Mineral Oil is Cancerous (used in Baby Oils and Beauty Products)

What is Mineral Oil ?

Mineral oil (also known as White Oil) is a liquid byproduct of refining crude oil which is used to make gasoline and some other petroleum products. It mainly contain alkane and cycloalkanes. Its density is around 0.8 g/cm3. Term "Paraffinum perliquidum" is used for light mineral oil and "Paraffinum liquidum" or "Paraffinum subliquidum" for thicker varieties of mineral oil.
It is a transparent, colorless and tasteless oil. It best property is that it is inexpensive, which made it widely popular among a number of industries.

Mineral Oil Usage


  • Veterinarian use it as a mild laxative for pets.
  • Mineral Oil is a common ingredient in baby lotions, cold creams, ointments and cosmetics.
  • It is used as a lubricant in enema, as most of it comes out as the stool rather than being absorbed by the body.
  • Mineral oil is rubbed on wooden kitchen items in hotels and restaurants, as it reduces the absorption of food liquids into them and thus making them easy to clean and no food odors. 
  • It is used as non-conductive coolant in electrical components such as transformers. So transformer oil is actually mineral oil.
  • Mineral oil and detergent are mixed to make Horticultural oil, which is sprayed on plants to suffocate pests and reduce their population.
  • In textile industry light mineral oil is used as spindle oil (a lubricant).
  • It is also used as brake fluid in disc brakes of some bikes and cars.

Mineral Oil's effect on Health


  • Mineral oil is extracted from crude oil, which itself contain various toxins and some carcinogens.
  • Mineral oil is considered as comedogenic (which clogs pores on skin) and may result in acne. However cosmetic companies claim that they used highly purified form of mineral oil, which is non-comedogenic.
  • According to WHO (World Health Organization) untreated or mildly treated mineral oil comes in Group 1 carcinogen.
  • Due to its laxative effect, usage of mineral oil in children's foods is discouraged.
  • Maximum permissible limit of consuming mineral oil is 100 mg per day, but our baking industry alone is responsible for making us ingest 80 mg per day, as mineral oil is widely used there. 
  • Mineral oil as an ingredient of hair oil to act as a cheap lubricant. Some studies have found that usage of mineral oil in hair oil may impair the healthy growth of hair.
  • Mineral oil-based moisturizers can increase the growth rate of tumours. 

Mineral Oil is a Carcinogen

According to cancer.gov mineral oil exposure increases the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer, particularly of the scrotum.
22% of all petroleum based cosmetics contain "1,4 dioxane" which is an animal carcinogen and a possible human carcinogen as well.

According to a study published in Women's Health in 2011, 142 women who were undergoing C-sections were tested for body fat and post-delivery milk samples. Researchers found that both fat and milk were contaminated with MOSH (mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons).

Mineral Oil is ingredient of a number of cosmetics and comes with different label names, so that it gets harder for you to distinguish them. Some of those names are:

  • Mineral oil
  • Petrolatum
  • Liquid paraffin
  • Paraffin oil
  • Paraffinum
So next time you read these labels, decide it yourself either you want to use that product or not. Some experts say that only unpurified mineral oil is harmful and carcinogen, while purest form of mineral oil is OK for health. But why should we use it when we already know that it was derived from a harmful substance. 


Reference:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mineral_oil
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/mineral-oils
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21970597
https://beautyeditor.ca/2014/10/16/petroleum-mineral-oil-skin-products
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