Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Exposures in Expansion Joint-Making Operations on a Construction Site: A Case Study
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This case study describes occupational exposures to coal tar pitch volatiles (CTPV) as benzene soluble fraction (BSF), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and total particulates at a unique operation involving the use of coal tar in the making of expansion joints in construction of a multi-level airport parking garage. A task-based exposure assessment approach was used. A set of 32 samples was collected and analyzed for total particulate and CTPV-BSF. Twenty samples of this set were analyzed for PAHs. Current American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH(R)) respective threshold limit value-time weighted average (TLV-TWA) for insoluble particulates not otherwise specified (PNOS) is 10 mg/m(3) as inhalable dust, which roughly corresponds to 4 mg/m(3) total particulate; for CTPV as BSF the TLV is 0.2 mg/m(3), and for specific PAHs such as benzo(a)-pyrene (B[a]P), ACGIH suggests keeping exposure as low as practicable. The recommended Swedish exposure limit for B(a)P is 2 microg/m(3). The highest exposure levels measured were 12.8 mg/m(3) for total particulate, 1.9 mg/m(3) for coal tar pitch volatiles as BSF, and 12.8 microg/m(3) for B(a)P. Several of the CTPV-BSF results were over the TLV of 0.2 mg/m(3). The data set is limited; therefore, caution should be used in its interpretation.
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