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Chong, D, Wang, Y, Zhao, K, Wang, D and Oeser, M (2018) Asphalt Fume Exposures by Pavement Construction Workers: Current Status and Project Cases. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 144(04).

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Asphalt pavement construction; Health hazards; Construction occupational environment hazards; Construction occupational environment; Sustainable construction;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0733-9364
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0001454
  • Abstract:
    Workers involved in asphalt pavement construction are exposed to asphalt fumes. The adverse health effects of asphalt fumes have long been recognized; however, there is still a lack of consistent and systematic approaches to measurement, assessment, and mitigation of asphalt fume exposures. This study reviewed the current status of research and practice on this issue and conducted case studies in 12 pavement construction projects. Literature review suggests that much work needs to be done in (1) health effect identification, (2) development of standard methods for exposure measurement, (3) characterization of harmful components in asphalt fumes, (4) establishment of exposure limits, and (5) quantification of factors that affect exposures. Case studies indicate that short-term exposures to the respirable portions of asphalt fumes can be quite high on some projects, and the high exposures are related to construction factors. The detected chemicals in fume samples appear to be affected by construction materials and construction temperature. From the perspective of construction management, a simple guideline to help field managers and workers to estimate exposure risk and avert risky situations will be beneficial. This study contributes to the body of knowledge in construction management by providing renewed and first-hand information on asphalt fume exposures by workers.