- Safety and Health Topics
- Asphalt (Bitumen) Fumes
Asphalt (Bitumen) Fumes
Over a half-million workers are exposed to fumes from asphalt, a petroleum product used extensively in road paving, roofing, siding, and concrete work1. Health effects from exposure to asphalt fumes include headache, skin rash, sensitization, fatigue, reduced appetite, throat and eye irritation, cough, and skin cancer.
OSHA standards do not specifically address asphalt fumes.
Provides information that aides in recognizing asphalt fume hazards in the workplace.
Provides assistance for evaluating asphalt fumes exposures.
Provides links and references to information that aid in controlling and preventing asphalt fumes in the workplace
Provides resources on injuries and illnesses in the wood products industry.
Workers have the right to:
- Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA's rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
- Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.
For additional information, see OSHA's Workers page.
How to Contact OSHA
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to help ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627.
1NIOSH National Occupational Exposure Survey, 1981-1983.
- Reducing Roofers' Exposure to Asphalt Fumes. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2003-107, (September 2003). This guide pertains to roofers and contractors who work with hot asphalt on roofs.
- Construction. OSHA's Alliance Program. This is one of OSHA's Strategic Management Plan Focus Areas.
- Construction. OSHA eTool. Also available in Spanish. Helps workers identify and control the hazards that cause the most serious construction-related injuries.