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Environmental Issues Associated With Asphalt Shingle Recycling Presented at the 3 rd Asphalt Shingle Recycling Forum Ch PowerPoint Presentation
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Environmental Issues Associated With Asphalt Shingle Recycling Presented at the 3 rd Asphalt Shingle Recycling Forum Chicago, Illinois . November 1-2, 2007 . Jon T. Powell, E.I. Innovative Waste Consulting Services Gainesville, Florida. Project Background.

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Environmental Issues Associated With Asphalt Shingle RecyclingPresented at the 3rd Asphalt Shingle Recycling ForumChicago, Illinois

November 1-2, 2007


Jon T. Powell, E.I.

  • Innovative Waste Consulting Services
  • Gainesville, Florida
project background
Project Background
  • Initial involvement to help develop
  • Compiled a white paper on behalf of CMRA and EPA that:
    • Summarized two environmental questions/concerns raised regarding shingle recycling
    • Collected data from recyclers in the US
    • Evaluated analytical data
      • Published
      • Recycler-supplied
    • Incorporated input from CMRA, EPA, UNH
  • Will keep updating available analytical data as it is collected
presentation outline
Presentation Outline
  • Background
  • Overview of Asphalt Shingle Recycling
  • Environmental Questions or Issues
    • Asbestos
    • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • Conclusions
  • On-going research in Florida
  • Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material in North America
  • Great market potential for recycling
  • Approximately 11 million tons of asphalt shingle waste is generated per year
    • Post manufacture (scrap): 1 million tons
    • Post consumer (tear-off): 7-9 million tons
typical composition of an asphalt shingle


Waterproofing asphalt

Base (fiberglass or organic felt)

Waterproofing asphalt

Back surfacing

Typical Composition of An Asphalt Shingle
asphalt shingle recycling
Asphalt Shingle Recycling
  • Typical Management



asphalt shingle recycling8
Asphalt Shingle Recycling
  • Markets
    • hot mix asphalt (HMA)
    • temporary roads or driveways
    • dust control on rural roads
    • cold patch
    • aggregate road base
    • new shingles
    • Fuel/energy supplement
    • landfill cover
    • mulch


Raw MaterialAsphalt shingles is dropped

off by roofing contractors.


Unders – Used as HMA additive

Overs – used as covering and paving material for unpaved roads











Basic Layout of Post-Consumer

Asphalt Shingle Processing Facility


possible exposure pathways
Possible Exposure Pathways

PAH leaching?

Release of Asbestos?

PAH emissions?



Pavement, mulch, etc.



health impacts
Health Impacts
  • Asbestos
    • Lung cancer
    • Mesothelioma
  • PAHs
    • Cataracts, kidney and liver damage
    • Some PAHs are identified as carcinogenic
pathways of possible exposure at recycling operations
Pathways of Possible Exposureat Recycling Operations

Processing Facility(storage, grinding)


Most likely pathways of exposure

pathways of possible exposure for recycling operations
Pathways of Possible Exposurefor Recycling Operations


Air Emissions

AsbestosAir Emissions

Use in HMA

Processing Facility(storage, grinding)


Direct Use

Water EmissionsPAH

Water EmissionsPAH


Regulatory pathways of concern

types of asbestos
Types of Asbestos
  • Chrysotile
  • Amosite
  • Crocidolite
  • Tremolite
  • Actinolite
  • Anthophyllite

Asbestos roof shingles (transite) were fairly common; however, this is not the same thing as asphalt shingles.

There were also a lot of other roofing products that used asbestos.


