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Petroleum Distillate in Your Lip Gloss and Furniture Polish Shown to Cause Tissue Disease!

Perhaps you have never heard of petroleum distillates before, or given them much thought if you have, but it is almost certain you've used products that contain them - perhaps daily. These compounds, which are also called hydrocarbons or petrochemicals, are extracted by distillation during the refining of crude oil, and they're used as heating agents, propellants (gasoline) and solvents.

A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that being exposed to petroleum distillates increases the risk of developing undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD), a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that involves a disorder of the body's connective tissues.

UCTD could include symptoms from, or evolve into any combination of, connective tissue diseases like lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis, vasculitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome or fibromyalgia, yet has not met the official diagnostic criteria to be diagnosed as such.

Where are Petroleum Distillates Found?

Petroleum distillates are in hundreds of consumer products including:

  • Hair conditioner

  • Sunblock

  • Nail polish

  • Deodorant

  • Mineral oil

  • Lip gloss

  • Gasoline

  • Fertilizer

  • Furniture polish

  • Pesticides

  • Plastics

  • Paint thinners

  • Solvents

  • Motor oil

  • Fuels (propane, butane, diesel)

  • Petroleum jelly

  • Art supplies (oil painting medium)

  • Paste and liquid car waxes and polishes

  • Kerosene

  • Paraffin wax

  • Tar

  • Adhesives

According to the EPA, "Products that contain petroleum distillates should be used carefully. Wear gloves to avoid skin contact and avoid breathing vapors of volatile compounds."


Hundreds of products, including lip gloss, nail polish and hair conditioner, contain petroleum distillates that the EPA says should be used with caution.

That's because, in addition to raising the risk of UCTD, petroleum distillates can cause chemical pneumonia and can interfere with the lungs' functions-even resulting in death-if inhaled or swallowed. They can also irritate the skin and cause sensitivity to light.

Can Petroleum Distillates be Avoided?

As it stands, the average household contains, in the form of chemical products, about 10 gallons of potentially hazardous petrochemicals. Many, many household cleaners are based on petrochemicals, and while manufacturers are required to include warning labels on products that contain them, a New York Poison Control Center study found that 85 percent of product warning labels are inadequate.

So, when you clean, always seek out natural cleaners and use PerfectClean's ultramicrofiber cloths, which require the use of no cleaners at all yet clean down to a microscopic level-something ordinary cloth wipes can't do.

Further, petroleum distillates pose the greatest risk when they're breathed in. According to the EPA, even small amounts can cause harm. That's why ensuring that the air you breathe in your home is clean and free from toxins has become as important and necessary as locking your doors at night. Unfortunately, with all of the chemical products our society has come to rely on, indoor air can be two to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air, says the EPA!

When it comes to reducing your exposure to petroleum distillates, avoiding noxious chemical cleaners and other chemical products and purifying the air you and your family breathe while indoors are two of the best steps you can take.

Recommended Reading

The Health Dangers of Phenols Found in Common Household Cleaners

Exposure to Air Pollution Linked to Genetic Abnormalities

Dust Dangers: What Exactly is Dust, and Why Can it be so Dangerous

Environmental Protection Agency: Petroleum

Household Products Database

American Journal of Epidemiology

Express Newsline January 16, 2005

Household Products Database

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