The following information has been extracted from our CHEMINFO database, which also contains hazard control and regulatory information. [More about...] [Sample Record]

Access the complete CHEMINFO database by contacting CCOHS Client Services.


CHEMINFO Record Number: 761
CCOHS Chemical Name: Deodorized kerosene

Deodourized kerosene
Deodorized kerosine
Kerosene (non-specific name)

Chemical Name French: Kérosène
Chemical Name Spanish: Queroseno (petroleo)
CAS Registry Number: 8008-20-6
UN/NA Number(s): 1223
RTECS Number(s): HF9500000
EU EINECS/ELINCS Number: 232-366-4
Chemical Family: Mixed hydrocarbons / petroleum hydrocarbons / petroleum hydrocarbon distillate
Molecular Formula: Complex mixture of C9-C14 hydrocarbons. See Composition/purity.
Structural Formula: Complex mixture.


Appearance and Odour:
Colourless to slightly yellow liquid with a characteristic, mild petroleum odour.(5)

Odour Threshold:
0.03 ppm (0.0002 mg/L) (16% detection); 0.3 ppm (0.002 mg/L) (83% detection); 0.09 ppm (0.0006 mg/L) (probable odour threshold); 3 ppm (0.02 mg/L) (100% detection).(1)

Warning Properties:
Information not available for evaluation.

Evaluation of the hazards of petroleum distillates is complicated by the fact that the composition can vary greatly depending upon the original source of the crude oil, the degree and type of processing and confusion surrounding definition of these compounds. In some cases, the same synonym has been used to describe chemicals with very different compositions and associated hazards. Deodorized kerosene is produced by distillation of kerosene and by refining which lowers the content of aromatics, cyclohexanes and any possible sulfur compounds. Deodorized kerosene is a mixture of hydrocarbons (C9-14) which boils in the range of approximately 190-260 deg C and has an aromatic content of less than 5%.(5) The boiling range of kerosenes generally precludes the presence of substantial quantities of carcinogenic polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's).(4) This review is based on literature which specifically identifies the test compound as deodorized kerosene and on general information for related petroleum distillates. CHEMINFO record 21 reviews information available for straight-run kerosene (CAS 8008-20-6). CHEMINFO record 755 reviews information available for hydrodesulfurized kerosene (64742- 81-0).

Uses and Occurrences:
The most important use of kerosenes is in blending aviation fuels. Deodorized kerosene is used as a degreasing agent, a solvent in the production of paints and insecticides and as a substitute for aromatic hydrocarbon mixtures; as a lighter fuel; lamp oil. Kerosenes are also used as domestic and industrial heating fuels and as solvents in the formulation of a wide range of products including cleaning compositions, insecticides, antifoams and mould release agents. Formerly used as a solvent in cosmetics and fly spray.(5,11)


Colourless to slightly yellow liquid with a characteristic, mild petroleum odour. COMBUSTIBLE LIQUID AND VAPOUR. May accumulate static charge by flow or agitation. Liquid can float on water and may travel to distant locations and/or spread fire. Aspiration hazard. Swallowing or vomiting of the liquid may result in aspiration into the lungs.


Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

Like other petroleum distillates, deodorized kerosene may cause symptoms of central nervous system (CNS) depression such as headache, dizziness, light-headedness, nausea and vomiting. There are no reports of health effects from inhalation of deodorized kerosene. No irritation or discomfort were experienced during a 15-minute exposure of volunteers to 20 ppm (cited as 0.14 mg/L) of deodorized kerosene.(1)

Skin Contact:
Deodorized kerosene is probably a mild skin irritant, based on animal and limited human information. Deodorized kerosene, 12% in petrolatum, produced no irritation after a 48-hour closed patch test in humans.(2, unconfirmed) In 24-hour patch tests, 85% refined kerosene produced some reaction in all 34 human volunteers tested, while 40% produced no reaction.(3) It is not clear if the compound tested in this study was deodorized kerosene, or not.

Eye Contact:
Deodorized kerosene is not expected to be an eye irritant, based on animal information. There is no human information available.

Accidental ingestion of kerosene has frequently been reported in the literature, primarily with children. Often in these cases, kerosene has been aspirated (inhaled into the lungs during ingestion or vomiting) causing severe lung damage and, in some cases, death. It is not possible to determine from the literature whether the type of kerosene ingested was specifically deodorized kerosene or not. However, it is expected that deodorized kerosene would be easily aspirated. Ingestion is not a typical route of occupational exposure.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

SKIN: Deodorized kerosene can probably cause irritation and/or dermatitis with repeated or prolonged contact, based on information available for kerosene, in general.

SKIN SENSITIZATION: No sensitization has been observed in 25 volunteers tested with 12% deodorized kerosene in petrolatum.(2, unconfirmed)


There is no specific human or animal information. Animal studies indicate that hydrodesulfurized kerosene, a related chemical, is a tumour promoter, but does not initiate tumour formation. IARC has evaluated occupational exposures in petroleum refining but did not specifically evaluate deodorized kerosene. IARC has concluded there is limited evidence for the carcinogenicity of straight-run kerosene (CAS 8008-20-6) in experimental animals.(4)

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

This IARC listing is for distillate light fuel oils (including kerosene).(4)

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has designated this chemical as an animal carcinogen (A3).

