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CHEMINFO Record Number: 612
CCOHS Chemical Name: Jet B

Aviation kerosene (non-specific name)
Jet B aviation turbine fuel
Jet fuel (non-specific name)
Jet fuel B
Jet fuel F-40
Jet fuel type B
Turbine engine aviation fuel (non-specific name)
Turbo fuel B
Turbo fuel F-40
Wide-cut jet fuel (non-specific name)
Wide-cut type aviation turbine fuel (non-specific name)

CAS Registry Number: Not available. Complex hydrocarbon mixture.
UN/NA Number(s): 1863
Chemical Family: Mixed hydrocarbons / petroleum hydrocarbons / petroleum hydrocarbon distillate / aviation turbine fuel
Molecular Formula: Complex hydrocarbon mixture
Structural Formula: Complex hydrocarbon mixture


Appearance and Odour:
Colourless to pale-yellow liquid with a hydrocarbon or petroleum odour.(11,12)

Odour Threshold:
Not available

Warning Properties:
Information not available for evaluation.

The most important aspect of evaluating the hazards of any petroleum distillate is accurate definition of the material in question. The source of the crude petroleum, the boiling range of the distillate and all of the processing and refining steps influence the composition and hazards of the resulting petroleum distillate. The composition of commercial aviation fuels has been established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) in consultation with manufacturers and users. The specifications are based primarily on performance characteristics. There is no standard formula for Jet B. Jet B is a naphtha-type fuel made by blending straight-run kerosene streams with lower boiling distillate to meet the requirements of ASTM specification D 1655.(13) It is called a wide-cut fuel because it is produced from a broad distillation temperature range and contains a wide array of carbon chain- lengths, from 4-16 carbons long (basically a mixture of naphtha and kerosene). According to the specification, the maximum allowed levels of aromatic hydrocarbons (e.g. toluene, xylene) are 25% (by volume) and 3% naphthalenes (by volume). Benzene, which is present in wide-cut fuels, is usually present below 0.5%. Total sulfur (0.3% by weight) and mercaptan sulfur (0.003% by weight) are present as impurities. According to the specification, the maximum temperature for 50% recovery of Jet B is 190 deg C (374 deg F). The physical properties given in this review are either from the specification or for specific products. ASTM specification D 1655 lists a number of additives that may be used in jet fuels. Typical additives include an antioxidant (e.g. 2,6-di-tert-butylphenol and tert- and tri-tert-butylphenols), a metal deactivator (e.g. N,N- disalicylidene-1,2-propanediamine), an electrical conductivity additive (e.g. Stadis 450), a static inhibitor, a fuel system icing inhibitor (e.g., diethylene glycol monomethyl ether), a corrosion of steel inhibitor, a lubrication improver, a biocide, a fuel lubricity additive, and a thermal stability improver.(13) The presence of additives can contribute significantly to the overall hazards of a product. Consult the manufacturer/supplier of your specific product for additional information.

Uses and Occurrences:
Used as an commercial aviation fuel in severe cold (arctic) areas.(14)


Colourless to pale-yellow liquid with a petroleum odour. EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE LIQUID AND VAPOUR. May accumulate static charge by flow or agitation. Vapour is heavier than air and may travel a considerable distance to a source of ignition and flash back to a leak or open container. Vapour can spread along the ground and accumulate in low-lying areas or confined spaces, resulting in a toxicity, flammability and explosion hazard. Liquid can float on water and may travel to distant locations and spread fire. During a fire, irritating and toxic gases, such as sulfur and nitrogen oxides, may be generated. High vapour concentrations may cause headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, incoordination and confusion. Very high concentrations may cause unconsciousness and death. May cause skin irritation. Aspiration hazard. Swallowing or vomiting may result in aspiration (inhalation of the liquid) into the lungs. May contain TOXIC n-hexane, CARCINOGENIC benzene and hazardous additives.


Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

Wide cut jet fuels, such as Jet B, readily evaporate at room temperature forming high vapour concentrations. High concentrations of vapour can cause central nervous system depression.(1) Symptoms of central nervous system (CNS) depression include dizziness, headache, nausea, fatigue, vomiting and incoordination. Severe exposures may result in unconsciousness and death. There is no specific information available for Jet B, but other jet fuels have caused CNS effects.

Skin Contact:
Jet B is not expected to be irritating to the skin following short-term contact. Prolonged contact (24-hour) to JP-4, a closely related jet fuel, has caused both slight and severe irritation in animal studies. No human or animal information was located for Jet B.
Animal evidence for JP-4 indicates that it is probably only minimally absorbed through the skin and harmful effects are not expected by this route of exposure.

Eye Contact:
No specific information was located for Jet B. Animal studies for JP-4, a closely related jet fuel, show no eye irritation. No human information was located.

There is no specific information available for Jet B. In animal studies, the oral toxicity of other jet fuels is very low. There are no reported cases of human ingestion of jet fuels, but the accidental ingestion of petroleum distillates, primarily in children, has been frequently reported in the literature. Often in these cases, the petroleum distillate has been aspirated (inhaled into the lungs during ingestion or vomiting). Severe lung damage and deaths have resulted. It is expected that jet fuels would also be easily aspirated. Ingestion is not a typical route of occupational exposure.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

Jet fuels are complex mixtures which can have variable composition (see "Composition/Purity" above). In addition, there is only a small amount of information available about the potential long-term health effects of jet fuels available and often there are serious limitations to the studies. Therefore, it is not possible to draw any firm conclusions about the potential long-term health effects of jet fuels.

SKIN: Repeated skin contact with jet fuels would likely result in dry, cracked, red skin (dermatitis).(1)

EFFECTS ON THE NERVOUS SYSTEM: It is not possible to draw any firm conclusions from the available studies because of the small number of employees studied, poor or no exposure information and the possibility that other exposures could have caused the observed effects.

Studies of a small number of employees (29-30) with long-term exposure to jet fuel concentrations which may have been as high as 3000 ppm reported psychiatric symptoms (e.g. anxiety or mental depression), poorer performance in some psychological tests and reduced sensorimotor speed. These employees also reported significant short-term health effects.(2,3) Another study reported memory problems, fatigue, moodiness, unsteadiness, and headache in 9 employees exposed to jet fuel for 15 to 41 years.(4) Another study showed a relationship between changes in postural balance in 27 subjects and exposure to jet fuels (average duration 12 years).(5)

A single case report describes symptoms of polyneuropathy such as pain, tingling, and numbness in the feet, legs, hands and arms in a man who had been exposed to jet fuel and other fuels for 30 years. The authors attribute these effects to exposure to n-hexane, a possible component of some jet fuels. Estimated exposure concentrations were up to 100 mg/m3 in the first 10 years, then lower.(6) It is not possible to draw conclusions from this single case report.

EFFECTS ON THE LIVER: It is not clear from the one study available that jet fuel exposure was responsible for the observed effect. In this study, 91 fuel filling attendants exposed to jet fuel showed increased liver metabolism during exposure compared to after summer vacation (unexposed for 2 or 4 weeks). A similar but smaller effect was observed in unexposed office workers.(7)


The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that there is inadequate evidence for the carcinogenicity of jet fuels in humans.(8) However, wide cut jet fuels, like Jet B, contain up to 0.5% benzene, a known carcinogen.
A study of 2176 employees with long-term exposure to jet fuels, as well as other fuels and chemicals, found no increase in the frequency of cancers even when duration of employment, latency, occupation or type of exposure were considered. This study was limited by the rather short follow-up (10 years).(8,9)
A study of 3726 cancer patients related their exposure to petroleum-derived liquids to the incidence of cancer by specific site. An association was observed between jet fuel exposure and kidney cancer.(8,10) However, this was a very preliminary study and no firm conclusions can be drawn.
There is no specific information available for Jet B, but some other jet fuels have caused skin tumours in animals following dermal application of doses that caused severe skin irritation and ulceration.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that this chemical is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3).

