At the request of the Dutch Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT), RIVM has prepared an overview of companies that produce, import and distribute fuels and fuel additives or use them on an industrial scale. In addition, information has been collected on these fuels and additives, for instance on the types of substances used and their hazardous properties, as well as on banned substances. Furthermore, information has been gathered on compliance with the European directives on substances. ILT will use the results of this study to determine areas that warrant particular attention in their supervision of compliance with the directives on substances. This study focuses mainly on fuels based on mineral oil.
Fuels based on mineral oil are used in all economic sectors, but mainly in the transport sector. The supply chain of fuels and additives is complex and consists of many links. Some companies in the supply chain may fulfil a number of different roles. A fuel producer, for instance, may also be importing fuels and is often also a blender.
If products and additives based on mineral oil have hazardous (carcinogenic) properties, they can be placed on international lists of banned or restricted chemicals. Today, many fuels based on mineral oil are no longer classified as carcinogenic because they have been refined to such an extent that they only contain small amounts of undesirable chemicals. Bunker oils for shipping and (heavy) fuel oils constitute an exception to this rule.
An important point for attention is the quality of information about substances and components in the so-called safety data sheets. Producers of fuels and fuel additives receive these sheets from their suppliers and incorporate them in the safety data sheets they prepare for the next link in the chain. Some producers of fuels and fuel additives have therefore indicated that they check the accuracy of the information they receive from their suppliers. Only large companies, however, possess sufficient in-house expertise to do this.