If you work with asphalt on a daily basis, you’re sure to inhale the noxious fumes it creates. These fumes contain known carcinogens that can create health conditions in those who work near the hot material. Along with causing respiratory issues, the fumes can also cause skin irritation and other problems.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), asphalt has a complex composition which makes it difficult to pinpoint exactly which chemicals cause the problems. Both roofing tar and road asphalt are potentially dangerous and put employees who work with them at risk for injuries on the job site.
Asphalt Fumes Are Hazardous
Fume exposure causes a variety of health concerns, including:
- Upper respiratory problems. A study conducted by the CDC revealed that people who are exposed to asphalt fumes experience nose and throat irritation. Additionally, a burning sensation in the throat and chest are common, as is coughing with expectoration and frequent hoarseness. Those who already have respiration problems, including asthma and other lung issues, are at an increased risk of experiencing problems because of asphalt fumes.
- Cancer. Although no direct evidence exists that asphalt fume inhalation causes cancer, some studies show that those exposed are at an increased risk of developing cancers of the stomach, lung, bladder, and skin, as well as leukemia.
- Birth defects. Indirect evidence shows that pregnant women who are exposed to the fumes could develop birth defects. Laboratory studies of roof tar extracts have shown DNA changes in human fetal cells exposed to asphalt fume extracts.
- Other problems. Headache and nausea are often experienced by those who are exposed to the fumes. Often, the symptoms go away a few hours after exposure ends.
We Can Help
The law offices of Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr. may be able to help you if you have developed conditions due to asphalt fume exposure. Call us today at 877-360-0183 to learn more.