Identifying and Mitigating Asphalt Fume Exposure Risks in Puerto Rico
Zimmetry Environmental provides testing and consulting services to identify inhalation hazards to protect workers throughout the Caribbean.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports that over 500,000 workers in the United States are exposed to fumes from asphalt.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports that over 500,000 workers in the United States are exposed to fumes from asphalt. This staggering figure includes many workers in Puerto Rico, not to mention thousands of other workers throughout the Caribbean.
Asphalt as it is referred to in the United States or bitumen, as it is called in many other countries, is found in natural deposits or can be obtained by refining crude oil. The primary use of asphalt is for road construction where it is mixed with aggregate particles, but it is also commonly used to seal flat roofs and in waterproofing products such as roof felt and shingles.
According to OSHA, health effects from exposure to asphalt fumes include headache, skin rash, sensitization, fatigue, reduced appetite, throat and eye irritation, cough and skin cancer. The agency also states that exposure to asphalt fumes can cause serious injury and permanent damage and those workers that may be exposed to asphalt fumes need to be aware of the potential hazards. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that known carcinogens have been found in asphalt fumes generated at work sites and that observations of acute irritation in workers from airborne and dermal exposures to asphalt fumes and aerosols, and the potential for chronic health effects, including cancer, warrant continued diligence in the control of exposures.
“Protecting workers from excessive exposure to fumes needs to be a priority for companies that use asphalt for construction or other purposes,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “At Zimmetry we offer testing and monitoring services for asphalt fumes and other potential workplace hazards. If high levels are found, controlling exposures can be done through such functions as engineering controls, administrative actions and personal protective equipment (PPE).”
Zimmetry also recently sponsored an educational video about asphalt fumes and occupational exposure concerns that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/XLl9k70rpms
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their occupational, industrial hygiene, environmental, air quality, compliance and consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.
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