Assessment of exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) in Italian asphalt workers

Piero Emanuele Cirla, Irene Martinotti, Marina Buratti, Silvia Fustinoni, Laura Campo, Epifania Zito, Enzandrea Prandi, Omar Longhi, Domenico Cavallo, Vito Foà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the work was the assessment of exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), a family of ubiquitous pollutants of which some are carcinogens, in 100 Italian asphalt workers (exposed to bitumen fumes and diesel exhausts) and in a reference group of 47 ground construction operators (exposed only to diesel exhausts, reference group). The protocol included interview via questionnaires, environmental air-monitoring (active personal sampling during the work shift), dermal contamination measures (six pads placed on worker's wrist, neck, arm, chest, thigh, and ankle), and biological monitoring (determination of 1-hydroxypyrene in urine spot samples collected three at different moments: baseline after two days of vacation, before shift, and at end shift on a day in the second half of the week). Analysis of the most relevant PAH, according to the American Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, was performed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) by fluorimetric detector. Median airborne levels of PAH ranged from 426 to below 0.03 ng/m3. Vapor-phase PAH, apart from naphthalene, were significantly higher in asphalt workers than in the reference group. Particle-phase PAH were similar and very low (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-99
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Issue numberSUPPL.1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • 1-hydroxypyrene
  • Air monitoring
  • Asphalt workers
  • Bitumen fumes
  • Dermal exposure
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) in Italian asphalt workers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this