Immunotoxicology and Immunopharmacology, 3rd edition. Luebke R, House R, Kimber I, eds., Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2006 Dec; :225-237
During the early 1990s, JP-8 emerged as the universal fuel for aircraft, land-based vehicles, and heaters/air conditioning generators used during military deployments. This was concurrent with increased occupational exposure reports describing adverse health effects associated with the use of JP-8. Coupled with the emergence of Gulf War Illness, increased emphasis has been placed on determining potential health effects of JP-8 exposure. Due to the fact that JP-8 contains hundreds of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, in addition to various performance additives, this complex mixture poses a serious challenge for risk assessment. Exposure assessment is complicated by the fact that JP-8 may be encountered as a vapor, aerosol, or liquid, and possibly as combustible products, and each physical state may contain different chemical entities. However, progress has been made in the identification of JP-8 components that may serve as reliable and predictable biomarkers of exposure, particularly for dermal exposures [12,35,81,82,83,84]. Studies have consistently identified the immune system as a target for JP-8. Due to variability in routes of exposure and chemical composition, it is likely that there are a number of pathways contributing to the development of immunotoxicity, including the generation of free radicals, release of platelet-activating factor, interference with immunological memory, or the alteration of neuropeptides and cytokines. With further examination of these various mechanisms combined with additional host resistance models, a greater understanding of risk to infectious disease or cancer will be improved.