What happens to total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) when they enter the environment

  • TPH may enter the environment through accidents, from industrial releases, or as byproducts from commercial or private uses.
  • TPH may be released directly into water through spills or leaks.
  • Some TPH fractions will float on the water and form surface films.
  • Other TPH fractions will sink to the bottom sediments.
  • Bacteria and microorganisms in the water may break down some of the TPH fractions.
  • Some TPH fractions will move into the soil where they may stay for a long time.

Reference

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=423&tid=75

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