The subject of this chapter, air quality associated to the ceramic tile industry, represents a very interesting ‘real scenario’ in the framework of the whole volume. The reasons can be summarised in this way: (1) the ceramic tile technology includes several significant pollutant emissions into the atmosphere and (2) ceramic industry has generated – although many years ago and in rather small industrial areas, characterised by large concentrations of factories – some air quality problems. The Ceramic District of Sassuolo, Italy, can be considered as a significant example of such industrial areas and represents the main reference adopted in this chapter. Another ‘ceramic district’ is that of Castellón, Spain, which however is quite different as regards significant factors influencing air quality: factors such as territory, orography, climate, meteorological conditions, urban and industrial settlements and density, road system and traffic, etc. With reference to the Italian ceramic tile industry, this chapter deals with the description and quantification of emissions into the atmosphere from ceramic industries and aims to document the approach adopted, the resources used and the knowledge developed, to drastically reduce the environmental impact of these emissions on air quality. This objective has been successfully achieved, at the point that, in particular, the Italian ceramic tile sector is still working, in the framework of a continuous improvement approach, on its environmental performances, as well as on the exploitation of the results achieved as competitiveness factors.
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