International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Summaries & Evaluations

(Group 3)

For definition of Groups, see Preamble Evaluation.

VOL.: 45 (1989) (p. 203)

CAS No.: not assigned (kerosene, 8008-20-6)
Chem. Abstr. Name: not assigned

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Exposure data

Jet fuels are produced mainly from straight-run [5] and hydrotreated kerosene [5A] or kerosene blended with heavy naphtha streams [4 and derived streams] from the atmospheric distillation of crude oil. Jet fuels are composed mainly of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons with boiling ranges of 150-300 °C (kerosene type) and 45-280 °C (wide-cut type). The formulated products are used in turbine engines of civil and military aircraft. Exposures to jet fuel may occur during its production, transport and storage as well as during refuelling and maintenance of aircraft. Heavier exposures may occur during inspection and repair of aircraft wing tanks owing to the confined working space.

5.2 Experimental data

One sample of jet fuel was tested by skin application in one experiment in male and female mice. No skin tumour occurred at the application site.

Two samples of straight-run kerosene [5] and one sample of hydrotreated kerosene [5A] produced skin tumours in mice. (See the monograph on occupational exposures in petroleum refining).

N.B. - Subsequent to the meeting, the Secretariat became aware of a study in which skin tumours were reported in mice after application to the skin of jet fuel A [kerosene type] and JP-4 [wide-cut type] (Clark et al., 1988).

5.3 Human data

A cohort of men exposed to jet fuel, aviation kerosene and other fuels in the Swedish Air Force had no increased cancer risk during ten years of follow-up. A case-control study of cancer at many sites in Canada revealed an elevated risk for kidney cancer, with some indication of a positive dose-response relationship, in men exposed to jet fuel.

5.4 Other relevant data

In single studies, one sample of jet fuel induced chromosomal aberrations in bone-marrow cells of rats and mutations in cultured mammalian cells in the presence of an exogenous metabolic system but did not induce mutation in bacteria. A further sample was also not mutagenic to bacteria.

5.5 Evaluation

There is inadequate evidence for the carcinogenicity in humans of jet fuel.

There is inadequate evidence for the carcinogenicity in experimental animals of jet fuel.

In formulating the overall evaluation, the Working Group also took note of the following supporting evidence from the monograph on occupational exposures in petroleum refining. There is limited evidence for the carcinogenicity in experimental animals of straight-run kerosene and of hydrotreated kerosene.

Overall evaluation

Jet fuel is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3).

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.


Last updated 01/21/98

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       Toxicological Abbreviations