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Integrated chemical and biological analysis of asphalt and pitch fumes.

Thayer PS; Harris JC; Menzies KT; Niemeier RW
Short-term bioassays in the analysis of complex environmental mixtures III. Waters MD, ed. Environmental science research, New York: Plenum Press, 1983 Mar; 27:351-366
The carcinogenic potential of condensed volatiles from roofing asphalts and coal tar pitch was evaluated in mice. Two types of asphalt and two types of coal tar pitch were generated in a laboratory. Male non pigmented Swiss-CD-1-mice and pigmented C3H/HeJ-mice were used. Each mouse received 50 microliters of the appropriate test material twice weekly at a dose limited to 50 percent total solids content or 0.01 percent benzo(a)pyrene (50328) (BaP) in the total mixture. The BaP and other polyaromatic hydrocarbons were determined in each fume mixture through gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Mice were treated and observed until 85 percent of a group had died or 18 months elapsed. Dead mice were necropsied. Some mice were treated with BaP alone. To simulate the effects of sunlight, some of the mice were exposed to ultraviolet light during the treatment period. Aliphatic hydrocarbons were found to be a major component of asphalt fumes. Survival was comparable for all groups of mice through 11 months for CD-1-mice and 10 months for C3H/HeJ-mice. CD-1-mice had a moderately high total tumor incidence with a low incidence of malignancy. Asphalts produced lower total tumors in the CD-1-mouse strain. The proportion of malignancies was comparable for asphalts and pitches. An inhibitory effect of simulated sunlight was seen in a longer latent period to tumor development. Mean time to tumor development was shorter in asphalt exposed animals than in those exposed to BaP, and incidence of malignancy was higher. For pitch fume materials, carcinogenicity reflected the BaP content while for asphalts it did not. The authors conclude that the carcinogenicity of roofing pitch materials is related to the BaP content of those materials. The carcinogenicity of asphalts cannot be explained on the basis of BaP content. Aliphatic hydrocarbons may be partly responsible for the carcinogenicity of asphalt fumes.
Construction-materials; Coal-products; Carcinogens; Animal-studies; Biological-effects; Toxicopathology; Chemical-composition; Analytical-chemistry; Trace-analysis; Tumorigens; Electromagnetic-radiation
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Waters MD
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Short-term bioassays in the analysis of complex environmental mixtures III
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