Iren laboratories’ lines of analysis

Environmental analyses include both those activities carried out in the field by the sampling section staff and those performed at the laboratories in Piacenza, Turin (including the AMIAT laboratory), Genoa, Reggio Emilia and La Spezia.


All laboratories are accredited by Accredia under UNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 17025:2018 and their service is oriented towards the following very specific lines of analysis. 

A methodological approach for all activities carried out






In the water sector, sampling, chemical and microbiological analyses are aimed at assessing the quality of the water resource according to its different uses.

In addition to assessing the presence of indicator bacteria and potentially harmful forms, analyses are performed for organic and inorganic contaminants such as heavy metals, hydrocarbons, PFOA/PFAS, pesticides.

Soil analyses are carried out both in contaminated or suspected areas, in order to prepare remediation plans, and for the spreading of sewage sludge in agriculture. Chemical and microbiological tests are used to determine heavy metals, pesticides, IPA, BTEX, hydrocarbons, among other parameters.

Iren Laboratori offers a service to support liquid and solid waste producers and treatment plant operators aimed at: characterising waste and classifying it according to the laws currently in force, defining its chemical, physical and eco-toxicological characteristics and, if hazardous, its hazard classes. Iren Laboratori performs product analyses on municipal or industrial waste (in particular 19 12 12), according to ANPA-accredited methods or material-specific UNI EN standards. Analyses are also carried out on final treatment or recovery plants and checks for the presence of asbestos and man-made mineral fibres (FAV).

Iren Laboratori has teams of technicians, in particular through the AMIAT laboratory in Turin, accredited by Accredia for the monitoring of ducted emissions.

Among others, sampling is carried out to monitor odours from both ducted and diffuse emissions, such as the landfill face or waste heaps. 

In order to verify the presence of harmful substances inside or immediately outside workplaces, Iren Laboratori offers a sampling and analysis service aimed at measuring pollutants and supporting RSPP (Protection and Prevention Service Officer) in chemical and biological risk assessment. 

Monitoring is returned through reports that contextualise the locations and activities monitored and the results of the analyses performed. Monitoring is aimed at characterising:


Biological agents


  • Determination of microbiological contamination (bacteria, fungi, Legionella, etc.)
  • Detection of airborne microbiological components
  • Evaluation of the microbiological component present on surfaces


Chemical agents


  • Analysis of man-made mineral fibres (FAV) and asbestos
  • Sampling and analysis of organic (aromatic, chlorinated organic substances, etc.) and inorganic (metals, acids, ammonia, aldehyde, etc.) contaminants
  • Odour concentration detection
  • Environmental controls of any pollution situations following clean-up operations, fires, etc.

In order to assess the level of outdoor pollution, Iren Laboratori carries out sampling and analysis of biological agents in the air, odorous substances (olfactometric tests), and chemical air contaminants such as:


  • PM 10 and PM 2.5
  • Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide
  • Benzene (VOC)
  • Ozone
  • Metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, nickel)
  • Benzo(a)pyrene

In mains gas and LPG, Iren Laboratories determines the concentration of organic sulphur compounds (tetrahydrothiophene THT and tert-butylmercaptan TBM), which are specifically injected in order to detect any leaks. The personnel are qualified for accredited analyses both in the field and in the laboratory.

Analyses are also carried out to determine the calorific value, macro- and micro-components of landfill gas or biodigesters for their treatment and feeding after the purification process.

Controlled underground plants also monitor the possible dispersion of biogas underground by monitoring methane, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and oxygen.

In order to support operators in the procurement procedures of the most strategic materials, Iren Laboratori has equipped a materials analysis department at its Piacenza site with the aim of:


  • Conformity testing of materials in contact with drinking water, in particular materials used in aqueducts, according to MD 174/2004.
  • Measuring the main characteristics of pipes used in water and gas distribution networks in order to certify batches of materials used in IRETI construction sites and aimed at reducing breakage losses.
  • Verifying the conformity of packaging used in waste collection and distributed to citizens using the company’s collection services.

The use of asbestiform fibres before and of man-made vitreous fibres nowadays in civil and industrial insulation requires monitoring and control protocols to verify their state of preservation, their presence and relative concentration in artefacts and their dispersion in the workplace or in ambient air.


To this end, the AMIAT laboratory in Turin, which is registered with the Ministry of Health in the list of laboratories performing asbestos analyses, carries out:


  • Inspections for the presence of artefacts containing asbestiform fibres or FAV, and their state of preservation.
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis of asbestiform fibres in artefacts using light microscopy or FTIR
  • Sampling and analysis of fibres in ambient or workplace air and their analysis in MOCF or SEM


Iren Laboratori provides feedback on what was found during monitoring inspections with a suitable report summarising all the elements supporting the assessment of asbestos or FAV risk.