Health Risks of Asphalt Exposure

Asphalt contains many known toxins, so we should be aware of the risks to our health and our environment.

Studies have shown: “Road dust and other erosion fractions originating from slowly wearing-away asphalt roadways are considered one potential source of PAHs in the sediments of urban rivers and bays” and, “Asphalt in rivers and other natural waters may also slowly leach harmful compounds into the water.”

Asphalt paving chemicals that are known to be harmful may include:

  1. benzene (CAS number 71-43-2)
  2. ethylbenzene (CAS number 100-41-4)
  3. n-hexane (CAS number 110-54-3)
  4. hydrochloric acid (CAS number 7647-01-0)
  5. methanol (CAS number 67-56-1)
  6. napthalene (CAS number 91-20-3)
  7. phenanthrene (CAS number 85-01-8)
  8. 1,2,4-trimethyl benzene (CAS number 95-63-6)
  9. toluene (CAS number 108-88-3)
  10. xylene – mixed isomers (CAS number 1330-20-7)

The following chemicals are also found at SIC Code 2951 (Asphalt Paving Mixtures and Blocks) facilities but cannot be properly identified because they do not have CAS numbers:

  • Polycyclic aromatic compounds

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