What do Petroleum Based Products do to your Health?

Everywhere you look, you are surrounded by petrol!

Modern western society is awash with products that use petroleum as their basic chemical component. And even the containers used to house most products around the home are petroleum based.

But what does this mean for your health?

Many products such as skin care treatments, shampoos, cleaning products and detergents are derived from petroleum. But according to a recent research study, some of these actually contain potentially cancer-causing agents in the form of 1,4-Dioxane.[1] They also contain toluene, phthalates, ketone, avobenzone, benzophenone and other petroleum based substances.

The Organic Consumers Association studied “100 different consumer products ranging from dish soaps to shower gels. Around 50 of these were contaminated with 1,4 –Dioxane.”[2] It is classified as an ether.

The List Goes On

As a natural health practitioner, I often advise clients and patients to check labels thoroughly before they purchase products from the supermarket and shop shelves. Patients who have severe health problems may often do well to undergo an extensive detoxification regime that can assist them with a removal of the build up of these from their system.

Watch out for the following substances or words in the ingredients:

  • Myreth
  • Oleth
  • Laureth
  • Any “eth” products
  • Oxynol
  • Polethylene glycol
  • Polyethylene
  • PEG[3]

According to the Ecology Centre, petrochemicals and their by-products such as dioxin are known to cause such serious health problems including the following:

  • Endocrine disruption – dioxin is a known endocrine disruptor
  • Accumulations of polystyrene in body fat- carcinogenic
  • Lowered fertility and lowered sperm count in men
  • Learning disabilities
  • Cancer
  • Skin rashes
  • Skin conditions
  • Allergies
  • Physical deformities and disruptions to foetal development
  • Breathing problems[4]

Petroleum products are so pervasive that the plastic vapours from synthetic clothing (nylon etc) and PVC migrate into skin and food.

Your Natural Remedy Approach

While you are surrounded by petrochemicals, there is a lot you can do to minimise their impact on you. Here is a list of suggestions that can help:

  • Wear cotton and natural fibre clothing
  • Use only natural toothpastes
  • Sleep on cotton mattresses
  • Use only natural cleaning products
  • Use vegetable based soaps
  • Use natural body products derived from plant materials
  • Avoid the use of plastic wrappings on lunches
  • Keep your household clear of petroleum based products
  • Seek the advice of a naturopath
  • Seek the advice of a dietician familiar with the problems associated with petroleum products in home
  • Use alternative health strategies such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and Homeopathy to restore balance and to help reduce toxic overload.

You can reduce the impact of petroleum based products on your health, by introducing some of these strategies into your daily life and your household. Your health is worth it.


[1] http://www.naturalnews.com/021717.html

[2] Ibid

[3] http://www.naturalnews.com/022846_dioxane_toxic_chemicals.html

[4] http://ecologycenter.org/erc/petroleum/body.html