“This roofing is made by crushing solid asbestos rock and compressing the long fibres into a dense, homogeneous felt. Several layers of this rock are then permanently cemented together with nature’s greatest water-proofer, Trinidad Lake Asphalt, making a light-weight roofing that is virtually a solid sheet of pliable stone.”

asphalt shingle testing results for asbestos
Asphalt Shingle Testing Results for Asbestos
  • Data from processors in Maine, Iowa, Florida, Missouri, Minnesota, and Massachusetts
  • Data available for 27,694 samples collected
    • 18 detections asbestos content <1%
    • 408 detections asbestos content >1%
    • Overall, asbestos detections in 426 samples
      • Approximately 1.53%
asbestos summary
Asbestos Summary
  • Asbestos was used in the manufacture of asphalt shingles and asphalt-containing roofing materials in the late 1800s, continuing through to the 1980s.
  • Asbestos phased out as component of asphalt shingles in the early 1980s.
  • Data on asbestos content in asphalt shingles is very limited.
  • Service life of an asphalt shingle is around two decades, +/-.
asbestos summary28
Asbestos Summary
  • It is common practice in re-roofing to install new shingles directly on top of old ones.
    • As such, a load of post-consumer asphalt shingle waste may contain multiple layers of asphalt shingles of varying age.
asbestos summary29
Asbestos Summary
  • Analytical results of over 27,000 asphalt shingle samples indicated that about 1.5% of all samples detected asbestos.
    • Many asbestos detections

were caused by other materials

such as mastic that were attached

to the samples.

asbestos summary30
Asbestos Summary
  • Despite the interference in the samples from the presence of mastic, the limited number of asbestos detections was consistent with the fact that asbestos was mostly phased out in the 1970s and that the typical reported service life for asphalt shingles is around 15-25 years, although effect of new shingles being installed on old ones may impact detection.
asbestos summary31
Asbestos Summary
  • Obtaining/sourcing uncontaminated material should further reduce incidence of asbestos in samples
    • Some states restrict where the shingles can come from

What are Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)?

  • A group of over 100 different chemicals
  • Formed primarily during the incomplete burning of coal, oil and gas
  • EPA identifies 7 PAHs as probable human carcinogens
    • Benz(a)anthracene, Benzo(a)pyrene, Benzo(b)fluoranthene, Benzo(k)fluoranthene, Chrysene, Dibenzo(a,h)anthracene, Indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene
pah issues raised
PAH Issues Raised
  • Some have raised question of whether PAHs should be a concern when recycled asphalt shingles are:
  • Ground up and used as road base
  • Ground up and used as mulch
    • Leaching?
    • Direct Exposure?
  • Used in HMA
    • Air emissions?
pah summary
PAH Summary
  • Asphalt shingles naturally contain PAHs.
  • A leaching study on discarded asphalt shingles indicated that PAHs did not readily leach PAHs.
  • Related studies on virgin roofing asphalt, reclaimed asphalt pavement, and run-off from asphalt pavement indicated PAH concentrations below the laboratory detection limits.
    • However, since that study some acceptable levels have decreased
    • Additional data are required to detect these samples at lower concentrations
pah summary36
PAH Summary
  • PAHs are emitted during HMA production
    • Pollution control equipment reduces PAH concentrations
  • The effect of using post-consumer asphalt shingles in HMA on PAHs is unknown
  • The use of post-manufacture asphalt shingles is permitted in some states
  • A study in Texas investigating the issue of PAH emissions in HMA production has not yielded any data to date
pah summary37
PAH Summary
  • It is not anticipated that clean, uncontaminated asphalt shingles would cause PAH emissions to be significantly different than virgin asphalt
recommendations to state regulators
Recommendations to State Regulators
  • You can obtain a copy of our White paper, which provides recommendations for information and demonstrations a facility should make to recycle post-consumer asphalt shingles as part of permitting
  • University of Florida Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences
    • Solid and Hazardous Waste Laboratory
  • Objectives:
    • Measurement of PAHs using instrumentation with lower detection limits (shingles and RAP)
    • Risk-based analyses of PAHs and other chemicals
leaching test analysis in uf
Leaching Test & Analysis in UF

Sample Collection

(RAP & asphalt shingles)

Leaching Test (SPLP + TCLP)

Analysis leaching solution

PAH Analysis

Heavy metals and other analyses

  • CMRA and EPA
  • UNH
  • Facilities that provided data
thank you
Thank You

Jon Powell, E.I.

Innovative Waste Consulting Services

6628 NW 9th Blvd, Suite 3

Gainesville, Florida 32605

352-331-4828 Extension 4