Past, Present and Emerging Toxicity Issues for Jet Fuel
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH HUMAN PERFORMANCE WING (711TH) BIOSCIENCES AND PERFORMANCE DIV/APPLIED BIOTECHNOLOGY BRANCH
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The US Air Force wrote the specification for the first official hydrocarbon-based jet fuel, JP-4, in 1951. This paper will briefly review the toxicity of the current fuel, JP-8, as compared to JP-4. JP-8 has been found to have low acute toxicity with the adverse effects being slight dermal irritation and weak dermal sensitization in animals. JP-4 also has low acute toxicity with slight dermal irritation as the adverse effect. Respiratory tract sensory irritation was greater in JP-8 than in JP-4. Recent data suggest exposure to jet fuel may contribute to hearing loss. Subchronic studies for 90 days with JP-8 and JP-4 showed little toxicity with the primary effect being male rat specific hydrocarbon nephropathy. A 1-year study was conducted for JP-4. The only tumors seen were associated with the male rat specific hydrocarbon nephropathy. A number of immunosuppressive effects have been seen after exposure to JP-8. Limited neurobehavioral effects have been associated with JP-8. JP-8 is not a developmental toxicant and has little reproductive toxicity. JP-4 has not been tested for immune, neurobehavioral or reproductive endpoints. JP-8 and JP-4 were negative in mutagenicity tests but JP-4 showed an increase in unscheduled DNA synthesis. Currently, JP-8 is being used as the standard for comparison of future fuels, including alternative fuels. Emerging issues of concern with jet fuels include naphthalene content, immunotoxicity and inhalation exposure characterization and modeling of complex mixtures such as jet fuels.