What’s the big deal about petrochemicals?
I asked myself this question a few months back and then started to do some research. For those, like me, who did not know what a petrochemical is and what it does to our bodies (and earth), let’s go back to the beginning.
Petrochemicals are chemicals (monomers) derived from petrol, which as you know comes from oil. If you look at ingredients that make up items in your home, cosmetics that you use and various other products and you see these names then you know that that product contains petrochemicals:
What are petrochemicals?
Each of these primary products are broken down into further derivatives – glycol ethers, polyvinyl chloride, acrylic acid etc too many to mention!
Petrochemicals in one form or another can be found in lubricants, additives, adhesives, sealants, agrochemicals, cosmetics, food flavourings and additives, fragrances, toothpaste, cleaning agents, inks, packaging and more. Many “health” care products and pharmaceuticals also contain petrochemicals.
Just so that you follow what I am trying to say…
Oil = Petrol = Monomers = Everyday Products
This sure looks like a way to make something useful for consumption right? WRONG!
These petroleum products are sold and used everyday in every home and nobody puts a label on them:“Warning: this product could be hazardous to your health”. They do it on cigarette boxes and they put moderation notices on alcohol…but why not on these products which are silently disrupting endocrine function and have been proven to cause cancer?
You do the math…petroleum products make money for the creators of these products.
What is endocrine disruption?
The endocrine system controls hormones in your body. Hormones control most functions in your body and too much or too little of specific hormones can cause massive problems from learning disabilities through to cancer.
Endocrine disruption happens when something alters this fine balance and one of the major disruptors is petrochemicals. Petrochemicals are responsible for a product called Xenoestrogens which mimics the effect of estrogens in the body. Estrogens are primarily female hormones, although they are found in men too, which work in the brain, bones, liver, heart, uterus, breasts and other tissues. When Xenoestrogens are introduced to the human body they begin to cause these tissues to “receive” more than they need and serious side effects are seen.
Early puberty is one sign that something is out of kilter, but more than that…cancer now claims approximately 1500 lives per day in the USA! Worldwide it is calculated that about 7.5 million people die each year from cancer.
I am not so naive to put all these deaths at the door of petrochemicals but the link to cancer is irrefutable.
I hope the next question in your mind is:
How do I get petrochemicals out of my home and body?
Here is a handy list to work through…over time you can become aware of each of these points and work on them to improve your health and protect those you love from the terrible side effects of these harmful products.
~Eat organic, whole foods
~Learn to cook your meals from scratch
~Read food labels, if you do not know what EAC091 is don’t put it in your body!
~Filter your drinking and cooking water
~Stay away from any food that is stored in plastic – this includes bottled water!
~Read your cosmetic labels (stay away from ones with the following ingredients: methyl, propyl, butyl, ethyl, toluene and urea)
~Use eco friendly home cleaning products
By doing these few things you will cut out a significant portion of harmful toxins from your home.
Information is power!
Super Natural Home: Improve Your Health, Home, and Planet–One Room at a Time
Real Weapons of Mass Destruction
Petrochemical links to cancer stats (In case you are in doubt!)