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

Teratogenicity and Embryotoxicity:
There is no human or animal information available for deodorized kerosene. No harmful effects were observed in one animal study following the administration of straight-run kerosene (see CHEMINFO 21 for more information).

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

There is no human information available. Negative results were obtained for deodorized kerosene in the dominant lethal assay following injection and in bacteria.

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
There is no information available.

Potential for Accumulation:
There is no information available on the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of deodorized kerosene.(5)


Remove source of contamination or move victim to fresh air and obtain medical advice.

Skin Contact:
Quickly and gently blot or brush away excess chemical. Wash gently and thoroughly with water and non-abrasive soap for at least 5 minutes or until the chemical is removed. Under running water, remove contaminated clothing, shoes, and leather goods (e.g. watchbands, belts). Obtain medical attention immediately. Completely decontaminate clothing, shoes and leather goods before re-use or discard.

Eye Contact:
Quickly and gently blot or brush 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 victim is rapidly losing consciousness or is unconscious or convulsing. Rinse mouth thoroughly with water. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Have victim drink 8 to 10 ozs. (240 to 300 ml) of water to dilute material in stomach. If vomiting occurs naturally, have victim lean forward to reduce risk of aspiration. Repeat administration of water. Quickly transport victim to an emergency care facility.

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:
79 deg C (175 deg F) (closed cup) (12); 80 deg C (176 deg F) (tag closed cup) (1)

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
0.6% (5); 0.9% (1)

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
6% (1): 7% (5)

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
Approximately 250 deg C (482 deg F) (5)

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

Sensitivity to Static Charge:
Kerosenes have low electrical conductivity and therefore liquid can accumulate static charge by flow or agitation.(11)

Combustion and Thermal Decomposition Products:
Thermal decomposition products are highly dependent on combustion conditions. A complex mixture of airborne material (solid, liquid, and gas) will evolve during pyrolysis or combustion. Carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen and sulfur oxides (depending on concentrations of nitrogen-containing compounds and sulfur) and unidentified organic compounds may be formed upon combustion.

Fire Hazard Summary:
Combustible liquid. Can form explosive mixtures with air, at or above 79 deg C. Liquid can float on water and may travel to distant locations and/or spread fire. During a fire, irritating, toxic and/or hazardous gases may be generated. Vapour from heated kerosene can accumulate in confined spaces, resulting in a toxicity hazard. Containers may explode in heat of fire.

Extinguishing Media:
Carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder, foam, water spray or fog. Do not use water to fight the fire, except as a fog. Sand or earth may be useful for containment for small fires.(11)

Fire Fighting Instructions:
Evacuate area and fight fire from a safe distance or a protected location. Approach fire from upwind to avoid hazardous vapours and toxic decomposition products.
Stop leak before attempting to put out the fire. 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, keep cooling streams of water on fire-exposed tanks or containers to prevent vapour pressure build-up which could rupture the container, and this should begin as soon as possible 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 may be used to 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. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety device or any discolouration of tank due to fire.
Although deodorized kerosene is only slightly hazardous to health, its decomposition products are hazardous. 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: 2 - Must be moderately heated or exposed to relatively high ambient temperatures before ignition can occur.
NFPA - Instability: 0 - Normally stable, even under fire conditions, and not reactive with water.


Molecular Weight: Approximately 128-198 (mean molecular weight: 175) (5)

Conversion Factor:
1 ppm = 7.14 mg/m3; 1 mg/m3 = 0.14 ppm at 25 deg C (calculated) (mean molecular weight of 175) (5)

Physical State: Liquid
Melting Point: Not available
Boiling Point: Range: 190-260 deg C (374-500 deg F) (5); 208-272 deg C (406-522 deg F) (1)
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 0.798 at 15.6 deg C (water = 1) (1)
Solubility in Water: Insoluble (5,12)
Solubility in Other Liquids: Probably soluble in all proportions in other petroleum solvents.
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Not available
pH Value: Not applicable
Vapour Density: Approximately 5 (air = 1)
Vapour Pressure: Approximately 0.5 kPa (3.75 mm Hg) at 20 deg C (5)
Saturation Vapour Concentration: 4935 ppm (0.49%) at 20 deg C (calculated)
Evaporation Rate: Approximately 0.01 (butyl acetate = 1) (5)


Normally stable.

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, chlorine or fluorine) - risk of fire and explosion.

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
None reported.

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

Corrosivity to Metals:
Information not available. Probably not corrosive.


