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Toxicological information

Exposure related observations in humans: other data

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Administrative data

exposure-related observations in humans: other data
Adequacy of study:
other information
2 (reliable with restrictions)

Data source

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Tepper, A., Burr, G. A., Feng, H. A., Singal, M., Miller, A. K., Hanley, K. W. and Olsen, L. D. (2006)|Acute symptoms associated with asphalt fume exposure among|road pavers.|Am. J. Indust. Med. Volume 49, Pages 728-739

Materials and methods

Type of study / information:
Type of experience: Human

Results and discussion

Any other information on results incl. tables

Although 79 workers participated in the study (157 person-days of  enrolment) some were excluded for a variety of reasons including no  exposure to asphalt, not being present all days during the study etc. 
43 workers remained after the exclusions with 79 person-days of usable  symptom data.  Of these 79 person days, 78 had total particulate exposure  data and 32 had benzene soluble particulate data.  The comparison group  comprised 42 workers who provided 138 person-days of symptom data.

Full shift TWA exposures to total particulates ranged from 0.01 to 1.30  mg/m³ with the lowest exposures to roller drivers (0.07 mg/m³) and the  highest to truck dumpers (0.40 mg/m³.

Exposures to benzene soluble particulates ranged from 0.01 mg/m³ to 0.82  mg/m³. Roller operators had the lowest exposure (0.02 mg/m³) and paver  operators the highest (0.36 mg/m³)

PAC exposures were lowest for roller operators and highest for truck  dumpers and paver operators (ranges from 0.09 to  1.8 mg/m³).

Symptoms were categorised into one of six groups and the incidence (%)  for exposed (E) and the unexposed comparison group (C) is shown below
                                                E        C
burning, itchy, painful, or irritated eyes        11        8
burning, itch, stuffy, or irritated throat        19        8.7
sore, dry, scratchy. or irritated throat        13        4
cough                                                9        4
chest tightness or difficulty breathing                4        0.7
wheezing or whistling in chest                        3        0

Although asphalt-exposed workers had numerically higher symptom rates  than the unexposed comparison group, the difference was only  statistically significant for throat symptoms with an Odds Ratio (OR) of  4.0, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.2-13)

Total particulate, as a continuous variable, was associated with:
        eye symptoms (OR=1.34, 95% CI: 1.12-1.60)
        throat symptoms (OR=1.40, 95% CI: 1.06-1.85)
Total particulate as a dichotomous variable the following associations  were found:
        eye symptoms (OR=7.5, 95% CI: 1.1-5.0)
        throat symptoms (OR=15, 95% CI: 2.3-103)
Benzene soluble particulate as a dichotomous variable the following  associations were found:
eye, nose, throat symptoms (OR=11, 95% CI: 1.5-84)

Only one worker had a PEFR pattern that met the criteria for bronchial  liability.  This worker was a paver operator and a smoker and had a  decreasing PEFR over the work shift on both days that he worked with  unmodified asphalt. He only reported eye irritation on day 1 of the  study.  On the third day of the study he was working with CRM asphalt and  also had a decreasing PEFR and reported throat irritation and a cough.   On his second day with CRM asphalt he reported eye and throat irritation,  cough and wheezing but did not have PEFR-defined bronchial liability.

Applicant's summary and conclusion