Mineral Oil

“The probability that a resident of the United States will develop cancer at some point in his or her lifetime is 1 in 2 for men and 1 in 3 for women” (American Cancer Society, 1999).

It’s been official for a long time, ever since the first Report on Carcinogens. But it just seems to take us a long time to believe it! Mineral oils are known to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing). 

“Nearly everyone’s life has been directly or indirectly affected by cancer. Most scientists involved in cancer research believe that many cancer cases may be associated with the environment in which we live and work….Many experts firmly believe that much of the cancer associated with the environment may be avoided” (Tomatis et al. 1997). From the Introduction to the 10th Report on Carcinogens.

What is the Report on Carcinogens (RoC)? It is a list of all substances which either are known to be carcinogens in humans, or may reasonably be anticipated to be human carcinogens, and to which a significant number of persons residing in the United States are exposed. The RoC was mandated by Congress in 1978 to be carried out by the Department of Health and Human Services every year. In 1993 it began publishing on a biennial basis.

Although mineral oil, petrolatum, and tar, as used in cosmetics, are not included in the RoC, the consumer can certainly shop around for products that do not contain these ingredients.

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