A highly sensitive, selective, and reliable analytical method has been developed and validated for characterization of asphalt fume generated under simulated road paving conditions. A dynamic asphalt fume generation system was modified to provide consistent test atmospheres at simulated asphalt road paving conditions. In the process of fume generation, asphalt was initially preheated in an oven to 170 degrees C, pumped to a large kettle, which maintained the asphalt temperature between 150 and 170 degrees C, and then transferred to the generator. The fume was conducted from the generator to an exposure chamber through a heated transfer line. Characterization of the asphalt fume test atmospheres included the following: (1) determination of the consistency of the asphalt aerosol composition within the generation system; (2) quantification of total organic matter of the asphalt fume by electron impact ionization of isotope dilution gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry); and (3) identification of individual priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in asphalt fume by selected ion monitoring. With the developed method, asphalt fumes could be characterized into three fractions: (1) filter collection of a large molecular size fraction over a range of mass-to-charge (m/z) ratios of 173-309; (2) XAD-2 trapping of a medium molecular size fraction over a range of m/z ratios of 121-197; and (3) charcoal trapping of a small molecular size fraction that contained mainly the volatile vapor fraction over a range of m/z ratios of 57-141. Total organic matter of the asphalt fume was quantified over the 5 exposure days. Sixteen specific priority PAHs were monitored and identified. These PAHs were determined at trace levels on the filter fraction. A novel approach, which utilizes collision-induced dissociation of fragmentation pathway leading to a characteristic fragmentation pattern by coupling microflow liquid chromatography to atmospheric pressure chemical ionization of quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry, was used to further clarify the trace amount of key components present in simulated road paving asphalt fumes. These results demonstrate that asphalt fume composition could be characterized and specific priority PAHs could be identified by this method. The major advantages of this method are its highly sensitivity, selectivity, and reliability for chemical hazard characterization in a complex mixture. This method is suitable for support toxicity studies using simulated occupational exposure to asphalt fumes.