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Publications (5)16.02 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The chemical complexity of emissions from bitumen applications is a challenge in the assessment of exposure. Personal sampling of vapours and aerosols of bitumen was organized in 320 bitumen-exposed workers and 69 non-exposed construction workers during 2001-2008. Area sampling was conducted at 44 construction sites. Area and personal sampling of vapours and aerosols of bitumen showed similar concentrations between 5 and 10 mg/m(3), while area sampling yielded higher concentrations above the former occupational exposure limit (OEL) of 10 mg/m(3). The median concentration of personal bitumen exposure was 3.46 mg/m(3) (inter-quartile range 1.80-5.90 mg/m(3)). Only few workers were exposed above the former OEL. The specificity of the method measuring C-H stretch vibration is limited. This accounts for a median background level of 0.20 mg/m³ in non-exposed workers which is likely due to ubiquitous aliphatic hydrocarbons. Further, area measurements of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were taken at 25 construction sites. U.S. EPA PAHs were determined with GC/MS, with the result of a median concentration of 2.47 μg/m(3) at 15 mastic asphalt worksites associated with vapours and aerosols of bitumen, with a Spearman correlation coefficient of 0.45 (95% CI -0.13 to 0.78). PAH exposure at mastic-asphalt works was higher than at reference worksites (median 0.21 μg/m(3)), but about one order of magnitude lower compared to coke-oven works. For a comparison of concentrations of vapours and aerosols of bitumen and PAHs in asphalt works, differences in sampling and analytical methods must to be taken into account.
    Archives of Toxicology 03/2011; 85 Suppl 1:S11-20. · 5.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bitumen (referred to as asphalt in the United States) is a widely used construction material, and emissions from hot bitumen applications have been a long-standing health concern. One objective of the Human Bitumen Study was to identify potential determinants of the exposure to bitumen. The study population analysed comprised 259 male mastic asphalt workers recruited between 2003 and 2008. Personal air sampling in the workers' breathing zone was carried out during the shift to measure exposure to vapours and aerosols of bitumen. The majority of workers were engaged in building construction, where exposure levels were lower than in tunnels but higher than at road construction sites. At building construction sites, exposure levels were influenced by the room size, the processing temperature of the mastic asphalt and the job task. The results show that protective measures should include a reduction in the processing temperature.
    Archives of Toxicology 02/2011; 85 Suppl 1:S21-8. · 5.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Since the mid-1990s the German BITUMEN Forum has worked on a comprehensive program on the safety and health at work with bitumen. Determining the concentration of emissions arising from handling hot bituminous substances has been one of the main priorities of the forum's work.Almost all branches of industry in Germany that use bitumen have been examined. More than 2000 samples were gathered between 1991 and 2006. The measuring method determined vapors and aerosols emitted from hot bitumen.With the results of these measurement data it is possible to show how exposures to vapors and aerosols of bitumen vary with production and different uses e.g., rolled asphalt, mastic asphalt, roofing, and joint fillers. With the exception of work with mastic asphalt, all uses of bitumen show exposures to vapors and aerosols of bitumen of less than 10 mg/m.The situation for mastic asphalt is entirely different. At the workplaces at mechanical as well as manual work with mastic asphalt very often exposures above 10 mg/m vapors and aerosols of bitumen have been observed.The main reason for this significant effect is the processing temperature. In paving with rolled asphalt—with a maximum laying temperature of approximately 180°C (356°F)—the highest exposures are about 10 mg/m. But for mastic asphalt work (laying temperature of approximately 250°C; 482°F) the exposures are up to more than 50 mg/m. The results of these measurements in almost all branches of industry in Germany that use bitumen will be presented.
    Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene 05/2007; 4(S1):77-86. · 1.28 Impact Factor
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    Reinhold Rühl, Uwe Musanke
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 08/2006; 50(5):441-4. · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a large project of the German Bitumen Forum, almost all branches of industry in Germany that use bitumen have been examined with regard to bitumen exposure. A total of 1272 samples were gathered between 1991 and 2005. The measuring method includes vapours and aerosols emitted from hot bitumen; the proportions of these two components and their dependency on bitumen temperature are described. Whereas in most branches a value of 10 mg m(-3) for the sum of vapours and aerosols is not exceeded, much higher values have been observed for work with mastic asphalt. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons have been analysed in some cases, but exposure is several orders of magnitudes lower than with the earlier use of tar.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 08/2006; 50(5):459-68. · 2.16 Impact Factor