies that focus on "preventative measures" as the only certain
solution to eliminating the risk of permanent neurological damage to young
ESA Vice President, Wayne Matson informed the conference that
he was currently engaged in a childhood sampling program in Moscow and that
results to date were encouraging. Most of the children sampled in Moscow had
blood lead levels in the range 4 -10 mg/dL. ESA were, however, in the process
of mapping areas of high lead exposure around specific point source emission
sources, such as smelters and manufacturing plants. This view was supported by
Associate Professor at the D. Mendeleyev University, Tatiana Guseva. She urged
the workshop to prioritize remediation action at industrial sites, because she
believed that theLead Industry had the means and resources to resolve those
Nelya Sorkina's pragmatic view of the health issues endorsed
the ILMC philosophy that lead exposure can be controlled and also made a plea
to the workshop not to endorse the liberal use of childhood chelation.
Electrozariad, the major Russian Secondary Lead Recycler and Battery
Manufacturer presented two short papers on the Company's activities to reduce
lead exposure. Boris Popov, the Manager of the Baltelectro battery manufacturer
in St. Petersburg, explained that the Company had engaged specialists from the
St. Petersburg Institutes of Toxicology, Health and Ecology to assist with a
comprehensive study of the problems facing the plant.
the AOZT Electrozariad Technical Director, said that the Company had made a
positive approach because the Industry believed that Federal laws applicable to
the control of lead exposure should provide for -
standards consistent with the industry's technology
compulsory recycling of lead acid batteries
work practices and "cleaner" technologies
At the conclusion of
the workshop Nikolay F Izmerov invited comments from the delegates in order to
prepare a report to the Russian Federal Government, the members of the State
Duma and Federation Council, and non-governmental organizations. The final
agreed communication recognized the Russian Federation's proposals, but added
Lead pollution is a multi-faceted
Cooperative involvement of experts in all
aspects of lead pollution, including physicians, environmental scientists,
industry experts, non-governmental organizations, international experts, and
national, regional, and local government can improve the prospects for
effective development of lead management programs.
agreed that current efforts should focus on:
of unleaded gasoline throughout the Federation.
development of environmentally sound lead acid battery recycling
surveillance, measurement and reporting of population lead exposure and
During the visit to the
Russian Federation Brian Wilson, James Rochow, Anna Orlova and Valerie Thomas
took the opportunity to visit one of Elecrozariads largest Battery
manufacturing plants at Podolsk and the new innovative battery collection
center for scrap automotive lead acid batteries in Ilovaiscaya Street, Moscow.
Brian Wilson also met with representatives of the Russian Federal
Government, including Michael Gaygerov the Deputy Director of Ecological
Programs, Nikolay Bobrov the Head of the Department of Industrial Ecology and
the Russian Lead Program and Vselolod Gavrilov, Deputy Director of the Federal
Geological Information Center.
In 1996 the Russian Federal State
Committee for Environmental Protection with financial support from US AID
published a "white paper" highlighting the extent of lead exposure and
contamination in the Federal Republic. It was this collaboration between the US
agencies and the Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological
Cooperation that led to the Gore - Chernomyrdin Accord signed in Washington on
March 11th this year.
The Gore - Chernomyrdin Accord sets out the
framework to address the problem of lead contamination and guarantees the
support of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) and the
Russian Sanitary Epidemiological Service and prioritizes the need to eliminate
childhood exposure. The Accord is consistent with existing multilateral
initiatives and makes specific reference to the OECD Declaration on Lead Risk
Reduction of February 1996.
Following his return to the USA Brian
Wilson has had two meetings with US EPA in Washington to explore areas of
mutual interest that might provide opportunities for the ILMC and the US EPA to
work together on the Russian Federation Lead Risk Reduction Project. Further
meetings are planned between the ILMC, Representatives of the US EPA, Gary
Waxmonsky, Executive Secretary for the US - Russia Environment Committee,
Sylvia Correa, the International Lead Program Manager and Vselolod Gavrilov,
Deputy Director of the Federal Geological Information Center.
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 :
Management Center, Inc.
P.O. Box 14189
Research Triangle Park, NC,
Telephone : ++ (919) 361-2446
Facimile : ++ (919) 361-1957
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