(Jet Fuel)

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has no listing for this chemical.

The US National Toxicology Program (NTP) has not listed this chemical in its report on carcinogens.

Teratogenicity and Embryotoxicity:
There is no human information available. In a small number of animal studies, other jet fuels have not caused harmful effects in the unborn in the absence of maternal toxicity.

Reproductive Toxicity:
There is no human or animal information available.

No human or animal in vivo studies have been reported.

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
There is no information available.

Potential for Accumulation:
There is no information available on the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of Jet B.


Remove source of contamination or move victim to fresh air. If breathing has stopped, properly trained personnel should begin artificial respiration or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately. Obtain medical attention immediately.

Skin Contact:
As quickly as possible, remove contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods (e.g. watchbands, belts). Quickly and gently blot or brush away excess chemical. Wash gently and thoroughly with water and non-abrasive soap for 20 minutes or until the chemical is removed. Obtain medical attention immediately. Completely decontaminate clothing, shoes and leather goods before re-use or discard.

Eye Contact:
Quickly and gently blot away excess chemical. Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 5 minutes or until the chemical is removed, while holding the eyelid(s) open. Obtain medical advice immediately.

NEVER give anything by mouth if the victim is rapidly losing consciousness, is unconscious or is convulsing. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Have victim drink 240 to 300 mL (8 to 10 ozs) of water to dilute material in the stomach. If vomiting occurs naturally, have victim lean forward to reduce risk of aspiration. Repeat administration of water. Obtain medical attention immediately.

First Aid Comments:
Provide general supportive measures (comfort, warmth, rest).
Consult a doctor and/or the nearest Poison Control Centre for all exposures except minor instances of inhalation or skin contact.
All first aid procedures should be periodically reviewed by a doctor familiar with the material and its conditions of use in the workplace.


Flash Point:
No flash point is given in the specification. -23 to -1 deg C (-10 to 30 deg F) (closed cup) (15)

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
1.3% (11)

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
7.6% (11)

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
240 deg C (464 deg F) (11)

Sensitivity to Mechanical Impact:
Probably not sensitive. Stable compounds.

Sensitivity to Static Charge:
Like other petroleum distillates, Jet B probably has a low electrical conductivity and therefore can accumulate static charge by flow or agitation.(16) Electrical conductivity additives can be added to dissipate charge more rapidly. Vapours, at concentrations in the flammable range, can be ignited by a static discharge.(16)

Combustion and Thermal Decomposition Products:
Thermal decomposition products are highly dependent on combustion conditions and the type of additives and impurities present. A complex mixture of airborne material (solid, liquid, and gas) will evolve during pyrolysis or combustion. Sulfur and nitrogen oxides, as well as unidentified organic compounds may be formed upon combustion.(11)

Fire Hazard Summary:
Extremely flammable liquid. Material will readily ignite at room temperature. Vapour is heavier than air and may travel a considerable distance to a source of ignition and flash back to a leak or open container. Vapour can spread along the ground and accumulate in low-lying areas or in confined spaces, resulting in a toxicity, flammability and explosion hazard. Liquid can float on water and may travel to distant locations and/or spread fire. During a fire, irritating, toxic and/or hazardous gases, such as sulfur and nitrogen oxides and unidentified organic compounds, may be generated. Closed containers may rupture violently when exposed to the heat of a fire or excessive heat for a sufficient period of time.

Extinguishing Media:
Carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder, alcohol foam or polymer foam. Water may be ineffective because it will not cool Jet B below its flash point. Fire fighting foams are the extinguishing agent of choice for most flammable liquid fires.

