More than 50,000 workers in the United States are exposed to roofing asphalt fumes that may pose genotoxic and potential carcinogenic hazards. The Type III roofing asphalt is most frequently used in roof-application. Results of our previous studies showed that fume condensates of Type III roofing asphalts induced micronuclei (MN) in vitro in cultured V79 cells and DNA adduct formation in vivo in rat lung cells. In this study, the genotoxicity of whole fume condensates (WFC) of Type III roofing asphalt and its five chemical fractions (A, B, C, D and E) was determined by the micronucleus assay using V79 cells. Linear regressions were determined for the dose response of MN frequencies and percent of binucleated and multinucleated cells (MTC) following the treatment. Results showed that the numbers of micronucleated cells in cultures treated with Type III roofing asphalt WFC and its fractions B, C, D and E were significantly higher than that in the control culture, and that the slopes of the linear regression line for fractions B and C were greater than those for the WFC and fractions D and E. A clear dose response of binucleated cells was also induced by the WFC and fractions B and C. These findings indicate that: (1) WFC and all fractions, except fraction A, induced MN formation in cultured V79 cells; (2) fractions B and C possess the highest genotoxic activity; (3) the roofing asphalt WFC contains chemicals or chemical classes that induce not only chromosomal aberrations but also binucleation in V79 cells.
Copyright 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.