War Related Illness and Injury Study Center
Fuel Exposure Health Effects
Some Veterans may have concerns about potential harmful health effects from fuel exposures. Diesel fuel and JP-8 are the primary fuels used to operate vehicles in deployment settings.
Service members may be exposed to fuels through skin, oral, or inhalation routes. Possible health effects often depend on the way you were exposed (i.e., skin, oral, or breathing), the length of time of exposure, and personal characteristics (i.e., age, gender, genetic traits, diet, and other habits).
Possible health effects may include those listed here. Scientific research on long-term effects is not conclusive. Some research has shown there is the potential for health problems (for example - lung and heart effects) if an individual is exposed to high amounts of fuel exposure for a long period of time. The risk of developing long-term health effects often depends on many factors including how long an individual was exposed, how much fuel they were exposed to, and whether or not they had symptoms at the time of exposure.