21 JANUARY 2003
8.2. Safety Precautions and Hazards of Liquid Petroleum Products. Although handling petroleum
products presents many hazards, both bulk and packaged products can be handled safely if product
characteristics are understood and proper precautionary measures are taken. Maintenance personnel
should know the hazards in handling and storing aviation fuels come from both the fuel (toxic through
skin contact or ingestion) and its vapors. Vapors from all petroleum products constitute fire and
explosion hazards and are also toxic to the human body. Vapors from petroleum products have caused
fires or explosions because the vapors are heavier than air and settle in low places such as tanks or pits.
The vapors will remain in these low places indefinitely unless removed by ventilation. A detailed
description of product characteristics is in MIL-HDBK-201B(1), Petroleum Operations, October 1,
1992, MIL-HDBK-1022A, and AFOSH Std 91-38, Hydrocarbon Fuels, General.
8.2.1. Toxic Liquids, Vapors, and Dust.
22.214.171.124. Liquids. Most petroleum products are toxic because of their aromatic content or
additives (especially tetraethyl lead). Avoid getting jet fuel or gasoline on the skin and clothing.
Because JP-8 has fewer aromatics than JP-4, it does not evaporate quickly. This means skin
contact is more likely to result from fuel on clothing. Jet fuel and gasoline remove protective oils
from the skin, causing drying, chapping, and cracking that can lead to infection and possible blood
poisoning. Severe chemical burns may result if jet fuel and gasoline remain in contact with the
skin. Shower and remove contaminated clothing at once and avoid any source of ignition.
Remove jet fuel or gasoline from the skin by washing with soap and water as soon as possible
after contact. Remove fuel that comes in contact with the eye immediately with the eye bath or
any other available means of flushing the eye with water, and secure medical attention as soon as
possible. Accidentally swallowed petroleum products may cause central nervous system
depression and pneumonia. Do not induce vomiting and do not allow the victim to smoke!
Victims should be taken to a medical facility at once. Be sure to inform medical authorities of the
type of fuel and approximate amount ingested. Liquid contact with the skin may also affect the
liver, kidneys, or bone marrow, due to additives or contaminants such as benzene. Use disposable
fuel-resistant coveralls to reduce fuel absorption. Replace coveralls contaminated with fuel.
126.96.36.199. Vapors. Vapors accumulate inside enclosed areas (such as tanks and pump houses) and
settle in low areas (such as pits and valleys). Promptly report all physical reactions resulting from
jet fuel or gasoline vapor inhalation to a physician, even though rest and fresh air may cause
recovery within a few hours. To eliminate personnel hazards of vapor concentrations, follow
AFOSH Std 91-25, Confined Spaces.
188.8.131.52. Dust. Eliminate most toxic dust by properly disposing of sludge and cleaning waste.
8.2.2. Personal Clothing. The hazards of working with JP-8 have added a new concern in selecting
personal clothing. Although static electric buildup must still be considered, absorbing fuel
components through the skin is important as well. The conventional 50% polyester and 50% cotton-
blend coveralls used by LFM for years do not provide adequate protection from fuel absorption. JP-8
in contact with the fabric tends to wick from a small contact area to a much larger area, increasing the
contaminated area in contact with the skin and causing skin irritation. Although the 50/50 blend is
adequate for routine work, the coveralls should be changed if contaminated with fuel. When working
in a fuel-intensive environment, such as tank cleaning, use a disposable Tyvek coverall having a
static-dissipating coating. This may be worn alone or over the cotton-blend coveralls. In tests, no
protective product totally prevented JP-8 from passing through. The exposure area was low because
the wicking effect was not present. Because of this, replace Tyvek coveralls that become