IARC Classification of Bitumen
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IARC Classification of Bitumen. September 2012. What is IARC. International Agency for Research on Cancer Brings together international panels of scientists in Lyon, France IARC has reviewed more than 900 chemicals and other agents since its founding in 1971.

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What is IARC

  • International Agency for Research on Cancer

  • Brings together international panels of scientists in Lyon, France

  • IARC has reviewed more than 900 chemicals and other agents since its founding in 1971

  • International Agency for Research on Cancer

  • Brings together international panels of scientists in Lyon, France

  • IARC has reviewed more than 900 chemicals and other agents since its founding in 1971


Background

  • Historical fumes studies initiated by Industry primarily by NAPA /EAPA / Eurobitume

  • Industry sector / product grade separation

  • Humans / animals / mechanistic research studies

  • Classification review as science improves on the subject.

  • International Agency for Research on Cancer

  • Brings together international panels of scientists in Lyon, France

  • IARC has reviewed more than 900 chemicals and other agents since its founding in 1971


WHO Re-classification of straight –run bitumens

  • C- Occupational exposures to straight-run bitumens and their emissions during road paving

  • On the basis of an earlier meta-analysis, the IARC multi-center study and several more recent independent studies, the Working Group concluded that there was inadequate evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of occupational exposures during road paving with straight-run bitumens. Also, there was inadequate evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of extracts and of fume condensates of this type of bitumens. However, studies of workers exposed to bitumen emissions during paving with straight-run bitumens showed mutagenic and genotoxic/cytogenetic effects in these workers. Similar effects were also observed in experimental systems under controlled conditions. This strong mechanistic evidence led to the classification of occupational exposures to straight-run bitumens and their emissions during road paving as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B).”

  • October 18, 2011 , WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer’s Monographs programme

  • International Agency for Research on Cancer

  • Brings together international panels of scientists in Lyon, France

  • IARC has reviewed more than 900 chemicals and other agents since its founding in 1971


WHO Re-classification of straight –run bitumens

Genotoxicity describes a deleterious action on a cell's genetic material affecting its integrity. Genotoxic substances are all those with affinity to interact with DNA - which is not proof of their dangerousness to humans, but does render them potentially mutagenic or cancerogenic.

Cytogenetics is a branch of genetics that is concerned with the study of the structure and function of the cell, especially the chromosomes.

  • International Agency for Research on Cancer

  • Brings together international panels of scientists in Lyon, France

  • IARC has reviewed more than 900 chemicals and other agents since its founding in 1971


What does IARC’s “2B” mean?

  • IARC categorizes substances and exposures into five groups:

    • Group 1: carcinogenic to humans

    • Group 2A: probably carcinogenic to humans

    • Group 2B: possibly carcinogenic to humans

    • Group 3: not classifiable as to carcinogenicity in humans

    • Group 4: probably not carcinogenic to humans

  • Puts asphalt fumes in same category as cell phones and coffee.

  • International Agency for Research on Cancer

  • Brings together international panels of scientists in Lyon, France

  • IARC has reviewed more than 900 chemicals and other agents since its founding in 1971


Industry’s response

  • International Agency for Research on Cancer

  • Brings together international panels of scientists in Lyon, France

  • IARC has reviewed more than 900 chemicals and other agents since its founding in 1971

  • Industry has worked for the past 20 years to reduce workers’ exposure and will continue to do so.

  • Over this period industry has partnered with academic institutions and global partners to fill the science gaps. through Intensive research studies at a cost in excess of 20m$


Response from a medical practitioner

  • “People working in the asphalt paving industry should not be concerned about this new IARC classification. The two key animal studies on paving asphalt did not show any evidence of cancer risk, and the major IARC cancer study of people working in the paving industry in Europe did not show any increased risk for cancer.”

  • DR. JIM MELIUS, Dr. for the laborers International Union of North America. (observer at the IARC classification process)

  • International Agency for Research on Cancer

  • Brings together international panels of scientists in Lyon, France

  • IARC has reviewed more than 900 chemicals and other agents since its founding in 1971


Summary

The health and safety of workers remain Industry’s top priority. Reduction in fumes through WMA is a typical example of this.( <135 C)

A medical view states that “People working in the asphalt paving industry should not be concerned about this new IARC classification.”

The revised IARC classification puts bitumen as a material in the same category as consumption of coffee and use of cell phones.

  • International Agency for Research on Cancer

  • Brings together international panels of scientists in Lyon, France

  • IARC has reviewed more than 900 chemicals and other agents since its founding in 1971


It’s tough in Africa

  • International Agency for Research on Cancer

  • Brings together international panels of scientists in Lyon, France

  • IARC has reviewed more than 900 chemicals and other agents since its founding in 1971


It’s tough in Africa

  • International Agency for Research on Cancer

  • Brings together international panels of scientists in Lyon, France

  • IARC has reviewed more than 900 chemicals and other agents since its founding in 1971


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