What is Coal Tar Pitch?

Coal tar pitch (CTP) is commonly used in the aluminum smelting and roofing industries. Coal tar pitch is an amorphous residue produced by the distillation or heat treatment of coal tar, which is a by-product of coal when it is carbonized to make coke. This process typically occurs in coke ovens and can be found in steel-making plants world-wide. Exposure to aerosolized coal tar and coal tar products, including coal tar pitch, has been known for many decades to cause skin, bladder, kidney, lung and other respiratory cancers in both humans and experimental animals.

Where is Coal Tar Pitch Used?

Coal tar pitch is primarily used in the roofing and aluminum smelting industries, but it has also been included as an ingredient in asphalt sealants (road paving operations). Coal tar pitch is also commonly used in the steel-making industry as a fuel in open hearth furnaces and blast furnaces. Coal tar pitch was also used to make carbon electrodes.  In some cases, coal tar pitch can be found in consumer products, such as skin cream used for treatment of eczema, psoriasis and dandruff, and in insecticides and fungicides.

How are Roofers Exposured to Coal Tar Pitch?

Coal tar pitch is commonly used during the construction of industrial and commercial roofing.  Roofers handling coal tar pitch or those who handled coal tar pitch are particularly at risk of developing cancer. Exposure to fumes from hot coal tar pitch has been linked to lung, throat, skin, and bladder cancers….read more.

How was I Exposed to Coal Tar Pitch?

Exposure to coal tar pitch typically took place in the roofing and aluminum smelting industries. Excessive exposure to coal tar pitch has been linked to lung, throat, skin, bladder and kidney cancers. Even inhaling coal tar on a short-term basis from the application of coal tar pitch in the roofing industry has been known to irritate the respiratory tract. Coal tar pitch can also cause skin cancer through excess dermal contact.

Older workers and retirees, who handled coal tar pitch, are at a significantly increased risk of developing respiratory cancer, including throat and lung cancer, as a result of work they performed twenty-five or more years ago. Cancers are latent diseases, which often do not develop for many years after initial exposure. If you or a loved one is suffering from cancer that you believe may be related to past work with coal tar pitch, please contact us about filing possible legal claims.