1998; Henz 1998). Military personnel are exposed to JP-8 during aircraft fueling and maintenance operations. Because of JP-8’s comparatively low volatility and higher flash point than some other jet fuels (e.g., JP-5), jet engines powered by it do not start as easily or burn fuel as completely, particularly under cold conditions, as they do when powered by wide-cut jet fuels. Cold-engine starts are known to produce plumes of unburned aerosolized fuel. Workers involved with fueling operations on aircraft are exposed to JP-8 vapor, aerosol, and liquid during startup procedures. There are also anecdotal reports from exposed workers of dizziness, skin irritation, and of smelling and tasting the fuel hours after exposure (Zeiger and Smith 1998). For additional general information on JP-8, consult the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s Toxicological Profile for Jet Fuels (JP-5 and JP-8) (ATSDR 1998).

DOD recommended an interim permissible exposure level (PEL) for JP-8 of 350 mg/m3 (NRC 1996). A PEL is an allowable time-weighted exposure concentration in workplace air averaged over an 8-hr shift. No other national agencies or organizations have recommended regulations or guidelines applicable to JP-8. Two agencies have established regulations for petroleum distillates: the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) set an 8-hr recommended exposure limit (REL) time-weighted average (TWA) of 350 mg/m3, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) set a PEL TWA of 2,000 mg/m3 (NIOSH 1997; OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1000 [1997]). NIOSH has established a REL TWA of 100 mg/m3 for kerosene (NIOSH 1997). The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) recently proposed a Threshold Limit Value for kerosene and jet fuels (as a total hydrocarbon vapor) of 200 mg/m3 (ACGIH 2002). ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences, Inc., has set occupational exposure levels for kerosene and other middle distillate fuels of 500 mg/m3 for vapors and 5 mg/m3 for aerosols (ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences, Inc. 2001). The International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that jet fuel is “not classifiable” as to its carcinogenicity in humans (IARC 1989). ACGIH classified kerosene and jet fuels as “confirmed animal carcinogens with unknown relevance to human skin” (ACGIH 2002).


In 1996, the National Research Council (NRC) released the report of the Committee on Toxicology (COT) Subcommittee on Permissible Exposure Levels for Military Fuels, which evaluated DOD’s interim PEL of 350 mg/m3 by reviewing data on the toxicity of the vapors from JP-4, JP-5, JP-8, and

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