LD50 (oral, rat): greater than 5000 mg/kg (2, unconfirmed)
LD50 (oral, male rat): 35670 mg/kg (cited as 44.7 mL/kg) (6)

LD50 (dermal, rabbit): greater than 5000 mg/kg (2, unconfirmed)

Eye Irritation:

Application of 0.5 mL of undiluted deodorized kerosene produced no to slight irritation in rabbits (graded 1/10).(7)

Skin Irritation:

Application of 50 grams of deodorized kerosene in 100 grams petrolatum to guinea pigs for 24 hours did not produce irritation.(8) Application full strength to intact or abraded rabbit skin for 24 hours, under cover, produced only very slight irritation.(2, unconfirmed)

Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure:

Inhalation of deodorized kerosene aerosols (55.2% paraffins; 40.9% naphthenes; 3.9% aromatics) has produced minimal effects in rats (exposed to "substantially saturated vapours"), mice (exposed to 6900 mg/m3) and cats (exposed to 6400 mg/m3). Signs of central nervous system (CNS) depression (incoordination and sluggishness) were observed in rats following repeated exposure to aerosol concentrations of 6900-9600 mg/m3 over 4 days.(1)

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure:

Exposure of rats to aerosols of deodorized kerosene at concentrations of 75 or 300 mg/m3 for 14 weeks was reported to have produced chemical pneumonia and effects on the kidneys and liver.(4,5) No further details are available on this study. No significant effects were observed in rats and dogs exposed by inhalation to air substantially saturated with deodorized kerosene vapours (up to 100 mg/m3) for up to 13 weeks.(1) The significance of this observation is questionable since the authors reported the exposure to be "saturated vapours" or 100 mg/m3. (The actual saturated vapour concentration is approximately 35700 mg/m3 or 5000 ppm) One study which investigated the effects of inhaling aerosols from various types of kerosene (lamp fuel kerosene, lamp fuel export types A and B) cannot be evaluated due to poor definition of the materials being tested.(9,10) Another study, in which rats were exposed to an aerosol spray containing 12.7% deodorized kerosene, also cannot be evaluated due to exposure to the Freon propellant at the same time.(2)

Skin Sensitization:
Negative results were obtained in guinea pigs.(8)

Negative results were obtained for deodorized kerosene in the dominant lethal assay following injection.(11)
Negative results were obtained for deodorized kerosene in a test using bacteria.(11)


Selected Bibliography:
(1) Carpenter, C., et al. Petroleum hydrocarbon toxicity studies. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. Vol. 36 (1976). p. 443-456
(2) Fragrance raw materials monographs: Deobase. Food and Chemical Toxicology. Vol. 20 (1982). p. 669-670.
(3) Tagami, H., et al. Kerosine dermatitis. Dermatologica. Vol. 146 (1973). p. 123-131
(4) Fuel oils (heating oils). In: IARC Monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. Volume 45. Occupational exposures in petroleum refining; crude oil and major petroleum fuels. International Agency for Research on Cancer, 1989. p. 72-81, 105-117
(5) Nordic expert group for documentation of occupational exposure limits. Deodorized kerosene. Arbete och Halsa. Vol. 24 (1985). p. 1- 40
(6) Carpenter, C.P, et al. Comparative acute and subacute toxicities of allethrin and pyrethrins. A.M.A. Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Medicine. Vol. 2 (1950). p. 420-432
(7) Carpenter, C., et al. Chemical burns of the rabbit cornea. American Journal of Ophthalmology. Vol. 29 (1946). p. 1363-1372
(8) Nethercott, J., et al. The effect of the guinea pig maximization protocol on the irritant response to deodorized kerosene - the excited skin syndrome. Department of 0ccupational and Environmental Health, St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, 1982.
(9) Volkova, A.P., et al. The toxicity of kerosene used as solvent in aerosol cylinders. [Abstract]. Gigiena i Sanitariia. Vol. 34 (1969). p. 24-29
(10) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Criteria for a recommended standard: occupational exposure to refined petroleum solvents. U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, July, 1977.
(11) CONCAWE. Petroleum Products and Health Management Groups. Kerosines/jet fuels. Product dossier no. 94/106. CONCAWE, 1995.
(12) Fire protection guide to hazardous materials. 13th ed. Edited by A.B. Spencer, et al. National Fire Protection Association, 2002. NFPA 325
(13) NIOSH pocket guide to chemical hazards. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, June 1994. p. 184-185
(14) Forsberg, K., et al. Quick selection guide to chemical protective clothing. 4th ed. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 2002

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: 1997-02-25

Revision Indicators:
Resistance of material 1998-05-01
Acute exposure (inhalation) 1998-06-01
WHMIS (disclosure list) 1999-02-01
Bibliography 2003-04-19
Flash point 2003-04-19
TLV-TWA 2003-05-22
TLV basis 2003-05-22
TLV proposed changes 2003-05-22
Carcinogenicity 2003-05-26
WHMIS detailed classification 2003-05-26
Resistance of materials for PPE 2004-04-05
Bibliography 2004-04-05

©2007 Canadian  Centre  for  Occupational  Health  &  Safety  E-mail:  Fax: (905) 572-2206  Phone: (905) 572-2981  
Mail:  250  Main  Street  East,  Hamilton  Ontario  L8N  1H6