Most of us associate petroleum products with transportationgas for your car, jet fuel, etc. However, only 19.4 gallons out of a 42-gallon barrel is used to create gasoline.
Sowhat’s the rest used for?
The History of Petroleum Products
Back in 1872, a chemist named Robert Chesebrough came up with a method for extracting a waxy balm from the oily residue leftover in oil wells. What is that substance called today? Vaseline. Then a few years later, in 1913, the sister of a man named Thomas Williamsstartedadding in darkening agents to make a deeply coloredgel out of the stuff. They called their companyMaybelline.
Get where this is going?
Very soon, hundreds of other petroleum-derived products were making their wayinto the marketplace in the form of candles, sealing waxes, ammonia and even candy gum!
Are Petroleum Products Eco-Friendly or Safe?
Now isn’t this the million dollar question.
Many of us work hard to reduce oil demand by cuttingdown on our use of fossil fuels, limiting how often we drive, taking public transportation and trying to do away with plastics. The problem is, oil-derived products have infiltrated much more than just transportation.
Petroleum jelly, for example, is a byproduct of the oil drilling and refining process. It’s a result of one of the most environmentally degrading processes on earth!
There is also the question of safety.
While the beauty industry claims it removes all of the harmful components from its petroleum-based products,researchers are still findingdangersthatputs many people on the fence.
Petroleum products like mineral oil cannot be metabolized (which means once it ends up in your body it will never leave), and some studies suggest theymay be carcinogenic. No thank you!
Worried about your beauty products? Check your labels to see if any of these are present:
10 Products You Won’t Believe are Derived from Petroleum
1. Chewing Gum
Sorry friends, it’s true! The soft, chewy quality of chewing gum comes from an oil-derived base that includes waxes, petroleum, stearic acid, glycerin, lanolin and otheringredients all housed under the ingredient “gum base.” Gross!
Tights, nylons,pantyhose. These little tights are made from nylon, a textile fiber that is actually a petroleum-derived thermoplastic.
Many cosmetic products like lipsticks and lotions are made with petroleum derivatives. Paraffin wax, for example, is used to help tube lipsticks keep their shape and then go on smooth. It might be time to replace that lipstick, considering how much product a woman swallows over the course of her life.
That Teflon-coated pan you love so much is actually made from a combination of chemicals called PFCs or perfluorinated chemicals which arepetro-derived. These are lipophobic and carcinogenic, and have been linked to many diseases like cancer and liver damage. Gross! Need a replacement? Go for cast iron!
Every single crayon found in that Crayola box was made from paraffin wax, a solid that comes straight from petroleum. Paraffin wax is also used to make candles, add a shiny coating to apples or make chocolate look glossy. Not great.
Related: 7 Candles That Won’t Give You Cancer
6. Synthetic Fabrics
Most wrinkle-resistant clothing items are made from polyestera substance that gets its origin at the oil refinery. However, in this case it’s not all bad. Polyester fabrics can be easily recycled to produce new, high quality polyester fibers.
Aspirin is easily one of the most reliable medications discovered over the past few decades. And its uses are widespread! Most aspirin manufacturing today begins with benzene, a hydrocarbon that is usually derived from petroleum. Looking for a natural alternative? Try white willow bark.
8. Sports Equipment
Golf balls, basketballs, tennis racks and skis are all made with petroleum in some form or another.
Modern denturesare dyed with carbon-based pigments that are manufactured using coal and petroleum resources. Want to avoid getting a fake set colored by fossil fuels? Try flossing instead.
Toothpaste makes use of more oil-based ingredients than just about any other product. Poloxamer 407, for example, is a substance that helps oil-based ingredients to be dissolved in water.
Toothpaste manufacturers also toss in a number of dyes made from petroleum: D&C Yellow #10, DYC Red #30, and FD&C Blue #1. Red 40 is also a big one. All the more reason to start making your own!
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.
10 Products You Won’t Believe Are Derived From Petroleum