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The name ATEX comes from the 2 French words ‘ATmosphere EXplosible’ and is applied to European Directive 94/9/EC dated 23rd March 1994, aimed at the free circulation of products designed for use in potentially explosive areas throughout the European Union. In Italy, the Directive has been enforced through Presidential Decree 23.03.1998, no. 126 (Official Gazzette, 4th May 1998, no. 101). This Directive regulates legislation from the various States in terms of electrical and mechanical products intended for use in an area which could become explosive due to the presence of flammable substances in gas, vapour, mist or dust form. For example: - underground mines, - petrochemical plants, - energy production plants (power stations), - premises used for the production and storage of foodstuffs (flour, cereals, etc.), - carpentry workshops, - painting workshops or cabins, - farms or greenhouses. ATEX Directive 94/9/EC became a compulsory obligation on 1st July 2003: it is one of the directives illustrating the new approach to matters regarding CE labelling and replaces previous directives 76/117/EEC, 79/196/EEC and 82/130/EEC.

Remember that: • Areas at risk of explosion are those in which an explosive atmosphere may form at levels requiring safety precautions in order to ensure the safety of workers. • Areas not at risk of explosion are those in which an explosive atmosphere may form at levels which do not require special safety precautions. • Flammable and/or combustible substances are considered substances which may form an explosive atmosphere, unless an examination of their characteristics has NOT demonstrated that they could cause an explosion when mixed with air. Explosive atmospheres are classified as follows, according to the substance which could trigger the explosion: G = gas D = dust GD = gas and dust.


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