Mineral oil also known as white oil, white mineral oil, liquid paraffin, liquid petroleum. For decades mineral oil are used for moisturizing skin, hair and for other cosmetic as well as health benefits. Most popular product are baby oil, which is perfumed mineral oil and Vaseline.
Mineral oil is colorless, odorless, liquid by-product from the distillation of petroleum. It consists of three types of compounds- Paraffins, naphthenic compounds and aromatic compounds.
Dangers of using Mineral oil
Recent research studies suggest that untreated and mildly treated mineral oil can cause cancer. The aromatic compound of mineral oil particularly polycyclic aromatics containing 4 to 6 condensed benzene rings are responsible for carcinogenicity. With additives like, sulphur, sulphur-containing compounds, certain phenols may increases the risk.
According to studies, the Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in mineral oil increases the risk of lung and bladder cancer.
Side effects of Ingesting mineral oil
Some people orally intake mineral oil for constipation and laxative effect. Many clinical study suggest that prolonged unrestricted ingestion of mineral oil is dangerous and may cause structural and functional abnormalities which lead to severe malnutrition and death.
Mineral oil contamination
Studies suggest that there is strong evidence that mineral oil hydrocarbons are the greatest contaminant of the human body, amounting to approximately 1 g per person. Cosmetics might be the most relevant sources of mineral oil contamination.
Mineral oil has no healing properties
Mineral oil remains on skin surface and can not penetrate into deep layers of skin or blood. Using mineral oil hinder the release of sweat and can cause dermatitis. Mineral oil act as occlusive agent and won’t let skin breathe. Over use of products with a high concentration of mineral oils can alter the natural process of skin hydration and protection process as skin got accustomed to over hydrated skin.
Mineral oil linked to estrogen effect
In research study mineral oil and other refined product is associated with possible endocrine-disrupting potential, some of them acting via the hormone receptors. Long term exposure to these compounds not only lead to contaminants build up in the body but also hormonal imbalance.