- Safety and Health Topics
- Asphalt Fumes
Over a half-million workers are exposed to fumes from asphalt, a petroleum product used extensively in road paving, roofing, siding, and concrete work. 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.
How do I find out about employer responsibilities and workers' rights?
Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury). For more information see www.whistleblowers.gov or Workers' rights under the OSH Act.
OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to the OSHA Offices by State webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
Small business employers may contact OSHA's free and confidential On-Site Consultation program to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites and work with OSHA on correcting any identified hazards. Consultants in this program from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs. On-Site Consultation services are separate from enforcement activities and do not result in penalties or citations. To contact OSHA's free consultation service, go to OSHA's On-Site Consultation web page or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.
Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards. Workers can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), online via eComplaint Form, or by printing the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to the local OSHA area office. Complaints that are signed by a worker are more likely to result in an inspection.
If you think your job is unsafe or if you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). Your contact will be kept confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.
- Reducing Roofers' Exposure to Asphalt Fumes (PDF). 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.