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.

TPH is a mixture of many different compounds. Everyone is exposed to TPH from many sources, including gasoline pumps, spilled oil on pavement, and chemicals used at home or work. Some TPH compounds can affect your nervous system, causing headaches and dizziness. TPH has been found in at least 23 of the 1,467 National Priorities List sites identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

See a doctor if you have been harmed by this substance. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be timelimits within which you must commence suit.

Attorneys associatedwith InjuryBoard.com will evaluate your case free of charge. In addition, you will not pay any legal fees unless your attorney recovers money for you. Please click on the free contact an attorney button to take advantage of this valuable service.

Source: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

See Also

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  15. Skin Disorders: Overview
  16. Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH): Frequently Asked Questions
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