Cutback asphalt, emulsified asphalt products and volatile organic compounds

In Canada, there are more than one million kilometres of roads and highways, almost half of which are paved with asphalt. There is also a large number of parking lots and private driveways that are paved.

Cutback asphalt and emulsified asphalt are liquefied asphalt products that are commonly used in road construction. Cutback asphalt is prepared by mixing asphalt cement with a petroleum solvent, while emulsified asphalt is prepared by mixing asphalt cement with emulsifiers, water, and sometimes a small amount of petroleum solvent. The petroleum solvent contains a high concentration of volatile organic compounds which evaporate once the liquefied asphalt cement is applied during road construction, leaving behind the cured residual asphalt cement.

Code of Practice for the Reduction of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Emissions from Cutback and Emulsified Asphalt

In February 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada published the Code of practice for the reduction of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from cutback and emulsified asphalt. The main objective of this Code of Practice is to protect the environment and the health of Canadians. 

Information about this Code of practice

Related links

Contact information

Products Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 St. Joseph Blvd
Gatineau QC  K1A 0H3

1-888-391-3426 (toll free) or 819-938-4483
Email: ec.produits-products.ec@canada.ca

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