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Acute symptoms associated with asphalt fume exposure among road pavers.

Authors
Tepper-AL; Burr-GA; Feng-HA; Singal-M; Miller-AK; Hanley-KW; Olsen-LD
Source
Am J Ind Med 2006 Sep; 49(9):728-739
NIOSHTIC No.
20030873
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Although asphalt fume is a recognized irritant, previous studies of acute symptoms during asphalt paving have produced inconsistent results. Between 1994 and 1997, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) evaluated workers at seven sites in six states. METHODS: NIOSH (a) measured exposures of asphalt paving workers to total (TP) and benzene-soluble particulate (BSP), polycyclic aromatic compounds, and other substances; (b) administered symptom questionnaires pre-shift, every 2 hr during the shift, and post-shift to asphalt exposed and nonexposed workers; and (c) measured peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) of asphalt paving workers when they completed a symptom questionnaire. RESULTS: Full-shift time-weighted average exposures to TP and BSP ranged from 0.01 to 1.30 mg/m(3) and 0.01 to 0.82 mg/m(3), respectively. Most BSP concentrations were <0.50 mg/m(3). Asphalt workers had a higher occurrence rate of throat irritation than nonexposed workers [13% vs. 4%, odds ratio (OR) = 4.0, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.2-13]. TP, as a continuous variable, was associated with eye (OR = 1.34, 95% CI: 1.12-1.60) and throat (OR = 1.40, 95% CI: 1.06-1.85) symptoms. With TP dichotomous at 0.5 mg/m(3), the ORs and 95% CIs for eye and throat symptoms were 7.5 (1.1-50) and 15 (2.3-103), respectively. BSP, dichotomous at 0.3 mg/m(3), was associated with irritant (eye, nose, or throat) symptoms (OR = 11, 95% CI: 1.5-84). One worker, a smoker, had PEFR-defined bronchial lability, which did not coincide with respiratory symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Irritant symptoms were associated with TP and BSP concentrations at or below 0.5 mg/m(3).
Keywords
Asphalt-fumes; Asphalt-industry; Road-surfacing; Road-construction; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Particulates; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Respiratory-irritants; Eye-irritants; Hydrocarbons; Aromatic-hydrocarbons; Polycyclic-aromatic-hydrocarbons; Polycyclic-hydrocarbons
Contact
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, USA
CODEN
AJIMD8
Publication Date
20060901
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
atepper@cdc.gov
Funding Type
Construction
Fiscal Year
2006
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
9
ISSN
0271-3586
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS; DART
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
State
OH; IL
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