Environmental monitoring of mutagenic/carcinogenic hazards during road paving operations with bitumens

Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 1987;59(4):393-402. doi: 10.1007/BF00405283.


Environmental monitoring of mutagenic/carcinogenic hazards associated with occupational exposure to bitumen fumes was performed during road paving operations. Bitumen samples were collected and analysed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) content by HPLC and for mutagenicity by the Ames test. The exposure of sixteen road workers to bitumen fumes was studied. Time-weighted average values of bitumen fumes were determined by personal samplers. PAH concentration in the air and the mutagenicity of airborne particulates were also analysed. The results showed that bitumen samples contained low levels of total PAH (microgram/g) and were not mutagenic. Environmental monitoring showed a low level of exposure to bitumen fumes, which were found to contain only trace levels of PAH and not to be mutagenic. The authors suggest that these workers' exposure to mutagenic/carcinogenic agents is low.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects
  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Carcinogens*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons / adverse effects*
  • Hydrocarbons / analysis
  • Mutagenicity Tests
  • Mutagens*
  • Polycyclic Compounds / analysis*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Carcinogens
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Mutagens
  • Polycyclic Compounds
  • asphalt