Posted on January 23, 2008 by
With the economic restrictions of the average family, it’s hard to make changes like buying a hybrid car, or putting solar panels on your house, or picking up and moving closer to your job to cut your petroleum use. Those are changes that you may be able to make long term, but here’s something simple you can do today. Read labels.
Our petroleum dependence isn’t just about gasoline. Petroleum makes its way into our cleaning products, personal care products and plastics. Not only is the use of petroleum bad for the environment, but it’s bad for you. Last year, an EWG study found that the use of petroleum based products can increase cancer risk. EWG urges consumers to avoid products with ingredients containing “any of the 56 cosmetic ingredients that include the clauses ‘PEG,’ ‘xynol,’ ‘ceteareth,’ and ‘oleth’.”
In a report on the need for warning labels for products containing petroleum products, the Consumer Product Safety Commission states:
“Petroleum distillates are a group of hydrocarbon-based chemicals that are refined from crude oil. Petroleum distillates include gasoline, naphtha, mineral spirits, kerosene, paraffin wax, and tar. They are the primary ingredient in many consumer products, including certain furniture polishes, paint solvents, adhesives, and automotive chemicals.”
The report goes on to warn that, “the toxicity of petroleum distillates and other hydrocarbons affects the respiratory system,” even in small amounts.
Epigee, a women’s health website, warns,
“petroleum derivatives are showing up in all kinds of beauty products – in fact, mineral oil, paraffin, and propylene glycol are normally among their first listed ingredients, particularly in lip gloss and lip balm.”
So read labels. Do your research and look for brands that say specifically that they are “petroleum-free.”