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Evaluation of low-fuming asphalt to reduce worker asphalt fume exposure during built-up roof installation.
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 10-15, 2003, Dallas, Texas. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2003 May; :49
Asphalt fumes exposure can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Recent studies also report evidence of acute lower respiratory tract symptoms among workers exposed to asphalt fumes. Engineering controls to reduce asphalt fume emissions from the roofing kettle are available, but none have been evaluated for their effectiveness in reducing workers' exposure. Recently, NIOSH researchers conducted a study on the use and effectiveness of lowfuming roofing asphalt as an engineering control. The results are presented here. Four industrial hygiene surveys were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of using low-fuming asphalt to reduce worker exposure to asphalt fumes during asphalt roofing operations. Personal breathing zone samples were collected and analyzed for total particulates (TP), benzene-soluble fraction (BSF) of the TP, and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAC). The combined results from the four surveys showed that the kettle operators' TP, BSF, and PAC exposures were reduced by 75%, 85%, and 77%, respectively. All of these reductions were statistically significant at 95% confidence. The combined results from the four surveys showed that the roof level workers' TP, BSF, and PAC exposures were reduced by 28%, 25%, and 27%, respectively. None of these reductions, however, were statistically significant at 95% confidence. The use of low-fuming asphalt in asphalt roofing kettle reduces the kettle operator's exposure to asphalt fumes by 75%. With a slight increase in the cost of the asphalt and no changes to the kettle, any contractor can significantly reduce worker exposure to asphalt fumes.
Asphalt-fumes; Asphalt-industry; Roofing-industry; Workers; Occupational-exposure; Fumes; Irritants; Eye-irritants; Respiratory-irritants; Industrial-hygiene; Breathing-zone
Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 10-15, 2003, Dallas, Texas
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division