Agent Name

Aluminum production

Major Category

Other Uses


Electorlytic reduction of alumina to aluminum; [Reference #1]


Exposures, PAH-Related


Between the late 1950s and the late 1980s, exposures decreased 4-fold at two plants in Norway (vertical stud Soderberg pot-rooms); Between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, exposures did not decrease among workers in anode manufacturing (as measured by concentrations of 1-hydroxypyrene in urine); "The exposure circumstances, especially levels of PAH in aluminium smelters, vary between industrial departments and also depend on the process used." [Reference #1]


The primary exposure is to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). A Group 1 carcinogen: cancer of the bladder and lung; [Reference #1] "Bladder cancer incidence was not increased at B(a)P exposures below 40 ug/m3-yr." [Reference #2] Lower coal tar pitch volatile (CTPV) exposure occurs in prebake potrooms. "The initial epidemiologic studies of aluminum workers that reported evidence of increased risk of bladder cancer in the work-force were predominantly conducted in Soderberg smelters where exposure to CTPV was historically high. Recent follow-up studies of these worker cohorts have shown a significant reduction in the risk of bladder cancer." [PMID 25525927] See the process "Aluminum Producing."

Reference Link

IARC 2012: Occupational Exposures during Aluminium Production

Exposure Assessment
Reference Link

Mortality and cancer incidence in aluminum smelter workers: a 5-year update.

Adverse Effects
IARC Carcinogen

Known Carcinogen

Links to Other NLM Databases
Toxicity Information


Related Information in HazMap

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent: