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Diesel Fuel

General Description

  • Synonyms: automotive diesel fuel oil; No. 2 distillate diesolene; diesel oil; diesel oil light; diesel oil No. 1-D; summer diesel
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: D150
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 68334-30-5
  • Other Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Numbers: 68476-34-6 (Diesel Fuel No. 2)
  • Chemical Description and Physical Properties:
    • clear yellow brown combustible liquid; floats on water; distinct diesel petroleum hydrocarbon odor
    • vapor pressure: <1 @ 20°C
    • boiling point: 180-380°C
    • flash point: 68-74°C
    • autoignition temperature: approximately 230°C
  • Incompatibilities: Moderate fire hazard when exposed to heat, flame, or oxidisers; vapor may readily form an explosive mixture with air

Exposure Limits

  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 100 mg/m3 TWA; Vapor and aerosol; Skin; Appendix A3 - Confirmed Animal Carcinogen with Unknown Relevance to Humans (TLV listed under Diesel Fuel [68334-30-5; 68476-30-2; 68476-31-3; 68476-34-6; 77650-28-3] as total hydrocarbons)

Health Factors

  • Carcinogenic Classification:
  • Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, respiratory tract; dizziness, headache, nausea; chemical pneumonitis (from aspiration of liquid); dry, red skin; irritant contact dermatitis; eye redness, pain
  • Health Effects: Irritation-Eyes---Mild (HE-16); Kidney damage (HE3), Potential lung damage (HE-10); Suspected carcinogen (Marine diesel fuel) (HE2)
  • Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, kidneys
  • Notes:
    1. OSHA does not have a PEL for diesel fuel, but it is designated as an OSHA Select Carcinogen.
    2. Explosive vapor/air mixtures of diesel fuel no. 2 may be formed at temperatures above 52°C.
    3. Some cases of kidney damage from exposure to diesel fuel have been reported.
  • Literature Basis:
    • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Diesel Fuel No. 2.
    • Crisp, A.J., Bhalla, A.K. and Hoffbrand, B.I.: Acute tubular necrosis after exposure to diesel oil. Br. Med. J. 2(6183): 177, 1979.
    • Das, M. and Misra, M.P.: Acne and folliculitis due to diesel oil. Contact Dermatitis 18(2): 120-121, 1988.
    • Fischer, T. and Bjarnason, B.: Sensitizing and irritant properties of 3 environmental classes of diesel oil and their indicator dyes. Contact Dermatitis 34(5): 309-315, 1996.
    • Li, F.K., Vip, P.S., Chan, K.W., Chan, T.M. and Lai, K.N.: Acute renal failure after immersion in seawater polluted by diesel oil. Am. J. Kidney Dis. 34(6): E26, 1999.
    • No authors listed: Diesel fuels. IARC Monogr. Eval. Carcinog. Risks Hum. 45: 219-237, 1989.
  • Date Last Revised: 08/10/2006

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • Charcoal Tube (100/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh)
  • maximum volume: 3 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
  • analytical solvent: (99:1) Carbon Disulfide:Dimethylformamide
  • method reference: OSHA Salt Lake Technical Center In-House File
  • method classification: Stopgap

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