Jet Propulsion Fuel 8 toxicity


  • Jet Propulsion Fuel 8 (JP-8) used by US military (aircraft, tanks, other military vehicles)
    • Replaced JP-4 in 1992 as single fuel which was safer and reduced risk of fire/explosion
    • Kerosene 99.8% by weight (benzene <0.05%)
    • High flash point
    • Low volatility
    • Additives include anti-icing, anti-static, anti-oxidation, anti-corrosive
  • JP-8 mainly consists of hydrocarbon chains from C9-C12


Routes of Exposure

  • Inhalation - principal route of exposure for workers included in aircraft refueling activities
  • Oral - minor route of exposure usually because of eating or drinking contaminated water
  • Dermal - minor route of exposure if soil/water contaminated. Potentially significant route of exposure for workers not using adequate protective clothing

Minimal Risk Levels

  • No acute-duration inhalation MRL established
  • MRL of 3 mg/kg/day has been derived for acute oral exposure

Health Effects

  • Studies have shown exposure can affect nervous system
  • Target organs include lungs, liver, skin, immune and nervous systems
  • Carcinogenicity not classified by EPA or US Department of Health and Human Services

Clinical Features

  • Short term exposure - skin irritation (red, itchy, peeling), headache, fatigue, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, poor coordination, liver dysfunction, respiratory effects include painful breathing, feeling of suffocation
  • Long term exposure lung and kidney damage
  • Taste and odor complaints related to tenacity of JP-8

Differential Diagnosis


  • Based on history and physical examination findings



  • Move to fresh air
  • Monitor for respiratory distress
  • Secure airway if needed


  • Remove contaminated clothing
  • Wash exposed areas with soap and water for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Treat dermal irritation with topical corticosteroids


  • Discharge home if asymptomatic after observation period 6-8 hours with normal vital signs and normal respiratory examination
  • Admit if clinical evidence of severe toxicity or respiratory distress

See Also