Petroleum distillates are hydrocarbon solvents manufactured from the crude oil. The hydrocarbon solvents include mineral spirits, white spirits, kerosene, naphtha, and Stoddard solvent.
And if you didn't know about the Stoddard solvent, it is a colorless, flammable liquid. It smells and tastes like kerosene. At temperature range of 150-200 C it will turn into a vapor. This solvent has many usages and it is used as a paint thinner, as a dry cleaning solvent in some photocopier toners and printing inks, and as a general cleaner and de-greaser.
Petroleum distillates in general are good for removal of heavy oils, grease, tar and waxes because they have a low surface tension; therefore, they can easily penetrate and clean small spaces and grooves. These solvents are flammable, therefore, it is recommended to use them at or near the room temperature.
Petroleum distillates are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and its usage in Canada especially in toys is strictly prohibited. These solvents must be recycled by distillation. Disposal is performed by the chemical incineration in an approved facility in your area.
Flashing Eyeball Recall
The recent recalled product by Health Canada on December 29, 2009 is a Flashing Eyeball that contains low viscosity petroleum distillates, a toxic liquid that can be released if the toy is broken. This toy was sold exclusively at Pier 1 stores. The fake eyeball toy will display in various colored lights when knocked against the hard surfaces. Approximately 770 units been sold in Pier 1 stores across Canada from September to December 2009. Toy was made in China.
For further information you can read more on the Canada Government Consumer Recall Products.