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Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles

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Possible Solutions

Engineering controls are the best methods for controlling exposure to CTPVs. Engineering controls include local and dilution ventilation, isolating and/or containing processes that emit CTPVs, and where possible, automated handling of coal tar products that generate CTPVs in open systems. Respirators may also be worn by individuals exposed to CTPVs to keep their exposures below the OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL), and protective clothing may be used to prevent skin contact with coal tars and coal-tar products, including CTPVs. However, personal protective equipment (PPE) should be the last line of defense.

The following table presents exposure limits established for CTPVs and related substances.

  • PEL = Permissible Exposure Limit
  • REL = Recommended Exposure Limit
  • TLV = Threshold Limit Value
  • PAHs = Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
Substance OSHA PEL NIOSH REL (10 hour TWA) ACGIH TLV
CTPVs
(including PAHs)
0.2 mg/m3 (benzene-soluble fraction) 0.1 mg/m3(cyclohexane-extractable fraction); Carcinogen (Ca): Reduce exposure to lowest feasible concentration. 0.2 mg/m3 (benzene-soluble fraction)
Coke Oven Emissions 0.15 mg/m3 (benzene-soluble fraction) 0.2 mg/m3 (benzene-soluble fraction); Carcinogen (Ca): Reduce exposure to lowest feasible concentration. --

Values are for an 8 hour time-weighted-average (TWA) exposure, except for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) REL for PAHs, which is based on a 10 hour TWA exposure.

  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2005-149, (September 2007). Presents key information and data in abbreviated or tabular form for chemicals or substance groupings (e.g. cyanides, fluorides, manganese compounds) that are found in the work environment.
  • Occupational Health Guidelines for Chemical Hazards. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 81-123, (January 1981). Contains information on identification, physical and chemical properties, health hazards, exposure limits, exposure sources and control methods, monitoring, personal hygiene, storage, spills and leaks, and personal protective equipment.
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