Petroleum is most known for its use as fuel for cars or heating houses, but there are many other places petroleum is found. The global consumption of petroleum is astonishing. Roughly 90 million barrels of petroleum are consumed each day worldwide, and 18.49 million of those barrels are consumed by the United States alone. Not all of the petroleum consumed is as fuel. There are many other places petroleum is found, some of which may surprise you.
One of the places petroleum is found is clothing; specifically you will find it polyester. To make polyester, manufacturers use petroleum. The process of turning petroleum into polyester emits a lot of greenhouse gases, which is why there are environmental concerns surrounding polyester. Despite these concerns, polyester is now the most commonly produced fiber. If you are concerned about the environment, you can look for recycled polyester (rPET), which is made from recycled plastic bottles and is environmentally friendly.
2. Office Supplies
Computers, binders, erasers, and even scotch tape all contain petroleum. One of the most common places to find petroleum in an office is ink. Petroleum based ink is popular because it dries quickly. However, it does emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause respiratory problems. If you are concerned about VOCs, you can switch to soy based ink, which emits 20 percent fewer VOCs
3. Baby Products
There are a surprising number of baby products that are made from petroleum. Pacifiers, rattles, baby bottles, and teething rings are just a few places you can find petroleum in baby products. Another place petroleum is found is in baby or mineral oil. While baby oil is often used for babies and adults, it is best to stick with something like coconut oil because the petroleum in mineral oil can cause sensitivities.
You probably never thought your medication contained petroleum. Antiseptics, antihistamines, cortisone, liquid Pepto Bismol, and aspirin are just a few of the medications that contain petroleum. If this concerns you, there is, unfortunately, little that can be done except avoiding these products if possible.
5. Kitchen Supplies
When you go into your kitchen, you will see many products that contain petroleum. Egg cartons, milk jugs, plastic dishes, disposable cutlery all contain petroleum. Obviously, you cannot avoid all of these products, but you can switch to using silverware instead of plastic cutlery and stone wear or china dishes instead of plastic dishes. As an added benefit, using reusable dishes and cutlery will help the environment!
6. Beauty Supplies
Many beauty supplies contain petroleum, including perfume, hair color, make-up, shampoo, lotion, and soap. When it comes to make-up, lipstick is a common place to find petroleum in the form of mineral oil. It acts as an emollient to make the lipstick more moisturizing. Unfortunately, the mineral oil is absorbed into skin and is sometimes swallowed. Therefore, it is better to opt for natural lipsticks.
Pesticides, herbicides, and food preservatives all contain petroleum. Obviously consuming petroleum isn’t healthy; however, it is easy to do. BHA is a petroleum based preservative that is found in ice cream, desert mixes, cereal, and shortening, as well as other places. To stay away from petroleum in your food, avoid preservatives and eat organic when possible.
Knowing how many places petroleum is found, it makes sense that the world consumption of petroleum is so high. While some of the places petroleum is found may not be so concerning, there are certain places, especially food, that you may want to watch out for petroleum. Did you know petroleum was found in so many places?