A generic term describing mixtures of hydrocarbons derived by distilling crude oil. As an ingredient in household products it generally includes liquids with a varying range of volatility. Highly volatile mixtures are found in cleaning fluids, and less volatile mixtures are found in lighter fluids, furniture polishes and lubricating oils. Inhalation hazards vary with volatility, but all petroleum distillates share the ability to cause potentially fatal chemical pneumonia if aspirated into the lungs as a result of accidental ingestion (Gosselin, 1984).Flammable*Fire hazard. Eye, skin, and respiratory irritant. Can cause conjunctivitis and dermatitis. May contain traces of benzene, which is carcinogenic. Mild to significant neurotoxic effects leading to organic brain damage, depending on concentration and duration of exposure. Used in a wide range of products, including heavy-duty cleaners, laundry stain removers, home and garden pesticides, pet flea-control products, and car waxes.
By-products of the refining of crude oil. Low boiling or light petroleum distillates (LPD) are highly volatile mixtures of hydrocarbons. These mixtures are sometimes called ligroin, petroleum ether, or naphtha. LPDs are used as cigarette lighter fluid, as copier fluid, and as solvents. Medium boiling petroleum distillates (MPD) are sometimes known as mineral spirits, and are used as charcoal starters, as paint thinners, as solvents for insecticides and other products, and as lamp oils. High Boiling or Heavy petroleum distillates (HPD) are combustible liquids such as kerosene and diesel fuel. pH: A number used to represent the acidity or alkalinity of an aqueous solution. pH 7 is neutral. Acids have a pH below 7, the lower the pH, the more acidic the solution. Bases have a pH above 7. The higher the pH, the more basic of alkaline the solution.
The lighter liquid hydrocarbons refined from crude oil by distillation, including petroleum ether, naphtha, mineral oil, mineral spirits, Stoddard solvent and kerosene. (Heavier distillates include lubricating oil, grease, paraffin wax and asphalt; gaseous distillates include propane, butane). Liquid petroleum distillates contain varying, but usually small amounts of aromatic hydrocarbons (benzene, toluene, xylene, cycloparaffins, naphthenes). Liquid petroleum distillates are flammable. They are skin, eye and respiratory tract irritants. See also VOC. Uses: Found in many janitorial cleaning products.