Agent Name

Mineral oils, untreated and mildly treated

Major Category

Other Classes


Mineral oil, poorly and mildly refined, excluding metalworking fluids; [ACGIH] Base oils, Mineral base oils; Lubricant base oils; [IARC]


Exposures, Complex


Derived from crude oil and consisting of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons with carbon numbers of 15 or more and boiling points of 300-600 deg C; "In the past, many mineral oils were only mildly refined and contained significant levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHS). . . . In recent decades, acid treatment has largely been replaced by extensive refining with solvent extraction and/or hydro-treatment, which has further reduced the level of PAHs and other contaminants." [Reference #1]


A Group 1 carcinogen: cancer of the skin; Five large case series of mule-spinners with hundreds of cases of scrotal skin cancer were reported from the 1900s through the 1960s. Pressmen working in wax-manufacturing department from 1937-1956 had 11 cases of scrotal cancer. Tool setters and tool fitters working in England from 1936-1976 had excess cases of scrotal cancer. [Reference #1] See "Oil mist, mineral." See "Mineral oil, pure, highly and severely refined."

Reference Link

IARC 2012: Mineral Oils, Untreated or Mildly Treated

Exposure Assessment
Explanatory Notes

Suspected human carcinogen--no TLV-TWA; [ACGIH]

Adverse Effects
IARC Carcinogen

Known Carcinogen

ACGIH Carcinogen

Suspected Human

Links to Other NLM Databases
Toxicity Information


Related Information in HazMap

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:


Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: