Are you wondering if roofing glue fumes are toxic? Understanding the dangers associated with roofing glues can prevent many problems.

Roofing glues with neoprene in them as well as asphalt will produce toxic fumes when heated. Most roofing glues produce toxic fumes when heated.

Below, I will thoroughly explain why some roofing glue ingredients produce toxic fumes.

Why Roofing Glues are Toxic When Heated

The ingredients below are found in many roofing glues and are known to produce toxic fumes when heated. Make sure you do your research when selecting a roofing glue.

Asphalt

Around a half-million workers are being exposed to fumes from the asphalt which is a petroleum product that is utilized in roofing, road paving, siding, and concrete projects. Health effects from being exposed to asphalt fumes include skin rashes, headaches, cough, sensitization, reduced appetite, fatigue, throat and eye irritation, and skin cancer.

Asphalt, modified bitumen, coal tars and many related substances are produced from refined crude oil. They all emit large levels of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Road workers and roofers both have a high risk of developing cancer as well as other health problems when in the presence of PAHs that are emitted from tars and asphalt on a daily basis.

The risk levels are unclear for consumers. However, it is clear that inhaling the fumes of bitumens and asphalt are certainly not beneficial for your health. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health stated: “Studies of roofers [and workers with high exposure to modified bitumen or asphalt] show an excess of lung, bladder, brain, liver, and digestive system cancers”.

The CDC and other government agencies have very conservative positions and can not officially declare bitumen and asphalt to be carcinogenic unless there is overwhelming evidence. The tars will remain possible carcinogens according to the CDC. Cigarettes provide a great example of the U.S. government’s unwillingness to accept the “writing on the wall’.

Studies showed a connection between cigarette smoking and lung cancer for many years. However, the government refused to officially recognize this for decades. Usually, by the time the government is prepared to declare a material to be harmful, there is overwhelming and indisputable evidence.

Even though modified bitumen is considerably less carcinogenic than coal tar, it still includes polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in it. Several studies have shown evidence of carcinogenicity in mice after applications of laboratory-generated asphalt roofing fume condensates were applied. 

Neoprene

When neoprene is heated it can discharge dangerous hydrogen chloride into the air. Neoprene is usually safe. Also, the manufacturing of neoprene releases harmful toxins into the air.

Many people with skin sensitivities, such as dermatitis, may have allergic reactions after wearing clothing with neoprene in it. This is because of dialkyl thioureas, which was called the allergen of the year in 2009.

It is the cause of many skin reactions. Unless you are currently allergic to neoprene, it is typically considered safe to be worn for most people.

Xylene

Xylene is a common solvent found in many construction adhesives. It is not safe to inhale xylene fumes.

The California Department of Health Services stated: “Xylene enters your body rapidly when you breathe in its vapors. It can also be absorbed through your skin, particularly if the period of contact is lengthy. Overexposure to xylene most commonly affects your nervous system, respiratory system, and skin.”