[Analytical comparison of "paraffin" labeled highly toxic lamp oils with paraffinum perliquidum (DAB 10)]

Pharmazie. 1995 Jul;50(7):496-7.
[Article in German]


Coloured and odoriferous lamp oils available as household articles repeatedly lead to ingestion intoxications in children in some cases resulting in a bad course. Labels on containers of lamp oils are misleading, e.g. "pure liquid paraffin" or "without noxious substances", causing considerable misconceptions during therapeutic use by treating doctors. Analyses of four arbitrary chosen lamp oils by GC and GC/MS show that the main components (approx. 98%) are the unbranched saturated hydrocarbons n-decane, n-undecane, n-dodecane, n-tridecane, n-tetradecane. Tests according to the German Pharmacopoeia 10th ed. prove also that "paraffin"-labelled products are not at all identical with medical/pharmaceutical paraffinum perliquidum or liquidum. Lamp oils are low viscous and high toxic petroleum distillates and should be labelled "toxic to humans".

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Fuel Oils / analysis*
  • Fuel Oils / toxicity
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Paraffin / chemistry*


  • Fuel Oils
  • Paraffin