Agent Name

Asphalt fumes

Alternative Name


CAS Number


Major Category

Other Classes


Asphalt; Asphalt (cut); Asphalt (cutback); Asphalt (petroleum); Asphalt cements; Asphalt, liquid medium-curing; Asphalt, liquid rapid-curing; Asphalt, liquid slow-curing; Asphaltic bitumen; Asphaltum; Bitumen; Bitumens, asphalt; Bituminous materials, asphalt; Judean pitch; Mineral pitch; Mineral rubber (VAN); Petroleum; Petroleum asphalt; Petroleum bitumen; Petroleum pitch; Petroleum refining residues, asphalts; Petroleum roofing tar; Road asphalt; Road tar; Trinidad pitch; [ChemIDplus] UN1999


Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons


Fumes generated during the production or application of asphalt (a dark-brown to black cement-like substance manufactured by the vacuum distillation of crude petroleum oil). [NIOSH]


Asphalt is produced from evaporation of the lighter petroleum hydrocarbons and partial oxidation of the residue. Petroleum asphalt should be differentiated from tar or pitch, which is derived from coal. Used in construction of highways, irrigation canals, dams, airfields; Also used in materials for insulating, roofing, and painting; [ACGIH] Asphalt is called bitumen in Europe; it is derived from petroleum and contains a small amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). [PMID 25807312]


"If asphalt-related dermal photosensitization is occurring, such as seen with coal tar, it has not been described in the literature and so needs to be further investigated, as do the other reported skin problems." [Health Effects of Occupational Exposure to Asphalt. NIOSH. 2000] "The concentrations of PAHs in coal tar pitch are usually two to three orders of magnitude higher than those found in petroleum-derived asphalt." PAH exposure in asphalt roofers and pavers is low compared to other PAH exposed workers, but significantly higher than non-occupationally exposed groups. The "TLV Basis" is upper respiratory tract and eye irritation; [ACGIH] 2A: oxidized bitumens emissions during roofing; 2B: hard bitumens & emissions during mastic asphalt work; straight run bitumens emissions during road paving; [IARC] See "Asphalt, oxidized."

Reference Link

OSHA Technical Links: Asphalt Fumes

Exposure Assessment

1-Hydroxypyrene (1-HP) in urine = 2.5 ug/L at end of shift at end of workweek; (Adjusted for the Pyrene to Benzo(a)pyrene ratio); 3-Hydroxybenzo(a)pyrene (3-HBAP) in urine = Nq at end of shift at end of workweek; [TLVs and BEIs]

Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data


0.5 mg/m3, inhalable fraction (as benzene soluble aerosol)

Explanatory Notes

NIOSH REL = 15 min. ceiling of 5 mg/m3; Melting point of asphalt = 110 deg F; [CAMEO] Flash point = 204 deg C;

Half Life

No reports found; [TDR, p. 140]

Reference Link

Exposure to ultrafine particles in asphalt work.

Adverse Effects
IARC Carcinogen

Probable Carcinogen

ACGIH Carcinogen

Not Classifiable

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information


Chemical Information

Search ChemIDplus

Biomedical References

Search PubMed

Related Information in HazMap

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: