Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

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Asphalt (Bitumen) Fumes

Asphalt (Bitumen) Fumes - Photo Credit: iStock.com-28642988 | Copyright: TravisPhotoWorks
Asphalt Fumes Menu


There are currently no specific OSHA standards for asphalt fumes. Exposures to various chemical components of asphalt fumes are addressed in specific standards for the general and construction industries, such as personal protective equipment (PPE). This section highlights OSHA standards and documents related to asphalt fumes.

OSHA Standards
Construction (29 CFR 1926)
Related Information
Subpart E – Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment  
Occupational Exposure Levels

There is no OSHA standard or permissible exposure level of asphalt fumes, although a 5 mg/m3 permissible exposure limit (PEL) was proposed in 1992. OSHA's quantitative risk assessment estimated a significant risk of lung cancer among exposed workers at levels as low as 0.2 mg/m3. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) currently recommends a Threshold Limit Value (TLV) of 0.5 mg/m3 as an 8-hour time weighted average. NIOSH currently recommends no more than 5 mg/m3 for a maximum exposure per 15-minute short-term exposure in addition to assigning a carcinogenicity designation. See NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Appendix A - NIOSH Potential Occupational Carcinogens for the latest policy and guidelines for this designation.

State Standards

There are twenty-eight OSHA-approved State Plans, operating state-wide occupational safety and health programs. State Plans are required to have standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as OSHA's and may have different or more stringent requirements.

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