Fire Fighting Instructions:
Evacuate area and fight fire from a safe distance or protected location. Approach fire from upwind to avoid toxic decomposition products.
Stop leak before attempting to stop the fire. If the leak cannot be stopped, and if there is no risk to the surrounding area, let the fire burn itself out. If the flames are extinguished without stopping the leak, vapours could form explosive mixtures with air and reignite.
Water can extinguish the fire if used under favourable conditions and when hose streams are applied by experienced firefighters trained in fighting all types of flammable liquid fires. If possible, isolate materials not yet involved in the fire, and move containers from fire area if this can be done without risk, and protect personnel. Otherwise, fire-exposed containers or tanks should be cooled by application of hose streams and this should begin as soon as possible (within the first several minutes) and should concentrate on any unwetted portions of the container. If this is not possible, use unmanned monitor nozzles and immediately evacuate the area.
If a leak or spill has not ignited, use water spray in large quantities to disperse the vapours and to protect personnel attempting to stop a leak. Water spray can be used to dilute spills to nonflammable mixtures and flush spills away from ignition sources. Solid streams of water may be ineffective and spread material.
For a massive fire in a large area, use unmanned hose holder or monitor nozzles; if this is not possible withdraw from fire area and allow fire to burn. Stay away from ends of tanks, but be aware that flying material from ruptured tanks may travel in any direction. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety device or any discolouration of tank due to fire.
Do not enter without wearing specialized protective equipment suitable for the situation. Firefighter's normal protective equipment (Bunker Gear) may not provide adequate protection. Chemical resistant clothing (e.g. chemical splash suit) and positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (MSHA/NIOSH approved or equivalent) may be necessary.


NFPA - Health: 1 - Exposure would cause significant irritation, but only minor residual injury.
NFPA - Flammability: 3 - Liquids and solids that can be ignited under almost all ambient temperature conditions.
NFPA - Instability: 0 - Normally stable, even under fire conditions, and not reactive with water.


Molecular Weight: Complex hydrocarbon mixture

Conversion Factor:
Not available

Physical State: Liquid
Melting Point: FREEZING POINT: -50 deg C max (-58 deg F max) (13)
Boiling Point: DISTILLATION RANGE: 145-245 deg C maximum (293 deg F-473 deg F) (20%-90% recovered) (13)
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 0.751-0.802 at 15 deg C (water = 1) (13)
Solubility in Water: Practically insoluble.(12)
Solubility in Other Liquids: Soluble in all proportions with many organic solvents.
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Not available.
pH Value: Not applicable.
Viscosity-Kinematic: Not given in specification. Less than 7 mm2/s (less than 7 centistokes) at 38 deg C (11)
Vapour Density: 3.5-4 (air = 1) (11,12)
Vapour Pressure: 21 kPa max (157.5 mm Hg max) at 38 deg C (100 deg F) (13)
Saturation Vapour Concentration: Approximately 207300 ppm (20.73%) at 38 deg C (calculated)
Evaporation Rate: 0.7-1.2 (n-butyl acetate = 1) (11)
Critical Temperature: Not available

Other Physical Properties:
NOTE: Some petroleum products are treated with mineral acid or caustic, or both, as part of the refining process. Any residual acid or caustic is not desirable, neither is likely to be present in the final product.(13)


Thermally stable at temperature as high as 149 deg C (300 deg F). Stable in storage.(13)

Hazardous Polymerization:
Does not occur.

Incompatibility - Materials to Avoid:

NOTE: Chemical reactions that could result in a hazardous situation (e.g. generation of flammable or toxic chemicals, fire or detonation) are listed here. Many of these reactions can be done safely if specific control measures (e.g. cooling of the reaction) are in place. Although not intended to be complete, an overview of important reactions involving common chemicals is provided to assist in the development of safe work practices.

STRONG OXIDIZING AGENTS (e.g. peroxides, nitric acid, perchlorates, chlorine and fluorine) - risk of fire and explosion.(11,16)

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
None reported.

Conditions to Avoid:
Open flames, heat, static discharge, sparks and other ignition sources.

