Huntington Beach, CA, December 21st, 2018
Asphalt is an essential ingredient used to pave countless miles of roads throughout all parts of California. This asphalt, or bitumen as it is called in many other parts of the world, is found in natural deposits and is made by refining crude oil. While the primary use of asphalt is for road construction, where it is mixed with aggregate particles, it is also used to seal flat roofs and in waterproofing products such as roof felt and shingles.
When asphalt is used, it is typically heated. Fumes from heated asphalt can cause health and safety concerns for workers if the proper safety precautions are not put in place. Nationwide, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports that over a half-million workers are exposed to fumes from asphalt. Health effects from exposure to these fumes can include headache, skin rash, sensitization, fatigue, reduced appetite, throat and eye irritation, cough and skin cancer. The agency goes on to state that exposure to asphalt fumes can cause serious injury and permanent damage and that workers that may be exposed to asphalt fumes need to be aware of the potential hazards.
California’s State Fund, its largest provider of workers’ compensation insurance, published information about asphalt worker safety back in 2015. In addition to wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with asphalt, the agency reminds workers and business owners that Cal/OSHA’s permissible exposure level (PEL) for asphalt fumes is 5mg/m3 and that some asphalt additives may also have their own PEL limits, so it’s important to check the product’s Safety Data Sheet (SDS).
“In California, LA Testing is proud to help protect workers and keep companies in regulatory compliance through our laboratories’ industrial hygiene testing services,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Testing is instrumental for identifying environments where workers could be exposed to airborne hazards, such as asphalt fumes, so that corrective actions can be implemented.”
LA Testing has also sponsored an educational video about asphalt fumes and occupational exposure concerns that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/XLl9k70rpms.
To learn more about this or other occupational, environmental, air quality, health and safety testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.