Occupational Asthma Reference

Raulf-Heimsoth M, Pesch B, Rühl R, Brüning T, The Human Bitumen Study: executive summary, Archives of Toxicology, 2011;85 Suppl 1:3-9,
(Plain text: Raulf-Heimsoth M, Pesch B, Ruhl R, Bruning T, The Human Bitumen Study: executive summary, Archives of Toxicology)

Keywords: germany, bitumen, review

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Monika Raulf-Heimsoth, Bochum Monika Raulf-Heimsoth

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Bitumen has attracted attention from the scientific community and regulating agencies. The debate on health effects of exposure to vapours and aerosols of bitumen during the hot application of bitumen ranges from respiratory and neurological effects to carcinogenicity. In 2000, the German Hazardous Substances Committee (AGS), in collaboration with the German Bitumen Forum, initiated the examination of a group of mastic asphalt workers and a same number of construction workers without exposure bitumen using a cross-shift design. The study was then extended to the Human Bitumen Study, and the recruitment was finished in 2008 after examination of 500 workers on 80 construction sites. Three hundred and twenty workers exposed to vapours and aerosols of bitumen at high processing temperatures and 118 workers at outdoor construction sites were included. In the Human Bitumen Study external exposure to vapours and aerosols of bitumen, internal exposure to PAH by analysing urinary 1-hydroxypyrene, the sum of hydroxyphenanthrenes and the sum of 1- and 2-hydroxynaphthalenes, irritative effects in the upper and lower airways and genotoxic effects in blood cells were investigated. The study turned out to be one of the largest investigations of workers exposed to vapours and aerosols of bitumen under current exposure conditions. The present paper summarizes its background and main topics.

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