Corrosivity to Metals:
Specific information is not available. According to specification D 1655, Jet B must pass the copper strip test (ASTM test method D 130) to ensure that the fuel will not corrode copper or any copper-base alloys in various parts of the fuel system.(13) Jet fuels may corrode steel, but no corrosion rates are available.(16) In order to prevent this corrosion, additives are added to Jet B.(13)


No specific animal toxicity information was located for Jet B.


Selected Bibliography:
(1) CONCAWE. Petroleum Products and Health Management Groups. Kerosines/jet fuels. Product dossier no. 94/106. CONCAWE, April, 1995
(2) Knave, B., et al. Long-term exposure to jet fuel: an investigation on occupational exposed workers with special reference to the nervous system. In: Adverse effects of environmental chemicals and psychotropic drugs: neurophysiological and behaviour tests. Volume 2. Edited by H. J. Zimmerman. Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1978. p. 149-155
(3) Knave, B., et al. Long-term exposure to jet fuel. II. Cross-sectional epidemiologic investigation on occupationally exposed industrial workers with special reference to the nervous system. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health. Vol. 4, no. 1 (March, 1978). p. 19-45
(4) Bergholtz, L.M., et al. Audiological findings in solvent exposed workers. Acta Otolaryngologica. Suppl. 412 (1984). p. 109-110
(5) Smith, L.B., et al. Effect of chronic low-level exposure to jet fuel on postural balance of US Air Force Personnel. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Vol. 39, no. 7 (July, 1997). p. 623-632
(6) Barregard, L., et al. Polyneuropathy possibly caused by 30 years of low exposure to n-hexane. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health. Vol. 17, no. 3 (June, 1991). p. 205-207
(7) Dossing, M., et al. Jet fuel and liver function. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environmental and Health. Vol. 11, no. 6 (December, 1985). p. 433- 437
(8) International Agency for Research on Cancer. Jet fuel. In: IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. Volume 45. Occupational exposures in petroleum refining: crude oil and major petroleum fuels. World Health Organization, 1989. p. 203-218
(9) Selden, A., et al. Mortality and cancer morbidity after exposure to military aircraft fuel. Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine. Vol. 62, no. 8 (August, 1991). p. 789-794
(10) Siemiatycki, J., et al. Associations between several sites of cancer and twelve petroleum-derived liquids: results from a case-referent study in Montreal. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health. Vol. 13, no. 6 (December, 1987). p. 493-504
(11) MSDS database record for Jet B Aviation Turbine Fuel (Petro-Canada). Date of MSDS: 1992-04-01
(12) MSDS database record for Turbine Fuel Aviation, Wide Cut Type. (Imperial Oil). Date of MSDS: 1997-06-14
(13) American Society for Testing and Materials. Standard specification for aviation turbine fuels. D 1655 - 97. American Society for Testing and Materials, 1997
(14) Dukek, W.G. Aviation and other gas turbine fuels. In: Kirk-Othmer encyclopedia of chemical technology. 4th edition. Volume 3. John Wiley and Sons, 1992. p. 788-812
(15) Fire protection guide to hazardous materials. 13th ed. Edited by A.B. Spencer, et al. National Fire Protection Association, 2002. NFPA 325
(16) Pohanish, R.P., et al. Rapid guide to chemical incompatibilities. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1997. p. 465
(17) Forsberg, K., et al. Quick selection guide to chemical protective clothing. 4th ed. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 2002
(18) NIOSH pocket guide to chemical hazards. National Institute for occupational Safety and Health, June 1997.

Information on chemicals reviewed in the CHEMINFO database is drawn from a number of publicly available sources. A list of general references used to compile CHEMINFO records is available in the database Help.

Review/Preparation Date: 1998-12-30

Revision Indicators:
Emergency overview 1999-01-01
Boiling point 2003-05-12
WHMIS disclosure list 2003-07-09
WHMIS classification comments 2003-07-09
Resistance of materials for PPE 2004-04-09
Bibliography 2004-04-09
Short-term skin contact 2006-04-04
Short-term eye contact 2006-04-04
WHMIS detailed classification 2006-04-04

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