NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Occupational Exposure to Pitch in a Non-Heated Process Photoxicity and Pre-Malignant Warts.
Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons: Mechanisms, Methods and Metabolism, Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium 1985:497-508
Dock workers exposed to unheated coal tar pitch (CTP) and petroleum pitch (PP) during barge transfer operations were investigated at a river terminal in Memphis, Tennessee. Personal breathing zone and area air sampling techniques were used to evaluate worker exposures. A total of 26 workers were evaluated by questionnaire and brief physical examination of the skin and eyes. Bulk sample analysis showed that the benzene soluble fraction comprised 57 percent of the CTP and 97 percent of the PP. Concentrations of specific polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were generally higher in the CTP. During CTP transfer total airborne particulate concentrations ranged up to 9.52 milligrams/cubic meter in nine samples. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard of 0.2mg/m3 and the NIOSH recommended criterion of 0.1mg/m3 were exceeded in five of ten CTP samples for benzene solubles. During PP transfer, total particulates ranged up to 10.1mg/m3 and total benzene soluble fraction ranged up to 2.40mg/m3. All of the examined employees were male, 20 to 56 years old. Employment duration ranged from 0.33 to 8 years. Protective equipment was provided, but deficiencies were noted in work practices. Eye and skin irritation were reported by all employees. Photosensitivity reactions were also reported. Chronic skin lesions were observed in exposed parts of the body in four workers. The following recommendations were made to minimize exposure to workers: dust control measures such as the use of water sprays on the dock; minimizing contact with pitch dust through personal protective equipment and personal hygiene; protection against ultraviolet light; and medical monitoring of currently or previously exposed workers for chronic effects.
Polycyclic-aromatic-hydrocarbons; Dockworkers; Occupational-exposure; Protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Skin-cancer; Carcinogens; Risk-factors; Coal-tar-pitch;
Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons: Mechanisms, Methods and Metabolism, Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division