01 Apr 2003

Exposure of asphalt workers to bitumen fumes

Bitumen is a product with a long history of use as construction material in a wide variety of applications, such as road paving. Under normal ambient conditions bitumens are solid and do not present health or environmental hazards. However, most bitumen applications are carried out at high temperatures (from 150 to 230°C) at which fumes may be generated. Excessive exposure to these fumes can cause respiratory irritation.

Occupational exposure limits have therefore been set in many countries while bitumen suppliers promote good working practices, including temperature control.

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