Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH)
Affected Organ Systems: Developmental (effects during periods when organs are developing), Hematological (Blood Forming), Hepatic (Liver), Immunological (Immune System), Renal (Urinary System or Kidneys)
Cancer Classification: Please contact NTP, IARC, or EPA with questions on cancer and cancer classification.
Chemical Classification: Hydrocarbons (contain hydrogen and carbon atoms)
Summary: Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) is a term used to describe a large family of several hundred chemical compounds that originally come from crude oil. Crude oil is used to make petroleum products, which can contaminate the environment. Because there are so many different chemicals in crude oil and in other petroleum products, it is not practical to measure each one separately. However, it is useful to measure the total amount of TPH at a site.
TPH is a mixture of chemicals, but they are all made mainly from hydrogen and carbon, called hydrocarbons. Scientists divide TPH into groups of petroleum hydrocarbons that act alike in soil or water. These groups are called petroleum hydrocarbon fractions. Each fraction contains many individual chemicals.
Some chemicals that may be found in TPH are hexane, jet fuels, mineral oils, benzene, toluene, xylenes, naphthalene, and fluorene, as well as other petroleum products and gasoline components. However, it is likely that samples of TPH will contain only some, or a mixture, of these chemicals.
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Public Health Statement - Summary about a hazardous substance taken from Chapter One of its respective ATSDR Toxicological Profile.
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