Creosote (CAS 8001-58-9; 8021-39-4; 8007-45-2) is the name used for a variety of products that are mixtures of many chemicals.
There are six major classes of compounds in creosote:
- aromatic hydrocarbons, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and alkylated PAHs (that can constitute up to 90 per cent of creosote)
- tar acids
- tar bases/nitrogen-containing heterocycles
- aromatic amines
- sulfur-containing heterocycles, and
- oxygen-containing heterocycles
Examples of work activities involving creosote that require special attention when assessing exposure include:
- workers who use creosote-treated wood in building fences, bridges or railroad tracks or installing telephone poles, or those who inspect or maintain these materials may be exposed to creosote
- farmers or landscapers who apply coal tar creosote to wood
- workers who apply asphalt or other coal tar pitch-containing materials, or
- workers in the natural gas, rubber, aluminium, iron, steel or tyre industries.
This guide provides information for those registered medical practitioners engaged by a PCBU to carry out or supervise health monitoring for workers. This guidance should be read in conjunction with the following: