Journal of Hazardous Materials ( IF 9.038 ) Pub Date : 2020-10-16 , DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124294 Gianni Formenton; Maria Gregio; Giovina Gallo; Francesca Liguori; Massimo Peruzzo; Elena Innocente; Roberto Lava; Mauro Masiol
The island of Murano (Venice, Italy) is famous worldwide for its artistic glass production. Diarsenic trioxide was a main ingredient of the raw glass mixture until 2015, when the authorisation process of European REACH Regulation (Registration Evaluation Authorisation of Chemicals) entered into force, effectively forbidding the use of arsenic. A total of 3077 PM10 samples were collected across the Venice area in 2013-2017. This period included the REACH Sunset Date (May 2015). High arsenic concentrations were recorded in Murano before the Sunset Date (average 383 ng/m3), representing a serious concern for public health. Other sites in Venice complied with the EU target value. In 2013, concentrations were 36-folds higher than model estimation computed over the maximum-allowed emission scenario. Polar plot analysis indicated Murano as the major source of arsenic contamination. The concentration significantly dropped after the REACH implementation, thus meeting the European target values. However, high peaks of arsenic were still detected; inspections on raw and finished glass materials confirmed that some factories were still using arsenic. Results reported serious airborne arsenic pollution in Murano before the REACH implementation. This work represents an interesting case study on the effectiveness of the European REACH process.