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Development and validation of a new bitumen fume generation system which generates polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon concentrations proportional to fume concentrations
Annals of Occupational Hygiene
Bitumen fumes emitted during road paving and roofing contain polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) of potential health concern. Little information is available for an experimental device devoted to inhalation experiments with animals exposed to bitumen fumes, and in all studies the systems were never validated for a range of fume concentrations, which prohibited their use for toxicological concentration-effect studies. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to validate a new experimental device able to generate bitumen fumes at different total particulate matter (TPM) concentrations with a linear correlation between TPM and the concentrations of different PACs, thus allowing toxicological dose-response studies with fumes representative of those in the field. Atmosphere samples collected from an animal exposure chamber allowed the determination of TPM, toluene soluble matter, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and semi-volatiles. The particulate size distributions were determined in order to assess the deposition pattern in the respiratory tract. The temperature of 170 degrees C was chosen by analogy with the upper range of the temperature used during paving operations. The temperature of the air passing over the fume emission area was regulated to 20 degrees C and stirring of the heated bitumen was restricted to 90 r.p.m. The data show that the objective of developing a static fume generation system that reproducibly produces fumes in the inhalation chamber for specified target concentrations (TPM) were successful. The within-day variation coefficients for TPM were between 2.5 and 6.1%. The day-to-day variations for TPM concentration were between 4.1 and 5.8%. The concentrations of the 4-5 ring PAHs and the polycyclic aromatic sulphur heterocycles were proportional to the TPM concentration. The 2 and 3 ring PAH concentrations showed a deviation from proportionality with the TPM, probably due to their re-evaporation during sampling. The mass median aerodynamic diameter of airborne particles varied from 1.4 micro m at a fume concentration of 5 mg/m(3) to 3.2 micro m at 100 mg/m(3). In conclusion, this equipment was suitable for nose-only inhalation studies in the 5-100 mg/m(3) range of TPM. Bitumen fumes were generated with a good reproducibility under well-controlled conditions. Finally, the PAH profiles from atmospheric samples were in good agreement with those measured during road paving.
Hydrocarbons, Polycyclic Hydrocarbons, Aromatic
Web of science
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