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The acronym ATEX is the French abbreviation for "Atmosphère explosible" and refers to the two European Union (EU) directives covering the area of explosion protection: ATEX Equipment Directive 94/9/EC (also referred to as ATEX 95) and ATEX Workplace Directive 1999/92/EC (also referred to as ATEX 137). These directives lay down rules for placing products on the market and operating them in hazardous areas. They are designed to protect people within these areas by means of basic health and safety requirements (see also explosion protection).