Crude oil

Agent Name
Crude oil
Alternative Name
Petroleum distillates
CAS Number
Major Category
Other Classes
Petroleum distillates; BASE oil; Crankcase oil, used mineral-based; Crude oil; Crude oils; Crude petroleum; Oil, crude; Paraffinic oil; Petroleum; Petroleum crude; Petroleum distillate; Rock oil; Seneca oil; Virol; Coal oil [Oil, misc.]; Crankcase Oil, Used; Petroleum crude oil [UN1267]; Petroleum distillates, n.o.s. or petroleum products, n.o.s.; [UN1268]; [ChemIDplus] Aliphatic petroleum naphtha; Petroleum naphtha; Rubber solvent; [NIOSH]
Petroleum Distillates, Other
Colorless liquid with a gasoline- or kerosene-like odor; Note: A mixture of paraffins (C5 to C13) that may contain a small amount of aromatic hydrocarbons; [NIOSH] From thin, light colored oils to heavy, thick tars; [Reference #1]
For IDLH and PEL documentation, this CAS # refers to "Petroleum distillates." For the EPA and ChemIDplus, this CAS # refers to "Petroleum" or "Crude oil." "It consists predominantly of aliphatic, alicyclic and aromatic hydrocarbons. It may also contain small amounts of nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur compounds. This category encompasses light, medium, and heavy petroleums, as well as the oils extracted from tar sands. Hydrocarbonaceous materials requiring major chemical changes for their recovery or conversion to petroleum refinery feedstocks such as crude shale oils, upgraded shale oils and liquid coal fuels are not included in this definition." [TSCA Definition 2008] Oil refinery products include sulfur, LPG, butanes, jet fuel, kerosene, diesel oil, fuel oil, petroleum coke, asphalt, and gasoline. Crude oils with higher API gravity are more valuable because they have greater gasoline potential. [Reference #1] "Petroleum solvents are the product of crude oil distillation and are generally classified by boiling point ranges. Lubricants, greases, and waxes are high boiling point fractions of crude oils. The heaviest, solid fractions of crude oils are the residuals or bitumen." [Reference #2]
TSCA Definition 2008: Includes light, medium, and heavy petroleums that are mixtures of alkanes, cycloalkanes, and aromatic hydrocarbons with small amounts of nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur compounds; [ChemIDplus] Petroleum distillates, e.g., VM & P naphtha and kerosene, can cause anesthesia, slowing of reflexes and dermatitis. They may contain n-hexane with the potential to cause peripheral neuropathy. [LaDou, p. 543] Aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons cause trivial hepatic injury in animal experiments. [Haddad, 226t] After ingestion, the petroleum distillates with the lowest viscosity, e.g., naphtha and gasoline, pose the greatest risk for pulmonary aspiration. Aliphatic hydrocarbons and petroleum distillates have low risk for systemic toxicity after ingestion because of their poor absorption from the GI tract. [Olson, p. 219-20] Health effects depend upon the exposure situation: specific chemicals, exposure route, duration of exposure, and dose absorbed. Short-chained aliphatics and aromatic compounds such as benzene, toluene, and xylene can cause CNS depression. Workers exposed to 500-2500 ppm n-hexane can develop peripheral neuropathy. Chronic exposure to high levels of benzene can cause leukemia. [Reference #2] See "Gasoline," "Kerosene," and "Jet fuel."
Biomedical References

Exposure Assessment

500 ppm
1100 ppm
Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs
Human data: It has been reported that concentrations of 10,000 to 20,000 ppm are immediately dangerous to health [Henderson and Haggard 1943]. It has also been stated that concentrations of 4,000 to 7,000 ppm could be tolerated for 1 hour, but not without definite symptoms of narcosis [Drinker et al. 1943].
Vapor Pressure
40 mm Hg
Explanatory Notes
Rubber solvent TLV withdrawn; [ACGIH] VP (approximate) is for petroleum distillates; IDLH = 10% LEL (lower explosive limit); [NIOSH]
burn readily
200 ppm
1000 ppm
4000 ppm

Adverse Effects

Acute solvent syndrome
Hepatoxic (a) from occupational exposure (secondary effect) or (b) in animal studies or in humans after ingestion
IARC Carcinogen
Not classifiable

Diseases, Processes, and Activities Linked to This Agent


Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent: