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PRIO – A tool for Risk Reduction of Chemicals

Complex hydrocarbons

Complex hydrocarbons are prepared by refining crude oil and coal tar.

Complex hydrocarbons are mixtures of various organic substances and are often classified as toxic and carcinogenic. They are regarded as phase-out substances in the PRIO tool. Examples of the substances with the most hazardous properties are benzene and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

 Many complex hydrocarbons can be treated chemically so that the concentrations of the carcinogenic constituents are reduced. When the concentrations of these substances fall below particular limit values, the complex hydrocarbon no longer has to be classified as carcinogenic. On the market, most complex hydrocarbons are treated and are therefore not to be regarded as phase-out substances. This is why we in the searchable database in PRIO write "not always valid” to a large number of complex hydrocarbons, but it does not apply to all complex hydrocarbons.

Some complex hydrocarbons classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction are subject to restrictions under REACH Regulation (EU) No 1907/2006 item 28-30 if they are part of chemical products sold to the public. 

 Link to the Restricted substances database.

Further information:

Substance group PAHs

CLP/ GHS database  index groups 648 and 649