The German Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area has re‐evaluated the maximum concentration at the workplace (MAK value) of 20 ml/m3 for hydrotreated light distillates (petroleum), considering all toxicity endpoints. Available unpublished study reports and publications are described in detail. The critical effect of hydrotreated light distillates (petroleum) (C9–C16) vapours is presumably CNS depression as is the case with other hydrocarbon mixtures like white spirit. Lung toxicity is assumed to be the critical effect for the aerosol phase. The Commission increased the MAK value for the vapour phase to 50 ml/m3 in analogy to hydrotreated heavy naphtha (petroleum) (C6–C13), for which behavioural studies with white spirit (C9–C12) in volunteers were used to derive the MAK value. It was shown that white spirit is also representative for hydrotreated light distillates (petroleum) because their C13–C16 components have low vapour pressures and do not contribute much to the concentration in the vapour phase. On the other hand, the aerosol phase comprises mostly these components and they are expected to be deposited as aerosol in the lung. A MAK value of 5 mg/m3 for the respirable fraction in analogy to white oil is set. As systemic effects are critical, the assignment to Peak Limitation Category II is retained. The excursion factor of 2 for the vapour is confirmed and an excursion factor of 4 for the aerosol is set in analogy to white oil. The assignment to Pregnancy Risk Group C is confirmed, as damage to the embryo or foetus is unlikely when the MAK value is observed. Hydrotreated light distillates are not genotoxic. Malignant skin tumours developed in mice after chronic epicutaneous application of high doses of kerosenes. However, since the relevance for humans of these tumours in this model is not clear, the assignment to Carcinogen Category 3B is retained. Skin contact does not contribute to systemic toxicity and sensitization is not expected.